I’ve been reading quite a bit in my current genre, inspirational romance. I ran across a wonderful gem of a story by Linda Goodnight called Rancher’s Refuge. The story wraps the reader in a warm blanket with comforting and engaging characters of a small town in Arkansas. Whisper Falls claims it’s the place where every prayer is answered. In the midst of this loving, quirky, and supportive community are two main characters who lasso your heart and pull you galloping through their individual secrets, regrets, and heartaches.
These secrets converge when a young, reclusive rancher named Austin Blackwell, finds Annalisa Keller injured and alone, hiding on his property. He doesn’t believe the spiked-heeled beauty “fell while hiking”. She’s as skittish as a hunted animal, and the last thing he needs is another lying woman. He doesn’t know yet that she’s running from a violent, abusive boyfriend. Austin’s past is equally as upsetting. He does the chivalrous thing by rescuing her and getting her some medical attention, but he’d like it to go no further. His young, widowed sister Cassie presses the issue and Annalisa ends up living at the ranch until she can get her act together.
Over time these two begin to chip away at each other’s hurts, but not without agonizing inner struggles. As Austin and Annalisa learn to trust God again, the reader is drawn into the process of forgiveness, trust, and new beginnings. I highly recommend this warm, inspiring, and quick read. I’m happy to discover that Rancher’s Refuge is book 1 of a 4 book series called Whisper Falls. Can’t wait to get my hands on Book 2!