Read this 5-heart book review by Kimmers' Erotic Book Banter
Title: The Ranch Hand and the Single Dad
Series: Farthingdale Ranch #3
Author: Jackie North
Published: July 27, 2021
Cover Artist: AngstyG
Genre: Contemporary Romance; Erotic Romance
Length: 281 Pages
Tags: Gay; M/M; Bisexual Awakening; Children; First Time; Geek/Nerd; May/December; Opposites Attract; Slow-Burn; Western/Cowboys; Out for You; Standalone
About The Ranch Hand and the Single Dad
“If Austin has forgotten what love is, maybe Clay can show him the way.”
Happy-go-lucky Clay keeps busy with hookups at the local bar after working hard at the ranch. Those hookups used to be fun, but now they leave him empty.
Austin is reeling after a difficult divorce. His wife took everything, including full custody of his daughter, Bea, who is only nine.
Austin doesn’t know where his life is headed, but at least he’s got a roof over his head, and a new job as accountant at Farthingdale Ranch.
The job is exactly the kind of work he loves. The only problem is he’s distracted by Clay, who is gay. Austin is straight. There’s no way this can work.
A gay M/M cowboy romance with age gap, hurt/comfort, opposites attract, single dad, out for you, midnight rendezvous, friendship between men. A little sweet, a little steamy, with a guaranteed HEA.
How does Jackie North captivate me every single time? In The Ranch Hand and the Single Dad, it’s with two guys who are opposite as possible. Clay, Farthingdale Ranch’s outgoing flirt, likes nothing more than a one and done, except maybe for his love of the ranch itself. While Austin, the ranch’s new accountant, has never ridden a horse nor visited a ranch. He prefers numbers to human interactions, and has only been intimate with his just-divorced wife. So why does he enjoy Clay’s company so much?
In high school Austin was almost taken hostage by the town beauty, who saw him as a ticket to her preferred lifestyle. Awed that she would notice him, he ignored her insistence on getting her way, married her and a baby soon followed. Then he was too busy loving his daughter, while trying to please his wife, to consider leaving – until she cheated. This guy’s straight in every area of life.
Both Clay and Austin are totally clueless. Though Clay may be a college graduate, he’s been looking for love in hook ups. And Austin never once imagined he might be bi. In fact, after his ex’s treatment, he’s now impotent. What a shock to discover he loves the ranch, the fresh air, and the attentions of a certain cowboy. But, “Austin had just gotten a divorce. He was not in the market for sure, and in no way was he interested in getting it on with a guy who had a hard-on for getting it on at a moment’s notice.” Clay’s got it bad for Austin and I was left wondering, can a lust-driven young man dial his libido back to zero, waiting to see what materializes?
Ms. North creates fascinating characters who must grow and stretch, challenging their self-images to find happiness.
Besides, there’s Austin’s bond with his daughter, which is heart-breaking. His wife has demanded custody, and it’s difficult to contemplate a way to keep connected. Each moment with nine-year-old Bea seeped me in the refreshing wisdom and resilience of youth.
Ms. North creates fascinating characters who must grow and stretch, challenging their self-images to find happiness, which seeds my love for her books. Plus, there’s her signature gift for depicting scenery, until it’s almost an individual moving within the plotline. “Though (with) skies scudding low, soapy grey clouds, it certainly was thinking about raining.”
Not to mention a host of fully formed side characters who create the kind of supportive community we all wish we had. Yes, these are people from prior episodes, but their distinctive personalities work well in this standalone, while the novel serves to update readers of prior installments.
‘The Ranch Hand and the Single Dad‘ warmed me to the core.
I count on Ms. North’s simple yet elegant language, just as appropriate for an easy reader as for someone who enjoys quality literature. She even taught me a new word: “harum-sacrum,” meaning “reckless.”
Add it all together and The Ranch Hand and the Single Dad warmed me to the core. I savored the phrasing, the men’s journey and Ms. North’s neatly hidden deep sentiments. “Raise yourself up by taking the other fellow down a peg or two at any opportunity. He didn’t want to be like that. Not here.” No, Ms. North would never take her characters down a peg. Instead, she consistently lifts me with simple hope in the goodness of mankind.
A copy of The Ranch Hand and the Single Dad was provided to Kimmers’ Erotic Book Banter, by Jackie North, at no cost and with no expectations in return. We offer our fair and honest opinion on behalf of our readers.