Reviewed by Helyce
Rocky Mountain Haven is the story of Daniel Coleman and Beth Danube. We met Daniel in the first book, Rocky Mountain Heat. Daniel is the middle Coleman son and we learn enough about him to know that he is the calm one, the peacemaker in the family. We learned that he’d been in a relationship with a woman, one he thought he’d marry, but it didn’t work out and the reason it didn’t is something Daniel worries about quite a bit, not that he can do anything about it. While on business in Calgary with his brothers Jesse and Joel, he meets Beth in a bar one evening and their chemistry is instant. They talk, dance a little bit and Daniel is pretty sure he’s getting all the right signals, but he can tell that something just isn’t quite right. Daniel’s not really a ‘one-night-stand’ type of guy and he doesn’t think Beth is either. In the short time he’s spent with her, talking, making out a little, he senses that there might just be something special between them. They exchange phone numbers, make plans for coffee the next morning. A date Beth has no intention of keeping.
Beth is at that bar that night for one thing and one thing only. She wants to prove to herself that she is still an attractive, sexual woman who can attract a man. A widow and mother of three young boys, she survived an abusive marriage with ten years of flat on her back missionary style vanilla sex. She’s spent the year since her husband’s death focusing on her children and getting her life together. She’s made some big decisions, including moving away from her sister and parents, but it’s what she needs to do. For this one night, she wants to leave all that behind and just enjoy herself. When she meets Daniel, she is attracted to him immediately and he quickly has her feeling very tingly in all the right places. He’s exactly the type of man she’s looking for; kind, compassionate and they seem to have the right chemistry. But Daniel sees beneath Beth’s façade and he senses that she’s skittish and not completely on board with a quick and dirty meaningless encounter. When Daniel tells her that he’d like to see her again, all her internal bells and whistles go off. She agrees, giving him a fake phone number and ripping up his business card as soon as she gets into her car. After all, she’s never going to see him again.
But fate has other plans.
Little does Beth know that the small town she’s moving to in Alberta is the very town where Daniel Coleman lives. And as luck and fate would have it, the little house she ends up renting is owned by the Coleman family. She’s there a month when she runs into Daniel. She’s shocked and totally unprepared. Daniel is as well. He was thoroughly pissed off when he realized the number she’d given him was disconnected. Something clicked for him the night they met and he’d thought about her often and he can’t believe that she is there, right in front of him. Beth quickly tries to put Daniel off, but now that he’s found her again, he’s not letting her go. Daniel put his cards on the table and tells Beth that he’d like to see her, but she shuts him down telling him that she really isn’t ready for a relationship of any kind. It’s just too soon and she has her boys to think about.
But after a week of sleepless nights where she can’t get Daniel out of her mind, she makes a decision. She approaches Daniel and tells him that she admits to the attraction and wants to explore it, but she doesn’t want her kids to know about it. She wants it to just be sex, nothing more. Daniel tells her he can’t just be a “fuck buddy”, he’ll agree to her terms but she needs to agree that they also explore becoming friends. When Beth admits that her sexual experience has been extremely “vanilla” in nature, Daniel begins planning some very non-vanilla sexual encounters.
It’s not long before these two are starting to feel more for each other than they had planned. While it’s clear to the reader that Daniel realizes early on that Beth is special and that he wants to be more than just friends with benefits, he knows that it’s going to take a lot to break down the walls that Beth has put up around her. She might respond to him sexually, but she is not letting herself fall for him. After her hellish marriage, Daniel has his work cut out for him if he wants forever with Beth.
I love this series. Daniel is a character easy to fall in love with and I loved the little switch the author does where it’s Beth who wants to explore sex with no ties and Daniel is hesitant. He’s not comfortable with it, he wants more and he makes it known, but he goes along with it because he cares for Beth and if this is what she needs before she will allow herself to fall, then he’s up for the challenge. It’s not like he wasn’t enjoying their fun and spontaneous encounters, but you know he wants more; you know it means more to him. It’s totally intimate for him, but he’s patient with Beth and it’s not long before she realizes that Daniel is a man that she can trust her heart with.
Additionally, what I’m loving about this series is that there are small side stories that are intricately weaved and explored without taking away from the focus of the main couple. In this installment, we see a little more of Gabe, a cousin of the Coleman boys, and I really like his storyline and look forward to more. We also see Daniel’s brother Matt finally see the truth about his girlfriend, hurtful as it was for him. Things can only get better for him now! If you love hot cowboys with strong family values, you will enjoy this series. I’m dying for book 3 already and have to wait till March.