I think when I started reading this book I was expecting something more like the author’s Texas series or even her Montana series and while it was definitely a little closer to her Montana series in terms of both books dealt with the darker side of human nature and there’s a strong sense of family in both series, that’s pretty much where the similarities end as far as the stories are concerned.
I admit I’ve never been to Wyoming but throughout this story there were moments that captured my mind creating a very vivid picture of Whisper Ridge and I truly feel like I could draw a picture of this place…well, at least I could if could draw but the picture is there in my mind of the town, Micah’s home on the Lennox Ranch and Daniel’s haunted house with it’s wild garden Ms Scott brought them all to life for me and as I read this book it all became populated with the characters that were also brought to life for me. I wasn’t left so much with a sense of a specific place as that I feel like if I went to Wyoming I would find places that would bring Whisper Ridge to mind for me because they had that same feeling of openness and beauty that I got from this story.
Now before I really get into babbling about this story I’m going to quickly explain that I had one little niggle and that was the fact that I would have liked for Micah and Daniel to have more face to face time on page but I was also torn because the fact that they didn’t made sense and in a lot of ways I’m not sure the story would have worked as well for me if they had so…niggle but was it a problem…not really, more like me being greedy because I liked these two characters and the way they played off of each other.
While every story has a beginning, a middle and an ending…how the author chooses to give us those parts can often dictate how well a story works for the reader. This story doesn’t really start at the beginning or even the ending…nope, it pretty much starts in the middle and for me that worked just fine because while we’re given a very small glimpse at the past. It’s the present where this story really starts and while that may seem like the middle of the story from a timeline perspective it’s also where the connection between the past and the future is best made because it’s where Micah has to decide that the promises of the past aren’t as important as his family’s safety in the present and their continued well being in the future.
When Micah left Whisper Ridge, 9 years earlier, things weren’t good between him and Daniel, the man he loved…in fact things weren’t good between him and pretty much the whole damned town so leaving and never coming back didn’t seem like to hard of a thing to do. But when Micah’s pregnant sister and his nephew, Laurie need protecting the first place that comes to mind for Micah to take them is Whisper Ridge and for Micah more important than keeping a promise is keeping his family safe, so he heads for the home.
Micah’s only planning on staying long enough to make sure his sister is safe and then he’s leaving heading back to the ranch where he works and has made a life for himself. Coming back into contact with Daniel and the rest of the Sheridan family wasn’t in his plan, finding forgiveness and acceptance for what happened in the past wasn’t even on his radar and reconnecting with Daniel a man who’s fighting his own demons but is still the man he loved was the last thing he expected to have happen.
So many things have changed for both Micah and Daniel and it’s through glimpses of their past both shared and separate that we get to know these men and see where they were and how they’ve come to be where they are in the present. I was totally absorbed by this story. I love a light, fluffy happily ever after story as much as the next person but I’m also a fan of stories that show the strength of human nature and the ability that each person has to rise above whatever comes their way.
Even though this story is about Micah and Daniel just like in the real world you truly can’t have the whole story without seeing their connections to the rest of the world. There’s an amazing ensemble cast here of family and community that enriches and adds depth to this story. Along with Micah’s family which is comprised of his pregnant sister Rachel her son, Laurie there’s his Aunt Amy and her husband Jeff. Daniel’s family consist of his parents, 3 brothers…Mark who’s away at college, Scott the family business tycoon…I really liked Scott. He had his ‘in your face, big brother’ moments but there was zero doubt that for Scott family mattered above all else and then there’s Chris and I adore him, want him to have a story in which he finds an amazing love because he so deserves it, he’s also pretty pivotal to this story and last but not least is their sister, Michelle who also happens to be pregnant…must be something in the water. So that’s the basics as far as family is concerned but there’s also the matter of the local sheriff and a private investigator named Connor who I’m hoping we’ll find out more about because mysterious men are always intriguing and who knows who else we’ll get to meet along the way in this one.
I definitely want more about Micah and Daniel, I also would like to find out more about the other characters in this story as well, so it probably goes without saying that I’m very happy this is a series because I have no doubt that R.J. Scott will give me more and my curiosity will be appeased…I just need to be patient, right?
An ARC of Winter Cowboy was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.