The Rancher's Secret Son (Lone Star Legends) - Sara Orwig

Series: Lone Star Legends (Book 5)

Wealthy rancher Nick Milan's future was all planned: he'd marry the woman he adored and have a dazzling political career. Instead, their affair ended in bitter breakup. So he isn't prepared for the surge of desire when he sees Claire Prentiss again. Then he learns her shocking secret.


Losing Nick once was hard enough, but now Claire's faced with telling him about his son. The scandal could destroy everything he's worked for. But their child needs his father. Could a happy ending still be theirs?


Good second chance story. Nick and Claire had known each other four years earlier and had fallen in love. Nick had his future all planned and knew that Claire would make it even better. He was stunned when his proposal ended in a huge fight and breakup. Devastated, a short time later he married a woman who was an old friend and suitable for his plans, but not one he truly loved. After her death and that of the baby she carried, Nick has moved on alone. He is surprised to see her at a real estate deal, and to discover that his desire for her has never died.


Claire was equally heartbroken over the loss of her relationship with Nick, but she was certain there was no way to make a marriage between them work. When she discovered she was pregnant she was willing to try, but then she discovered that he was already engaged to someone else. Determined not to be the "other woman", nor to allow an illegitimate child wreck his political career, Claire decided not to tell Nick about the baby. Four years later she is stunned to see Nick again and find out that he is a widower and still grieving his loss. At this point she knows she has to come clean and tell Nick about his son. She's worried about how he'll take it, and what he'll want to do about it.


The reunion is quite a shock to both, as is the attraction that still burns between them. I loved how Nick knew that asking Claire out was probably not a good idea, but he couldn't help himself. Claire fought with herself about telling Nick about Cody, but knew it was the right thing to do. One of the things I liked best was that once she did, what happened next was two people acting like the adults they are. Yes, Nick was angry, but there was no yelling, nor were there any threats about taking him away. I liked that they sat down together and talked about the best way to tell Cody and for Nick to get to know him. 


I loved seeing Nick and Cody get to know each other. Nick is pretty nervous, but really wants to be a good dad. Cody was a really awesome kid, though I would have liked to see a little more typical three year old behavior (not one meltdown, or even bad day?). I especially enjoyed seeing Nick show Cody around the ranch. Cody's introduction to Nick's side of the family was great, though I had been worried about Nick's dad. Some of my expectations about his reactions thankfully did not come to pass.


The renewing of their relationship happened almost unwillingly. Claire is still based in Houston, now running the family real estate business and caring for her grandparents. Nick is a state representative and lawyer who spends his time in Dallas and Austin and has political ambitions that will keep him even busier. They still don't see a way for a relationship to work, plus both are reluctant to risk their hearts again. Spending as much time together as they do, their hearts don't listen to their heads, and each starts dreaming of what could be. Nick really starts to take a good look at his life and his goals after Claire brings up some things that she has observed about him. Claire has her own fears to face and decisions to make. I loved the ending and seeing how they solved their problem by talking instead of having some big drama to overcome.


I liked seeing Wyatt and Madison and their spouses from earlier books. It's always nice to catch up on what previous characters have been up to. I'm still looking forward to Tony's story, which I'm sure will be a good one.