Reining in the Past (Saddle Up and Ride #1) by Carol Lynne ~ Book Review by PizzyGirl

reining-in-the-pastTitle: Reining in the Past (Saddle Up and Ride #1)

Author: Carol Lynne

Publisher: Ellora’s Cave

Cover Artist: Syneca

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 12/30/2009

Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)

Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Western


Book 1 in the Saddle Up and Ride series.

When Ray Justice receives a phone call that his father has died, he’s shocked. As far as he knew, his father passed away twenty-three years earlier. Adding to the confusion, he finds that he’s inherited a large cattle ranch in Montana.

Alfred Deacon came to the J Bar Ranch as a broken cowboy in search of acceptance and honest work. What he found was a best friend and a group of cowboys he’d do anything for. When Ray walks into his life, Deacon is torn between loyalties to his dead friend and desire so strong it makes him weak.

Ray comes face-to-face with a past he didn’t know he had and a man he didn’t know he needed.

My View:

This story felt like two rolled into one. It started off on the path of a man discovering his past and himself and then turned into a good start to a series. The first portion of the book was slow and steady with a lot of emotion. The second portion was faster paced with Ray learning the ranch and discovering ways to make it his own and fighting to decide what his place was in life.

I enjoyed this story. I liked meeting the ranch hands and learning about the ranch as place of acceptance. I liked the idea of a safe place that was not perfect. That had its flaws and still had some growing to do. I am looking forward to seeing what comes out of Ray’s ideas and looking forward to learning more about the other ranch hands in the next few books.

I did struggle a bit with understanding Ray and Deacon’s attraction. I mean I understood the physical attraction but I didn’t ever understand why it turned to more or why it happened so quickly. Other than the shared bond of grief, these men were basically strangers. I think my lack of understand was because this story was too short for all it attempted to accomplish. Most of the story was focused on Ray discovering his father and then learning and trying to grow the ranch. And then there was the accident and Ray returning home. It was just too much for the word count and the romantic element was not given enough time to become all it promised to be.

But overall I liked this story and am looking forward to reading the next books in the series.


Reining in the Past (Saddle Up and Ride #1) on Goodreads
Ellora’s Cave
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

This review is based on a copy purchased by the reviewer independent of any review copies offered.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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