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Monday, December 13, 2010

Heart's Crossing Ranch by Tanya Hanson

Heart's Crossing Ranch by Tanya Hanson
Publisher: White Rose Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational
Length: Short Story (107 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Orange Blossom

A beautiful city slicker and a rugged cowboy…The perfect Wild West adventure.

Cowboy Kenn Martin bears the guilt for allowing a coach to ruin his younger brother’s bright athletic future. Feeling unworthy of any happiness, he’s lost his faith in relationships and in God. When he meets Christy Forrest, he begins to hope for redemption but soon learns his past mistakes aren't something she'll easily forgive.

On the Colorado wagon train adventure planned by her late father, landscape designer Christy Forrest seeks to find peace in the nature she loves. However, she can't let go of her anger at the drunk driver who killed her dad—or the woman who did nothing to stop the man from driving. Falling for Kenn Martin begins to lighten her heart…until she realizes the handsome cowboy carries heavy a burden all his own—a burden she’s not sure she can accept.

A handsome cowboy with a heavy heart meets a hurting young woman in the beautiful Colorado countryside.

Kenn Martin teaches high school English during the school year and acts as trail master each summer on his family’s ranch. He carries a regret that’s been digging deeper into his heart year after year and it’s torn him away from God. Kenn is a terrific character. He’s got strong moral fiber. He has a sensitive heart inside his rugged cowboy chest too. You feel for his pains and want to see him find resolution and love.

Christy Forrest, Californian landscape architect, joins the ranch’s family wagon adventure. Her father died months before the trip to the ranch. He’d been the one to plan the trip before he was killed by a drunk driver. Her mother couldn't bear to go but Christy made the trip. As the retreat begins, Christy’s feeling angry at God for taking her father so suddenly. But as time goes on and she grows closer to Kenn in the great outdoors things begin to change.

The first thing I noticed about this story was the beautiful descriptions of the Colorado countryside. It made everything real as though you could smell the pine trees, hear the birds twittering in the sky and feel the warmth of the sun on your face. It makes you want to pack your bags and go on one of these romantic wagon adventures yourself with a cute cowboy.

Ms. Hanson’s writing is delightful. It brought me right into the story from sentence one. She's quite a storyteller as she weaves her tale and draws you into it. From the hurt and the heartbreak of these two main characters to the joy and boundless love which comes from God’s grace by story's end. There was a beauty to the story of these characters as the plot unfolds and these two fall in love in a believable and sweet way.

The story itself is quite simple but it is the telling of it that makes it such a treat. You will be rooting for the main characters and feeling their hurts and insecurities while hoping it will all work out in the end. Though it isn’t a full length novel, the characters came across real and endearing. The story has stayed with me and I look forward to reading the sequel.