by Kathie DeNosky

August 2002
ISBN: 0-373-76457-X
Reviewer Graphic Button Silhouette #1457
Mass Market Paperback

Ever let a friend buy something for you and said it only needs a little help to be in shape again? Well, Cooper let Whiskers buy a ranch for him at an auction and Whiskers told Cooper it only need a few repairs over the phone. Well, a few is an understatement! A new roof, new corral, running water, and electricity are just a few of the things that either need to be repaired, replaced or installed. But Cooper can't do anything about it now - he owns this so-called ranch called the Triple Bar. What Cooper didn't know was that Whiskers was not finished with his helping just yet.

The other help comes in the form of one Faith Broderick. Whiskers hired her to cook and clean for the Triple Bar Ranch. Faith is trying to start her life over with a change in locations, hoping it would help her get over her hurt and pain left behind by her now ex-husband and her former best friend. What Faith didn't want was a relationship with anyone, but once she set her eyes on Cooper, there was little she could do about not having a relationship with him! Cooper has lean hips, long legs, chiseled features and he fills out the jeans nicely. But more important is his easy going nature, kind heart and his love of family.

Cooper realizes what Whiskers is up to shortly after he is stranded in the dilapidated ranch along with Faith. Whiskers is up to his old matchmaking schemes again! But this time, Cooper can be knocked over with a feather when he sees Faith. Faith is caring, gorgeous and per Cooper has “wrap-around-a-man-and-take-him-to-heaven kind of legs”. Cooper does get knocked down by Faith - after she runs from the house when she hears a noise in the kitchen, throwing her arms and legs around him and sends him sprawling in the rain with her on top of him!

Cooper and Faith work together trying to get the ranch in some kind of shape for them to live in and fixing the surrounding buildings and corrals to house some cows that Flint, Cooper's brother-in-law is bringing. During the week together, they learn about each other, what each likes and doesn't like, their pain and hopes for the future.

Ms. DeNosky once again brings us a very enjoyable read of heartache, pain and a future that is bright if only they can overcome one obstacle that Faith feels will bring only heartache and pain. But overcome it they did in more ways than one. The characters we loved in The Rough and Ready Rancher make several appearances throughout the book and it was a joy to visit them once again.

Reviewed in July 2002 by Pam.

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