THE RANCHER'S CINDERELLA BRIDE – Sara Orwig
Callahan's Clan , Book 3
Harlequin Desire #2518
Contemporary Series Romance
Dallas and Downly, Texas – Present Day
Meg Aldridge and Gabe Callahan have been friends since childhood despite the divisive feud between their families. Meg isn't ready for marriage, but her family is pressuring her to commit to a family friend because they feel it would be advantageous to everyone. This forces Meg to come up with a plan to present a fake fiancé, and her old friend Gabe would be the perfect candidate. She approaches him and he agrees to the deception, but insists that not only should they go on dates to make it appear realistic, but that they must move in together and kiss each other in public. Meg agrees; however, the moment his lips touch hers, a desire neither knew existed before threatens to change their relationship.
Gabe has always thought of Meg as sweet and innocent, a good friend, but one kiss has him wanting her in his bed. He tries to convince himself that these feelings are due to his “inactive” status on the dating market, but when Meg gets a complete makeover, she's suddenly a beautiful and desirable woman that he craves like an alcoholic does a drink. The passion is there between them, and it leads to a change in their friendship to that of lovers. But the temporary engagement is still there between them. Is that something that will soon change to a permanent status?
A friends to lovers story is always a good one to read, and in THE RANCHER'S CINDERELLA BRIDE, readers also get a heroine with a makeover. While Gabe and Meg have always felt comfortable around each other, the shift in their relationship from friendship to kissing and dating one another surprises them. Meg is a bit of a tomboy and even runs a landscaping company, while Gabe not only manages the family company, but has a cattle ranch. As children, they hung around each other and were the best of friends, along with Meg's now deceased brother. Gabe is a bit of a daredevil, which comes into conflict with Meg, who wants to play it safe, even in finding love.
Meanwhile, Meg's family is not happy that she is resisting their attempts at matchmaking, and even more unhappy that she's involved with Gabe. Her attempts at trying to prove her independence from her family leads her right into Gabe's arms. The lovemaking is passionate and deep for Meg, and she fears she's falling for him, but how does Gabe really feel about her? And once the fake engagement is over, can they maintain their friendship? Needless to say, in THE RANCHER'S CINDERELLA BRIDE it turns out to be hard! Part of the Callahan's Clan series by Sara Orwig, THE RANCHER'S CINDERELLA BRIDE can be read easily without having read the other books in the series, though the prior characters do appear in one scene.
Gabe and Meg didn't realize that trying to maintain their friendship after becoming lovers would change everything for them in THE RANCHER'S CINDERELLA BRIDE. The chemistry between the characters is hot, and readers will enjoy this sensuous tale.