Lee Bannister is a changed, wiser man. He returns to
the Refuge Ranch series set in Montana a few years after
serving a jail sentence for drunk driving - which resulted
in serious injury to a neighbouring man. Lee has been
sending wages home to his parents to repay the compensation
they had to fork over on his behalf. Given the first person
he meets is the daughter of the accident victim, THE
COWBOY'S HOMECOMING will not be easy.
Abby Newton can't help blaming Lee for the breakup of her
parents' marriage after her father was badly injured. While
the returned man is here for a wedding and anniversary
celebration, and she intends to be civil, she hopes she'll
soon see the back of him. They can't change the past, and
Saddlebank is too small a town to avoid somebody.
Especially somebody she used to date before it went so
badly wrong. What she doesn't know is that the differences
between them were founded on lies.
Abby, a keen photographer, doesn't impress me by wearing
sandals when she hikes and climbs trees. This leads to two
injuries in a short space of time. She hadn't set out to
walk that day but she also doesn't impress me by being
unable to consider changing a flat tyre. This is not
difficult or impossibly heavy and she has another girl to
help, so why not? I'm also new to the concept of suing the
driver after an accident; that's why we have insurance.
Maybe the insurance didn't cover illegal driving.
Abby gets assigned by her magazine editor to cover the
Refuge Ranch anniversary, which is a device to bring
together characters from earlier books. Abby is also
visiting from outside the area, and staying with her
embittered mother is a painful reminder of how badly her
own young life went wrong. I'm delighted to see a thriving
ranch family, a stark contrast with the tales I read of
foreclosures and redevelopment of ranch land. The Angus
cattle are hardy but we still see a new calf being rescued
and fed, with nice horse scenes and lots of landscape.
Redemption is a major theme of this inspirational story,
but it goes hand in hand with forgiveness. If someone has
really changed for the better, and has worked to make
amends, then it must be time for the nobly suffering person
to make an effort too and conclude the punishment of both
parties. Personal responsibility is strongly impressed on
us by Carolyne Aarsen in this great, character-filled
story. THE COWBOY'S HOMECOMING should be first on your
reading list for warm Western romances.
Seeking redemption from his troubled past, cowboy Lee Bannister returns to
his Montana hometown. He's not looking for love—just to prove he's not the
same reckless guy who broke Abby Newton's heart and destroyed her family.
But when Abby, a magazine photographer, is assigned to cover the story of
his family ranch's 150th anniversary, old feelings start to resurface. He knows
Abby will never forgive him. But as they spend more time together, they begin
to discover the lies that kept them apart…and that some reunions are meant
to last forever.