Reviewed by Helyce
Favorite Quote: “My heroes have always been cowboys.”
From Goodreads: Too stubborn to face his sins, Jesse Coleman bolted from the Six Pack Ranch, only to fall straight into the arms of a beautiful stranger. Twelve hours later, the seductive firebrand is nothing but a whiskey-laced memory—but one powerful enough to convince Jesse tracking down his elusive lover is worth the effort.
Darilyn Hayes figured it was her lucky night when the sexiest cowboy in Alberta interrupted her annual drink-until-I-fall-over wake. At least until four weeks later when she discovers she’s pregnant and her one-night-stand is nowhere to be found. Still, as she’s shared with her devoted blog readers, Dare has dealt with life’s not-so-gentle surprises before. She’ll make it on her own.
When an internet picture gone viral leads to their reunion, Jesse’s floored by Dare’s news. She’s very clear she’s not looking for a commitment, but screw that. He’s going to do the right thing by her and his unborn kid. The fact they lit the sheets on fire is a bonus, but with a baby on the way, both their lives are gonna change.
Jesse’s got a ton of family to reconnect with, including his estranged twin. Dare holds family loosely—even though she loves them—because she knows too well how fragile life can be. Between her and Jesse, they’ve got enough baggage to open a store.
But they still have a shot at forever—if they’re willing to fight for it.
Ms. Arend has come full circle as she ends the much loved Six Pack Ranch series with Jesse’s book. I always thought Travis would have the honor of the final book. From the get go, he was dark and mysterious and Arend did a fantastic job of giving us just enough to pull us in and keep us satisfied while not really giving us any real details. She’s brilliant like that. But Travis got his story a few books back and soon after we lost Jesse when he up and left Rocky Mountain for parts unknown without a word and we, the reader, sat dumbfounded and clueless. I was excited to get the scoop on what the hell happened to make Jesse leave the warmth and comfort of his family and venture out into the world alone. It’s revealed in full with this story.
Arend doesn’t spend too much time rehashing the past where Jesse is concerned. Though she gives us the replay and lays the groundwork for Jesse and Dare’s meeting, we quickly jump ahead to learn that Dare is pregnant and is trying to find Jesse, though she’s pretty much exhausted her efforts and isn’t quite sure what to do next. Luckily, a photo of Jesse that she used on her blog had been seen by someone who knew someone who knew Jesse and before we know it, Jesse is knocking on Dare’s door. The power of the internet. And I loved that Arend didn’t make this a long drawn out thing.
I have been a fan of Jesse and Joel, the youngest Coleman sons and twins to boot, since the beginning. Their antics in the early books were quite entertaining as they made their way through women, sometimes alone–most often together. Young and sexy they had the girls lining up to get some cowboy love–until Joel meets Vicki and wants to get serious, upsetting the status quo with Jesse. Lost, confused and probably a lot jealous, Jesse struggles with what he’s feeling. After having Joel by his side for over 20 years, he doesn’t know how to be alone. Instead of reaching out to his family for love and support he does something stupid, regrets it, and leaves town without a word, leaving Joel, and the whole Coleman family, with a million questions.
I really enjoyed Jesse and Dare together. I thought their characters meshed really well. I liked that upon Jesse’s arrival Dare doesn’t really pussyfoot around the issues-making sure to tell Jesse about the baby quickly. While he’s definitely surprised, I wasn’t surprised by his reaction to know from the beginning that he would be there for Dare and his child. Jesse offers marriage right away as he feels it’s the right thing to do, but Dare says “no” deciding that it’s not enough to marry someone because of a baby is coming.
I especially liked Dare. In spite of what happened to her, I felt that Arend wrote her as very down to earth and no-nonsense. She’s the perfect match to Jesse’s sometimes over the top bravado. As she questions her place in Jesse’s life, however, it is clear that she is not going to get married just because she got pregnant.
But when Jesse returns home to introduce Dare to his family, everything changes for Jesse. He expected a homecoming laced with blame and anger-and there was definitely some of that-but for the most part, his family welcomed him back into their warm embrace without question. Dare, too, falls under the spell of the Coleman family, though she had counseled herself numerous times not to fall in love with them. But, their love and acceptance breaks through any walls she tried to keep in place. She also finds a deep connection and friendship with Vicky, Joel’s fiance.
I liked the flow of this story and the fact that other than Jesse needing to come to terms with his mistakes and realize that his family was not going to give up on him and loved him no matter what, there is little conflict in this story and I think that works in a final book. We still get Jesse and Dare getting to know each other with the requisite ups and downs of a relationship in the making, but it’s rounded out with a reunion of the whole cast as we get updates on all the previous couples who have been very prolific.
The revelation of what Jesse did before leaving Rocky without a word seemed a bit anticlimactic to me. While I had a general idea of what it was and who was involved, when all is revealed my initial reaction was, “that’s it?”. Yes, it was a shitty thing to do and it could have gone in a completely different direction and forgiveness would have been next to impossible, but it didn’t and I’m completely fine with the way the author decided to handle it.
I was super content to be back at the Six Pack Ranch. I’ve enjoyed this series from the beginning and though this is the last book for the Coleman brothers, Ms. Arend is not giving up on her cowboys just yet. She laid out a pretty obvious segue by introducing a Coleman cousin to one of Dare’s brother’s, of which I think there are four in total. So, I expect we’ll be seeing more cowboy love at the Silver Stone Ranch very soon.