A Ranching Man is the second in “Those Marrying McBrides!” a series set in rural Colorado. While it contains a very familiar plot, what places this book well above average is Linda Turner’s continuing ability to create likable and complex characters.
Rancher Joe McBride is still recovering from his former wife Belinda's departure for the lure of the bright lights in the big city. You can count on his emotional baggage as a factor, but Turner demonstrates it by actions rather than by his constantly belaboring the point.
Angel Wiley is Hollywood's newest star. Since their cash flow was getting tight, the McBrides were forced to lease their ranch to a Hollywood studio for filming a new movie. Despite the fact that her costar hates her, Angel has agreed to play in the movie because she is fleeing from a stalker. The police have made no inroads into identifying him, and Angel is fearful for her three-year old daughter's safety. The stalker has warned
Angel that he is not going to share her with her daughter Emma, and he will take care of removing Emma.
Since hotel accommodations in Liberty Hill, Colorado, are sparse, the studio has arranged
boarding in homes for the cast. When she arrives, Angel finds her arrangements to be woefully lacking in security. Unwilling to reveal that she is being stalked, she seizes an opportunity to trade places with her co-star to decrease her vulnerability. Going to the producer to accomplish this puts her on the spoiled starlet list to Joe McBride, whose ranch house become her new lodgings.
Joe despises her on first sight. Angel is unwilling to trust any man again so their romance sputters along after an unpromising start. After a week, Angel feels secure enough to have Emma and her nanny join her. It isn't long before the stalker discovers she is on location.
We have all read these types of romances before but Linda Turner has the ability to make it seem new again. She does a fine job of maintaining credible tension on the suspense side of the story, while at the same time she turns Joe and Angel’s dislike into love.
With A Ranching Man, Turner has maintained her usual high standards. Even though the plot line is unoriginal, this author’s writing ability makes her books memorable.