"Meet the Hill family and a rodeo queen"
Reviewed by Clare O'Beara
Posted August 11, 2018
The latest in the enjoyable Hills
of Texas western romance
series introduces Rusty Walker, who has worked hard to
please her ranching father all her twenty-five years. Seems
that's not far enough for a controlling man, even after his
death he wants to dictate his daughter's life. RESISTING THE
RANCHER might lose
Williams Hill has driven up from Texas to provide rodeo
stock for a town in the Colorado Rockies. Another outfit is
providing most of the stock but he has brought up some
powerful bulls. He notices his sister-in-law's Quarter
Horse, a red bay called Mischief Maker, being ridden by a
new trainer for barrel riding, performing superbly. He goes
to talk to the rider, Rusty Walker, but she's not
interested in talking to appreciative cowboys. Her dad runs
the local rodeo stock ranch, and he doesn't like her
chatting with competitors. A misunderstanding occurs and
Rusty gives Will a thank-you kiss for helping her, before
discovering that he's trying to talk her dad into a
partnership. Now she feels he was using her.
Wow, the story heats up in tensions of all sorts, as Rusty's
dad confides in her that he only has a few months to live,
and she has to marry someone he approves of or lose the
ranch. He's always resented just having a female heir.
Rather than meekly play along, her anger and independence
drive her to leave. Maybe she'll take up a horse training
job in Texas... even if that means working with Will.
I really enjoyed reading about Rusty's competitions. She
puts her horse first and is friendly with other competing
women. She's also a dedicated trainer, with a punishing
schedule like all real horse people, and a strong
businesswoman. In a small act of rebellion she wears pink
clothes at times, which her dad dislikes. Will has his own
quirks, such as wearing amusing t-shirts, which help him
come across as an individual. Sometimes it's hard to
imagine a cowboy having a normal sense of humor. He also
has manners, as his mama raised him right. But is there any
etiquette that covers a drastic situation like Rusty's?
Maybe there is in Texas.
As this is part of a series about the Hill family, we get
conversations about siblings and marriages, degree-takers
and ranchers. Then we get to meet most of the characters
described, just as would occur in real life when people get
into a relationship. I'm going to look out for the first
book by Kadie Scott, called SAVING THE SHERIFF. RESISTING
THE RANCHER is an adult romance, and the Hills seem like
darned fine people.
Rusty Walker has spent her entire life trying to earn her
tough, ranching father's respect and approval by learning
the business inside and out. But now her uncompromising
parent has decreed she must marry if she wants to inherit.
Worse, her husband has to be someone who can help her run
the business. As if she needs it!
Williams Hill kissed Rusty in a bar in an act of temporary
insanity, and lost his heart to her on the spot. Despite the
complications to his own rodeo stock business, he agrees to
marry the feisty red-head, hoping to woo her once they're
hitched. But she only views him with suspicion and resentment.
Can this soft-spoken Texas cowboy convince his proud wife,
who's never known unconditional love, that she is everything
Rusty caught a whiff of cigarette smoke hanging around the
man who'd taken the stool beside her. She didn't bother to
look over, keeping her eyes on her drink hoping he'd get the
hint and go away.
No such luck.
He leaned forward and raised his voice. "Hey there, red."
She turned her head and could now see he was swaying
slightly. He gave a slow blink, trying to focus, obviously
drunk. Great. She didn't acknowledge the guy in any other
way, but apparently looking at him was enough encouragement.
She held up her glass. "I'm good. Thanks."
"My treat when you're done with that."
"I'm leaving when I'm done with this." Maybe sooner at this
He reached out and tugged on her arm. "Now don't be like that."
Rusty sighed. "I'm not interested." She couldn't be clearer
The guy, who was good-looking enoughâ€”tall, blond, strong
chin, and nice eyesâ€”bristled visibly.
He straightened his back as his eyebrows lowered. "All I did
was offer to buy you a drink."
She turned back to the one she already had. "Thanks, but no
"Move along." She waved a hand as though shooing a fly.
He stood suddenly, his stool scraping along the wooden floor
with a screech of protest loud enough to be heard over the
music and chatter. In the mirror, several heads turned in
their direction. Travis and Dave stood up, ready to
intervene, but before they could do anything, and even
before the jerk could say anything else, let alone touch
her, a large hand landed on her shoulder and spun her around
in her seat.
"Sorry I'm late, baby," the newcomer murmured.
Rusty only had time to register the new player in the scene
was that Will guy with the blue, blue eyes before he leaned
forward and kissed her.
She gave a little squeak of protest and he released her lips
immediately. The sudden absence of warmth left her feeling
slightly bereft, which was crazy since he'd barley brushed
his lips across hers.
Before she could process what just happened, he leaned
forward and whispered in her ear, "Follow along and we'll
get rid of this guy."
Realizing he was now standing between her legs, she hid the
shiver sliding down her spine by giving him a tiny nod. He
pulled back and smiled down into her eyes. The blue of his
eyes, up close like this, was nothing short of startling.
The irises were rimmed in black which somehow made the blue
even bluer. She could drown in those depths, like falling
into the sky, or the deepest of oceans. She had the
strangest urge to trace the cleft in his chin.
"Miss me?" he asked, loud enough for the ass on the other
stool to hear.
"Of course," she purred.
Some small part of her brain registered that wasn't exactly
a lie. She'd spent a ridiculous amount of time thinking
about him given their two extremely brief shared moments.
They hadn't even been properly introduced or exchanged more
than a handful of words.
"Me too," he said as he lowered his lips to hers again.
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