Rocky Mountain Haven (Six Pack Ranch #2)

Originally published January 9, 2012

Rocky Mountain HavenBy Vivian Arend

Publisher: Samhain Publishing Ltd.
Publication Date: January 10, 2012
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Author

It’s the quiet ones that take you by surprise.

Six Pack Ranch, Book 2

Beth Danube’s emotionally abusive husband is dead and buried. So is her heart. It’s no big deal, she has all she wants: her three little boys and a fresh start in a small Alberta town. What she doesn’t want is another man in her life—not now, maybe not ever.

After ten years of unsatisfactory, missionary-position sex, she never expected her libido to reawaken. One look at sex-in-boots Daniel Coleman in a Calgary bar, though, blows the dust off her sexuality.

Sensing an edge of desperation, even fear, beneath Beth’s come-on, Daniel finds himself giving in to the powerful urge to let his normally subdued desires run wild. The lady wants non-judgmental, non-vanilla sex? She’s got it—in and out of the bedroom.

At first, friends with blazing-hot benefits is more than enough. Then she realizes Daniel is burning away the protective fortress around her heart…and the guilty secret she dare not reveal.

Warning: One woman determined to retake control of her life, a man with the single-minded purpose of offering her—and her body—everything she needs. Inappropriate behavior in barns, change rooms, and oh-my-gawd phone sex with a cowboy.

Goodreads Summary

*This book was originally published in 2010 by Liquid Silver. It’s been revised and expanded from that version. A totally new hottie has been added to the cover. Rawr. *

When I read the first book in the series, Rocky Mountain Heat, in November, I had commented that it read a lot like a set-up book, with the main couple not really getting the whole book because there was a lot going into introducing the family and relationships. Every moment of that’s paid off in Rocky Mountain Haven, which feels like it’s picked up from where the last book left off, just with a new brother’s story.

Daniel Coleman is in Calgary on Six Pack Ranch business with younger brothers Jesse and Joel and during a night out at a local bar, he has an intense, sexy encounter with a woman named Beth who vanishes on him the next day. For the widowed Beth, the brief encounter at the bar with Daniel was the proof she was seeking that she’s still an attractive woman who can respond to a man – but she’s afraid because of a sad past to let him be a part of her life and runs, never intending to see him again. Instead, her new teaching job takes her right to Rocky Mountain and settled into a house on the Ranch.

I was worried that too much of Beth and Daniel’s relationship would be all about her recovering from the abuse she suffered at the hands of her dead husband but the story didn’t take that path. Beth is already a survivor – she was doing everything for her kids to give them the family they should have had. I’m a Kleenex-clutching reader sometimes and I had them out when her little guys would react to things sometimes because of their dad’s abuse of Beth, but those were the only times I felt like my heartstrings were getting tugged. Beth herself may have insecurities but she’s strong enough not to back away from Daniel because of her past and heaven knows, he’s not about to let her get far even if she wanted to.

It should shock…um…no one that I loved Daniel. He was perfect for Beth. Has it ever been disproven that the middle child is the most patient? As the middle Coleman boy, he was perfectly steady in his pursuit of Beth, knowing that she had issues with something and that fitting into her life with her boys was important to her even when it was inconvenient. He has a lot of fun getting inventive, including calling her and using the phone lines in ways Alexander Graham Bell certainly would not have sanctioned. *fans*

One of the things I loved about Heat, I found again about Haven. The relationship between the couple is sexy and romantic but a big part of the story is family, both Daniel’s and Beth’s. I’m not normally a fan of kids in romance novels since nine times out of ten they end up as plot moppets but Beth’s three little boys were just normal, exhausting kids. How sweet is it that Daniel babysat when Beth was at a teachers’ conference and supervised the kids at swimming?

There’s also more to love about the Colemans. Blake and Jaxi are getting ready to get married and have a big, happy secret, Matt is still having trouble with his icky girlfriend Helen, Travis is continuing to act strangely, twins Jesse and Joel are the same girl-crazy flirts and Mom and Dad babysit Beth’s boys. Gabe, the Coleman cousin who had an interaction with Matt and Helen in Heat is back with a bigger story along with his younger brother Rafe – there are at least a dozen or so Rocky Mountain books possible if I’m counting all the various Colemans floating around.

My Summary: I thought Daniel and Beth’s story was sexy and sweet but what really elevates the entire book is the theme of family that runs through it, just like it did in the first book in the series. Told alone, their story would have been hot and Beth’s overcoming her past with her late husband would have probably been notable. Told with Beth’s children and Daniel’s family surrounding them, their relationship is still pretty hot but there are also deeper complications and in the end, a different kind of promise. I think you can read this without reading the first book but I don’t know why you would. 🙂

My Rating: A

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