Hearts Crossing Ranch

Can a beautiful city girl and a rugged cowboy fall in love in the perfect Wild West setting?

Kenn Martin feels guilty over the part he played in the death of his younger brother’s athletic career. Feeling like he’s unworthy of happiness, he’s questioning his faith in God and what he knows about love. When he meets Christy Forrest, he begins believing in second chances. At least until he finds out his mistakes are the kind she doesn’t overlook.

Taking the Colorado Wagon Train trip her later father planned is Christy Forrest’s way of honoring his memory. Unable to forgive the drunk driver who killed her father – or the woman who enabled him to drink and drive- Christy is searching for peace. When she starts to fall for Kenn Martin, she realizes he carries a heavy burden of his own. A burden she’s not sure she wants to help carry.

Hearts Crossing Ranch by Tanya Hanson is the first inspirational romance in her Hearts Crossing Series. It’s an excellent beginning for this series, and while you can read the books out of order and each book can stand on its own, it’s better to read them in order so you can fully grasp the relationships between the Martin family members. I liked the characters in this book and enjoyed Ms. Hanson’s writing style.

Kenn Martin is thirty years old and one of eight children. A teacher by trade, he spends his summers as the trail master for his family’s “Wagon Train” adventures at Hearts Crossing Ranch, their family home. Summer has just begun and Kenn is getting ready for an upcoming “Wagon Train”. He’s excited about meeting their new guests, but he’s suffering from guilt over the part he played in the end of one of his younger brother’s athletic dreams. His brother had dreamed of a career as an Olympic swimmer. Losing his faith over the bad things that have happened in his life, he’s not planning on falling in love at first sight with one of their new guests; a guest who helps in restoring his faith.

Christy Forrest is still adjusting to life after the recent death of her father. Deciding to follow through on his plans for a family vacation in Colorado, Christy has come to Hearts Crossing Ranch to take part in one of their “Wagon Train” adventures. While Christy is content with her job as a landscape designer, her personal life needs help; she’s struggling with her grief over her father’s death and is having doubts about her Christian faith. While she’s not blaming God, she is questioning his timing. Her unwillingness to forgive the drunk driver who killed her father is also something that gets in her way. She didn’t plan on falling in love at first sight with a rugged cowboy.

The scenes between Kenn and Christy are well written. While their attraction is instant, they are both reluctant to jump into a relationship. They both have personal issues they need to resolve. As they get to know each other, the other guests on the “Wagon Train” and interact with Kenn’s family, it’s clear a relationship between them could work. They share a love of family, a love for nature and a common faith; even though it’s something they are both struggling with now. Ms. Hanson did a good job developing the romance between them; while it takes place fairly fast, all of their issues are addressed and resolved.

As the “Wagon Train” draws to an end, Kenn and Christy will have to let go of the past in order to face a future together. Will their love be a guide to forgiveness? You’ll have to read Hearts Crossing Ranch to find out. I really enjoyed it and I think you will too.

Book Blurb for Hearts Crossing Ranch

A beautiful city slicker and a rugged cowboy…The perfect Wild West adventure.

Cowboy Kenn Martin bears the guilt for allowing a coach to ruin his younger brother’s bright athletic future. Feeling unworthy of any happiness, he’s lost his faith in relationships and in God. When he meets Christy Forrest, he begins to hope for redemption but soon learns his past mistakes aren't something she'll easily forgive.

On the Colorado wagon train adventure planned by her late father, landscape designer Christy Forrest seeks to find peace in the nature she loves. However, she can't let go of her anger at the drunk driver who killed her dad—or the woman who did nothing to stop the man from driving. Falling for Kenn Martin begins to lighten her heart…until she realizes the handsome cowboy carries heavy a burden all his own—a burden she’s not sure she can accept.

Night Owl Reviews Jan, 2012 4.25