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Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Rancher’s Pride by Barbara White Daille

A Rancher’s Pride by Barbara White Daille
Publisher: Harlequin American Romance
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (165 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 Books
Reviewed by Honeysuckle

Sam Robertson's life just changed. In one short day, he found out that he's a daddy; that his beautiful little girl, Becky, is deaf; and that her aunt, sign language teacher Kayla Ward, intends to fight him for custody.

There are plenty of reasons Sam shouldn't fall for Kayla. A city girl like her has no place on his ranch, particularly when she's his ex-wife's gorgeous sister. But thanks to the judge's orders, Sam's spending a lot of time with Kayla, trying to give Becky the stable home she's never known.

Despite their ongoing custody battle, Sam and Kayla's love for Becky brings them closer than they ever expected, and Sam knows that no matter who wins in court, he could still lose—Kayla or his daughter.

Will the gift of a special needs child he didn’t even know existed be the balm that heals this rancher’s wounded pride? Sam Robertson has matured a lot since his misspent youth that resulted in a hasty marriage and an almost as equally quick divorce. It’s been four years since his wife, with help of her sister, high-tailed off the ranch leaving him with a stack of credit card bills, mistrust for women and a whole lot of regret. He didn’t realize what she took from him would be worth much more than he could know until Becky was “dumped” on his doorstep four years later.

Imagine how difficult it had to be for Sam to suddenly learn that he has a child that he’s never met and can’t communicate with. Now, throw in the sister of his ex-wife who storms into his life demanding that he give up custody of the child he’s just met. Kayla Ward honestly loves her niece and is determined to bring her back home to Chicago as soon as possible. What she knows about her ex-brother in law is influenced by she was told by her sister. Needless to say they each start off disliking and mistrusting one another. The only thing they have in common is Becky.

Ms. Daille has penned a sweet story about learning to trust as well as learning that love is worth more than pride. Her characters are both determined and stubborn to a fault. They each want what is best for the child but are unwilling to consider that might mean giving her up. The author’s writing evoked sympathetic as well as frustrated emotions for all the parties involved. Sam is happy, sad and scared all at the same time in regards to Becky. Similarly, his reaction to Kayla’s presence is very convoluted. One minute he’s trying to ignore her and the next minute he’s teasing her into a kiss. They have some really sweet dialogue when they aren’t arguing.

Ms. Daille has a lovely voice for contemporary romance. Her characters are not perfect which makes them all the more realistic. Her plots are well built and the book transitions smoothly from beginning to end. If you are looking for a progressive romance that starts slow and ends sweetly you’ll want to pick up a copy of A Rancher’s Pride.