With one glance, wealthy Crystal Falls, Oregon rancher, Ryan Kendrick falls hard — and fast — for lovely Bethany Coulter. A beguiling mix of sass and shyness, naivete and maturity, she shares his passion for horses, has a great sense of humor and can light up a room with her beautiful smile. She is absolutely perfect — in every way but one. A long ago barrel-racing accident has left Bethany confined to a wheelchair. In the years since, she has known both betrayal and heartbreak — and vowed never to open her heart to a man again. She has even accepted the possibility that she’ll never be able to enjoy a healthy intimate relationship or have children of her own. But there’s something about handsome Ryan Kendrick. Something that makes her believe she can overcome every obstacle. Something that makes her believe in lifelong, lasting love . . .
In the first book you get introduced to the hero, Ryan – Rafe’s brother – whom owns a ranch of his own close to his brothers. He meets Bethany – our heroine – at the Coulter’s parts store when he goes to pick up parts for his tractor. Immediately he is drawn to her, loving her bright, happy, outgoing attitude. He is bold and asks her out, which she tries to refuse due to her being in a wheel chair from an accident when she was 18. First he is taken back, but he thinks ‘oh what the hell’ and manages to persuade her to say yes as he is quite the charmer. They both end up having a good time and he wants to take her out again.
Her older brother gets wind of Ryan paying attention to Bethany, which he isn’t happy about as Ryan is known to be a ladies man. Ryan makes it clear to him that his intentions are honorable, that he really cares a great deal about her. If you have read the first book, you will have noticed that Rafe fell fast and hard for Maggie, which it is exactly the same for Ryan with Bethany – it’s a Kendrick trait as it happened with their father when he met their mother as well. After swaying Jake to his side, he secretly woo’s Bethany without her even realizing it, in hopes of making her fall in love with him. Not only wooing her by his actions and charm, he modifies his house and parts of his land to better suit Bethany’s wheel chair needs. He even goes to the brink of buying back her old horse that she used to ride during her barrel racing days before her accident. Eventually all his kind gestures wins her over and he asks her to marry him.
While riding horse back to their wedding location, Ryan becomes critically injured to a point where he almost dies and Bethany feels like she is to blame and decides that Ryan is better off without her. As he recovers, he is peeved that Bethany didn’t stick by his side. Afterwards he has a life changing moment when his dad almost gets hurt by protecting him from a charging steer, that he loves Bethany and if she doesn’t want to live in his world, he will live in hers.
Showing up at her apartment unannounced nor expected, she thinks he is there to convince her to go back to his ranch but he tells her he is gonna move in with her. He goes on saying that she is his ‘forever’ and that she can’t back out, that he loves her and that he’s staying. Bethany knows how much he loves his ranch and how much it means to him, not wanting him to give it up, she suggests that they live there, but he refuses. He takes her to bed and wakes up to find Bethany gone, leaving behind a note saying she can’t do this again, that he wouldn’t be happy in the city, which Ryan is pissed and goes looking for her. He finds her at his ranch, threatens to turn her over his knee for running off, coming back to his ranch against his wishes. What he doesn’t know is, her note and leaving was a ploy to get him to see that he belongs here on his ranch and that she is willing to give it a second try with him at Rocking K. He then picks her up and carries her home.
I know I stated that I loved Baby Love, but after finishing this one, WOW, I just loved it 10x more! Ryan, man what a charming all around good guy hero he was. I loved how he treated Bethany, how patient and kind he was about her disability. What really made my heart pitter patter for him is when he held her up to dance with him, I thought that was so sweet and beautiful. And when he selfishly stands in front of Bethany to protect her and takes the full brunt of the attack injuring himself badly. I near had a heart attack when reading that scene, wondering what on earth is Catherine doing to poor Ryan. I just plum loved the guy. I wouldn’t mind having a Ryan for myself. Again, this one is definitely a keeper, no way this book is ever leaving my hands.