Tripp Warner has carried a grudge against his father, Judd, and Reggie Reed for eleven years now. He vowed that once he left his family’s Warner Ridge Ranch, there was no looking back. You see, his father wanted to marry Reggie’s mother many years ago and Reggie, who was fourteen years old at the time, would do everything within her power to case a rift between seventeen year old Tripp and his dad. She wanted a close relationship with Judd and the only way she knew how to achieve that was to get Tripp in trouble with everything he would do. One of her antics was letting their prized stallion, Mason’s Gold, escape and in turn, she pinned the full blame on Tripp. Eventually, after causing so many years of friction, Tripp and his dad have a fight and Tripp decides to leave and never come back. He keeps that promise to himself and plans on never returning.
Eleven years later though, Tripp receives the phone call he wasn’t prepared for. He’s told that his father unexpectedly passed away. He goes against his promise and decides to return back home to pay his respects. When he arrives there at the ranch, things are far from what he assumed they would be like. He finds out that Judd never married Reggie’s mom. In fact, her mother found someone else years ago and decided to leave her daughter behind to be raised by the Warner family. So Reggie ultimately achieved her goal of squeezing her way into his family and their lives, but not in the fashion he thought would happen. When he sees Reggie for the first time since he left so many years ago, he’s overwhelmed by all the emotions he’s feeling. This surprises him a bit and he cautiously keeps his distance from her while he’s visiting.
When Judd’s will is finally read to everyone, Tripp and Reggie are in for the biggest surprise of their lives. No one could ever have prepared them for hearing what Judd has instructed them to both do in order to get their inheritance.
Are they willing to follow through with Judd’s request or do they both decide to relinquish their shares of the inheritance? Is Mason’s Gold ever found again? Can Tripp and Reggie work through all the years of hostility and become friends in the end? Could they even become something more than friends?
Ms. Netzel did a wonderful job telling this story. I thought the storyline was creative and quite interesting. I was fully engrossed into it as I anxiously waited to see what would happen next. I loved the twists and turns the author embedded throughout and I couldn’t help but want to see Tripp and Reggie reconcile their differences in the end. I was hoping that Mason’s Gold would be found again and that could be the turning point in everyone’s’ relationship. Also, Ms. Netzel’s characters were well-rounded people that everyone could relate to in some fashion. The story was quite vivid and I felt as if I was watching it unfold before me. If you’re looking for a contemporary cowboy/cowgirl story, this one will fit the bill perfectly. I assure you that you’ll find a soft spot in your heart for this one and it’s a story that I would highly recommend to others!
When his father announced his engagement to a gold-digger with a lying, scheming fourteen-year old daughter, seventeen-year old Tripp Warner left Warner Ridge Ranch and never looked back. Until the day he got the phone call that his father had died unexpectedly.
Reggie Reed lives with her guilt every day but can't quite work up the courage to track down the son of the man who raised her as his own. When Tripp shows up at his father’s funeral eleven years later--and a hell of a man to be reckoned with--he has no interest in her too-late apology. Worse, they’ve inherited half shares of the family ranch—but only if they work together to catch Mason’s Gold, the stallion a young Reggie let escape and made sure Tripp took the blame for.
Tripp proposes a secret competition to the beautiful witch who stole his life: whoever catches the stallion first gets the ranch all to themselves. It sounds simple, but once they’re out on the range, tempers and passions flare in the Texas heat and nothing goes as either of them expects.