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Texas Cattleman’s Club: Ranchers and Rivals
Harlequin Desire #2917
ISBN: 978-1-335-58156-3
January 2023
Contemporary Series Romance

Royal, Texas – Present Day

It’s just after Christmas in Royal and most people are still celebrating the holidays, but Heath Thurston is a man on a mission. He has been battling the Lattimore and Grandin families for months over land and oil rights that he felt belonged to his later sister. But the battle has left many in Royal not happy with him, including his own twin brother, Nolan, who recently married Chelsea Grandin just before Christmas. A property survey conducted by local surveyor Ruby Bennett has Heath deciding to look her up and see if she can shed light on her findings. Snow has started to fall but nothing will stop him, even as the trek finds him in a remote area outside town. Arriving at her doorstep, Heath expects Ruby to be an older woman, but to his surprise, she’s a beautiful young blonde. 

Ruby knows most people are surprised to discover how young she is, but she is proficient in her job. Surprised to see Heath on her doorstep, she invites him inside her cottage and explains her findings. He’s not entirely satisfied with her words and leaves in a huff. However, as she follows him out into the snow, which is now falling hard, a tree branch snaps, blocking the road. Heath won’t be able to leave until someone clears the road. He will have to spend the night with Ruby. While their relationship starts out professionally in RANCHER AFTER MIDNIGHT, it soon turns personal. Heath and Ruby are attracted to each other, however, can there be anything between them as they disagree on his lawsuit against two of Royal’s most prominent families? 

RANCHER AFTER MIDNIGHT is the final book in the Texas Cattleman’s Club: Ranchers and Rivals series in which Heath has had a somewhat prominent part. It all started when he filed a lawsuit against the Grandin and Lattimore families claiming that his half-sister Ashley was the illegitimate daughter of one of the family members. Though Ashley died in a car accident as a child, Heath feels that he and Nolan should be entitled to land given to their mother to pay her off when she got pregnant with Ashley. Heath figures there is oil on the land, but Ruby’s survey of the land says there is not. As the months have gone on, Heath has dug in, insisting that he deserves restitution, even though he is a wealthy rancher himself. Ruby is a soothing counterpoint to Heath. Can she convince him to let it go? Ruby has a bit of living in the past herself as she still mourns the death of her fiancé who died three years ago. But her affair with Heath makes her realize that maybe it’s time to put the past behind her, and maybe look toward a future with him. 

There is a little drama and a bit of sensuality in RANCHER AFTER MIDNIGHT as the series wraps up to a satisfying end.

Patti Fischer

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