Read my reviews of the previous books in the Rebel Sky Ranch series:
Disclaimer: I received an electronic ARC of this novel from the author.
“The worst-kept secret at Rebel Sky Ranch is that Desi Navarro loves Wyatt Goodnight.”
Fox has been planting the seeds of this romance from the very beginning of this series, and with this book, she absolutely delivers. But before we get to the romance, we have to talk about the characters, including Wyatt’s wife and Desi’s older sister, who passed away a few years ago. It would have been easy enough for Fox to create Renee through the liberal use of flashbacks, but we get exactly two that feature her (and one of them isn’t even in this book). Instead, her personality is created through both her absence as the heart of the ranch and the long-lasting effect she has on every single character, even those not related to her. She is a complete presence in this series, especially in this book.
If you’re easily moved to tears, have the tissues handy for this one. The “hurt/comfort” tag is real here, as Wyatt and Desi circle each other with a delicious push and pull dynamic. Wyatt is wildly conflicted about his level of attraction toward Desi, while Desi has lived with his feelings for what feels like his entire life. Cue the angst. Like, all of the angst, especially after certain alcohol-induced shenanigans. Both men retreat to lick their wounds in their own fashion, none of which is helped by Wyatt’s son’s vocal derision toward any idea of his father and uncle in a romantic relationship.
I can’t go into too much detail to avoid spoilers, but I appreciated Fox’s emphasis on both men’s character development regarding their journey through their grief. The emotions are strong on all fronts, even when the pair does “get together,” but I shed my share of tears even as they adapted to the new facets of their relationship. Because the story doesn’t end there—Wyatt’s son Trip has OPINIONS on this new development.
Fox breaks pattern here by giving readers a scene from Trip’s point of view. This is probably most appreciated by readers who have read the entire series so far, but I think even newcomers recognize the importance of Trip’s blessing of this union in the grander scheme of how life at Rebel Sky Ranch needs to evolve. (Be prepared for more tears, though they were happier here than the ugly crying I experienced earlier.)
So, why is this book called Navarro when the handsome Wyatt Goodnight is on the cover? It’s not because Fox already used Goodnight as a title in this series. Yes, you’ll probably cry again when you find out.
I’m not sure how many more books Fox has planned for this series. However, in much the same way she led us toward the inevitability of this book, threads for two more are woven here. I’m intrigued by both for very different reasons, and I’m definitely into this amazing series for the long haul. I don’t know when I’ll be emotionally ready to read this particular book again. Still, I have the feeling it will eventually happen because of how truly enjoyable I found it (even amidst all the crying).