Joint Review – Rocky Mountain Haven by Vivian Arend

Publisher: Samhain
Publish Date:
How we got this book: eARC from author

Beth Danube’s emotionally abusive husband is dead and buried. So is her heart. It’s no big deal, she has all she wants: her three little boys and a fresh start in a small Alberta town. What she doesn’t want is another man in her life—not now, maybe not ever. After ten years of unsatisfactory, missionary-position sex, she never expected her libido to reawaken. One look at sex-in-boots Daniel Coleman in a Calgary bar, though, blows the dust off her sexuality.

Sensing an edge of desperation, even fear, beneath Beth’s come-on, Daniel finds himself giving in to the powerful urge to let his normally subdued desires run wild. The lady wants non-judgmental, non-vanilla sex? She’s got it—in and out of the bedroom.
At first, friends with blazing-hot benefits is more than enough. Then she realizes Daniel is burning away the protective fortress around her heart…and the guilty secret she dare not reveal.

Warning: One woman determined to retake control of her life, a man with the single-minded purpose of offering her—and her body—everything she needs. Inappropriate behavior in barns, change rooms, and oh-my-gawd phone sex with a cowboy.
*Blurb from Goodreads*

MinnChica: It’s no secret that I am a total fan girl of Vivian Arend, especially when she goes off and writes about sexy cowboys. After the first book in the series, I was hooked on the Coleman brothers and couldn’t wait to get my hands on more. Lucky for me, I didn’t have to. While we didn’t get to know a while lot about Daniel in the first book, I have to say that I absolutely fell in love with him in this one. He is just so sweet and caring and supporting and sexy that I couldn’t help but love him. And while I didn’t connect as easily to Beth, I really felt for her character as time went on. I cried with her and laughed with her and really cheered for the two of them to work everything out.

E: Out of the two Six Pack Ranch books Ms Arend has published so far I found Rocky Mountain Haven my favorite.  I really enjoyed it when it was published the first time and I continued to really like her re-published version.  I fell in love with Daniel during their first two “meet cutes”.  He was so gentle and refused to accept that Beth really just wanted a one night stand so when things didn’t work out that night he tried to set it up so they could meet and get to know each other.  Then when he encountered her again he noticed her discomfort with public attention and protected her from it.  Then I sat back and enjoyed how he steadily moved towards his goals while ensuring that Beth and her children remained comfortable with his presence.  Beth and her boys had a traumatic past that she didn’t share immediately with Daniel yet you could tell that he paid extremely close attention to her physical reactions (more then just the seriously smexytimes) as he continued towards his goal.

MinnChica:  That was one of the big things that endeared me to Daniel the most as well. The fact that he was so in-tune to Beth, that he wanted her so much he refused to let himself stay behind her walls, that he ingrained himself so fully into her life and became such a permanent fixture in the life of her boys. I also really liked that Beth was so hesitant with letting someone in. Given her history I wasn’t surprised by her keeping Daniel an arms length away, and I enjoyed that it took him so long to wiggle his way into her circle of trust. But damn, once he got there it was so sweet!

E: He was just great!  I have to had it to Beth also.  She decided that she was going to reclaim her life and try to heal the damage done to her boys.  If she hadn’t made that decision then regardless of how wonderful Daniel was this never would have gone anywhere.  On the outside Beth didn’t appear to be a gutsy strong heroine but she had an internal core of steel that gradually made itself evident as the story progressed.  Yes she had self doubts and you could see how she struggled with guilt and self-blame but she never let that get the best of her and her drive for a “normal” life.  I liked how she had managed to start becoming part of the community before she encountered Daniel again so he wasn’t the key to her acceptance.

MinnChica:  Oh yeah, I really liked that as well. I was glad to see that she really made a life for herself outside of him so that she had something else to fall back on when she needed to. I also really liked that she helped Daniel realize where he wanted his life to go. She helped him accept himself and come to an understanding of what he liked in life best, what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. I really liked that. It was also great to see more of the Coleman brothers, see more of them in action and get a better feeling for the family as a while. This book had me so excited to read more about Matt and the twins!!

E: I enjoyed the glimpses we got of the rest of the family and their interactions.  I also started wondering what was going to happen with some of the cousins who have a less then supportive father.  I am hoping Ms Arend will provide us with either a spin-off about them or continue to sprinkle their stories in the Six Pack Ranch series.  I could tell that the heroines or potential heroes…for the remaining brothers are going to have to be special.   One thing that bothered me was the lack of mention about Travis and his issues.  In Rocky Mountain Heat some things came out about him that I think wouldn’t have completely disappeared in this next installment but it was like he really wasn’t present at all.  Granted we did get some family drama with Matt, poor guy, so everything wasn’t rainbows and puppies just because Beth and Daniel were in a healthy relationship.

MinnChica: Oh Matt, after reading about all his troubles I was so, so excited to read more about his story. I couldn’t wait to see what happened with him and if he would be able to get past what happened and move on with his life. I also agree that things with Travis were really left up in the air, and we didn’t get to see much about him or his ongoing issues. I think his story is going to be an interesting one. I have some theories about him, but who knows……

E: I am really looking forward to seeing what else Ms Arend has in mind for this complex family.  I think she has done a great job at showing how even the most tight-knit family on the surface has a lot of complex undercurrents.  I will say that she has her work cut out for her if she wants to displace Rocky Mountain Haven as my favorite.  I can’t say how much I enjoyed the slow growth of friendship and love between Daniel and Beth.  Knowing Daniel’s overall goal made their smexytimes extremely touching and sweet not to mention steamy *grin*.  I give Rocky Mountain Haven an A-

MinnChica: Rocky Mountain Haven quickly surpassed Rocky Mountain Heat as my favorite as well. The romance was so sweet and yet very sexy. I loved Daniel and Beth so much, I wanted to cheer for them and see them both find happiness and comfort in each other. The series has quickly become a favorite of mine, with the dynamics between the brothers and cousins and potential spouses so reminiscent of a real family with real issues and real love for each other. I can’t wait for more and more books in the series! I give Rocky Mountain Haven an A- as well.

 

Comments

  1. Heller says

    Wait. Is this story set in Calgary, Alberta? That’s by no means small town Alberta (being an Alberta native). Story sounds really good but something like that would really throw me out of it. Did they meet there and the story takes place elsewhere?

    ReplyReply
  2. MinnChica says

    @Heller: No, it’s not set in Calgary – there is one scene where they meet in a bar there, but the majority of the story takes place in the small town where the ranch is located. :D It was a very good story!

    ReplyReply
  3. Heller says

    I picked up Books 1&2 in this series. Plus the start of another of her different series. I have high hopes. :D :D Thanks for the rec, ‘pushers!

    ReplyReply

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