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Book CoverLynneC’s review of Carrying the Rancher’s Heir by Charlene Sands
Contemporary Romance published by Harlequin Desire 3 May 11

They caught each other at a vulnerable time for them both, decided to forget the past and the future and spend the night together. A delicious premise for a romance novel, but sadly, one we only see in brief flashbacks. But for all that, the book didn’t disappoint, and we get to see Tagg and Callie together through the force of circumstance, and then falling in love, despite their determination not to.

Callie is the daughter of local rancher Hawk Sullivan, and when she finds she is pregnant with Tagg’s baby, she at first doesn’t tell him. However, she knows she will have to, she doesn’t make the idiotic mistake of playing with another person’s life (her unborn child). So she goes to tell Tagg, but ends up telling him that she’s working at the charitable facility that his brother, Clay, has opened. Tagg isn’t happy, and he doesn’t like his renewed attraction to Callie, but when he discovers she’s pregnant, he insists on marrying her.

Tagg has a troubled past (whoopee, I love a hero with a troubled past, as long as it doesn’t prove an excuse or a plot device). He is a cowboy (another whoopee in the Connolly household). Callie isn’t a shrinking virgin, she knew exactly what she was doing when she slept with Tagg and she doesn’t regret it (oh yeah). She also faces up to the consequences and so does Tagg.

They have what the romance book calls “chemistry.” In other words, they fancy the pants off each other, and they prove it very nicely indeed, once they marry, but they don’t trust each other. Callie is the daughter of Tagg’s biggest business rival, one who has snatched a contract from under Tagg’s nose recently. And yet they both try to put that aside. However, deep down, both know they’ll have to cope with that problem sooner or later.

Tagg was married before, and his wife died in an air crash after having an argument with Tagg. While he hasn’t blamed himself unnecessarily, he still blames himself for the way his marriage was heading and what he said to her. He vowed not to let another woman that close to him again, but he isn’t so stubborn that he doesn’t recognize sexual attraction and liking when it happens. He feels both for Callie.

I’m a bit disturbed to see Callie riding all over the place after she knew she was pregnant. I hadn’t got on the back of a horse since I was about eleven years old, and still when I got pregnant, my doctor insisted on telling me that I mustn’t, in any circumstances, ride a horse. I have no idea why, but I presume it’s the danger of being thrown. Even the best rider falls sometimes, and arguably the best are the ones that fall more often, because they might take chances a more cautious rider wouldn’t, but I didn’t see this ban in this book, although I’ve seen it in others. I did want Tagg to enforce the no riding thing, but he seemed unaware of the problem, as well.

I really enjoy the description of a modern ranch and the management involved, as well as Tagg’s other business ventures. It takes me to a world I never hoped to see until a few years ago, and it will perform that function for other readers, too. I just love me a man in chaps, a big hat, and an easy way of talking. So you might say I was already prepared to enjoy this book.

There is nothing groundbreaking about this Desire, but there doesn’t have to be. Sands takes well used themes and uses them to enhance and illustrate the characters of two likeable people who still have some things to learn about each other and themselves.

LynneCs iconGrade: C+


The passionate, impulsive evening Tagg Worth had spent in the arms of brown-eyed beauty Callie Sullivan was madness. Visions of their tryst still haunted him, but their one-night stand was a mistake the wealthy rancher swore he would not repeat. Hawk Sullivan’s daughter was strictly off-limits—especially since Hawk’s main goal in life was to put Tagg out of business.
Then, suddenly, there was a baby on the way. His baby. Tagg vowed to do the right thing, no matter what it cost him. But his inconvenient new bride tempted his solitary heart down a path a Worth didn’t dare follow….

Read an excerpt. (scroll down)