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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Renegade Hearts by Anne Patrick

Renegade Hearts by Anne Patrick
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc.
Genre: Inspirational, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (158 Pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Fennel

Single mother, Jenny Holloway, has her hands full running a 1200-acre ranch, and keeping her daredevil son out of the emergency room. So when her foreman suggests she hire on his son Gil Montgomery, who just got home from the war, Jenny jumps at the opportunity of having another skilled cowboy around.

Gil was used to taking orders, even from women. What he wasn't prepared for was the feelings this little firecracker of a woman triggered in him. Jenny is a lot like the bronco she's rescued and is now trying to break. The unexpected death of her husband has left her jaded and afraid to risk her heart getting broken again. Somehow, he has to gain her trust and prove that he isn't going anywhere.

In Renegade Hearts, author Anne Patrick takes a bunch of strong and delightful characters and presents a charming, gentle story of family love, family differences, of loss and the courage to go forward. And as is her way, Ms Patrick chucks in some suspense and weaves it through the book, not revealing the outcome until the end of the story.

Widowed for two years, Jenny Holloway has a farm to run, a young son to raise, a reputation to build on and the arrival of her stockman’s son, Gil, to contend with. So she’s strong, yes, but not perfect. She discovers plenty of insecurities she has to deal with. She’s not prepared to forgive her step-father for the harsh things he said at her husband’s funeral, and she often stumbles when trying to explain her actions to her son. And when it comes to her growing feelings for Gil, she’s left high and dry trying to come to terms with them let alone explain them to herself, or anyone else. Her passionate love of horses means she sets up a rescue operation with her friend and in doing so goes head-to-head with an influential but disliked local.

Injured in the line of duty, Gil is not pleased to find himself heading back home to the place he couldn’t wait to leave, until he meets Jenny Holloway and accepts a job on her farm.

But did he accept the job because he needed it, or because he’d fallen in love with the woman on first sight?

So many inner conflicts are going on within every character, both major and secondary. And Ms Patrick has a full cast of them. Zach, Jenny’s son is a charmer and worked his way into this reader’s heart almost instantly. The interaction between Zach and Gil as they get to know each other is masterful and heart-warming.

And brilliant wordsmith that she is, Anne Patrick writes a tight and fluent tale where every word matters. There are emotional highs and lows and laughter and tears. There is crime, greed and betrayals.

Whether writing on-the-edge-of-your-seat mystery and suspense, or gentle family life with suspense entwined, Anne Patrick is an author worthy of your Keeper shelf.