Series: Hitting Rocks Cowboys (Book 4)
A Cowboy's Legacy
Ten years ago, Trace Rafferty left Montana to serve his country. Now the wounded Navy flier is coming back to sell the only home he's ever known. But someone else is living on his hundred-year-old family ranch -- a woman Trace hasn't seen since she was a teenager. How can he turn attractive, widowed -- and pregnant -- Cassie Bannock out of her home?
Cassie knows her housekeeping days on the Rafferty spread are numbered. Yet she can't believe Trace would turn his back on his heritage. In or out of uniform, the former F-16 pilot is still the handsomest man she's ever seen. Without a true home, in addition to a real and looming threat to her and her unborn baby, can Cassie protect her legacy and help a homecoming cowboy claim his?
Good story. Trace is coming home for a while as he recuperates from a career ending injury. His father has been keeping the family ranch for Trace, but Trace isn't interested in running it. He wants to sell the land, giving his father the money to purchase a home in town, while Trace moves on to a different career. He doesn't expect to find someone living in the house when he gets there.
I liked Trace and Cassie. Both of them have some trouble going on in their lives. Trace is facing the end of his career as a pilot, and his Italian girlfriend isn't too keen on the idea of moving to America. He wants to sell the family ranch, which doesn't make his father too happy. And selling the ranch would make Cassie jobless and homeless at the same time, which makes him feel guilty about his plans. Cassie and her husband were hired to take care of the ranch by Trace's father after her father kicked her out for marrying Logan. A few months earlier, her husband had been found dead of a bullet wound, but no one knows how it happened. Cassie also has a brother who hates her and her late husband and is known to be violent. She discovered she was pregnant after her husband's death.
I enjoyed the developing romance between Trace and Cassie, though it didn't start out that way. Trace was still attached to his girlfriend and trying to get her to come to America, and Cassie was still mourning her husband. From the time they met there were sparks between them, but they tried to ignore them. They did become friends as Cassie continued her work by taking care of the house and Trace. I liked the way they were able to talk to each other from the beginning about what was going on in their lives. I really liked the way that Cassie had of listening to Trace talk about his plans without judging him, but also encourages him to think about not giving up the ranch. As he spends more time with Cassie, Trace begins to admit to himself that things are not going to work out with his girlfriend. Trace gets very protective of Cassie as he learns more about her brother, and finds a way to keep her at the ranch where he can watch out for her. Living together as they are, they continue to get closer and their attraction increases. Their friendship grows into love, though it takes a while for either to admit it to themselves. Things got pretty scary at the end with her brother, but once again Trace was there when she needed him. The ending was really sweet, especially with Trace and the baby.