Review: Sparrow (Rebel Sky Ranch #2) by Kelly Fox

  • Read my review of Rebel Sky Ranch #1, Goodnight.

Disclaimer: I received an advanced electronic review copy of this book from the author.

When I finished this book, I had that lovely mix of utter satisfaction and book hangover (from not being ready to leave the world the author has created). In the middle of reading this book, I sent a message to the author’s PA saying, “One of these days, I will read a Kelly Fox book without laughing so hard that I scare a cat. Sparrow is not that book.” At the beginning of this book, which I started as I was making coffee the morning I received it, I was already in tears from the emotion and poignancy of the prologue.

The amazing thing about Fox’s writing is that absolutely none of these emotional reactions are mutually exclusive within a single book. As always, she brings the humor, the emotion, the romance, and the sheer delight while reading the latest novel in her Rebel Sky Ranch series. Plenty of delightful cameos are on hand from previous books in her shared world, though this story/series continues to work well as a stand-alone installment. (Even Anders gets to go a little Anders in the background, relevant to the plot. As a treat.)

Enemies-to-lovers is one of my kryptonite tropes, and I was not disappointed by the trajectory of the unfolding romance between Sparrow and Luke. This may be a cowboy romance, but Sparrow is a very different type of cowboy. Fox emphasizes Sparrow’s non-U.S. roots as an immigrant gaucho while never using them to unnecessarily “exoticize” his character. In the same way, Luke embodies the typical elements of successful “Rodeo King” while also portraying his depths as a closeted queer man with a painful emotional history. As another lovely twist, the enemies facet of this story is relatively one-sided. Fox gives Sparrow and Luke ample reason to feel the way they do about each other without sacrificing solid characterization when those feelings start to adjust their dynamic. The book’s narrative conflict is far from over, both externally and internally, for both heroes once the romance portion of the story kicks in; however, Fox keeps the strong emotions ramped up as Luke and Sparrow recognize that certain kinks align.

Once again, “found family” is the amazing foundation upon which this book is built. Heroes should never exist in a vacuum, and Fox continues to expand upon her amazing world with characters I love to revisit and can’t wait to see more of. Not only am I already counting down until the next Rebel Sky Ranch book is released, but I already know that re-reads of both Sparrow and Goodnight are in my future.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

Published by J.L. Gribble

Author, Editor, Worldbuilder

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