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THE ROUGH RIDER – Maisey Yates
A Perfect 10
Four Corners Ranch, Book 4
Canary Street Press
ISBN: 978-1-335-60098-1
July 25, 2023

Contemporary Romance

Four Corners Ranch, Oregon – Present Day

Alaina grew up under the protectiveness of her older sisters, so it’s no surprise that she wants to spread her wings by giving her virginity to the first man she likes. But he turns out to be unavailable as he loves her best friend. So, Alaina turns to another man for a night of sex. It was not pleasurable, and he left town soon afterward, but he left behind one reminder of their night together: Alaina is now pregnant. 

Alaina isn’t sure how to tell her sisters that she is pregnant, and the baby’s father wants no part of it, but that decision is taken out of her hands when local cowboy Gus McCloud steps in and informs her that they will get married. It doesn’t matter that he isn’t the father. He plans to raise Alaina’s baby as his own. To her surprise, she agrees to marry him. Of course, Alaina asks Gus about the…uh…sex. His answer is to laugh at her and tell her no. Hurt, because she really wants to experience what it would be like to have sex with Gus, she stalks away. But she will take what he does offer and begins to build a life with him as a married, expectant couple. Will living under the same roof change the way they feel about each other, including the joy of sex?

Both Gus and Alaina had rough childhoods, with both sets of parents leaving their respective families. But he had it worse when his father literally set a shed on fire with Gus in it. With numerous burns that took months to recover from, he still has scars. For people not familiar with Gus McCloud, they see him as an oddity, while Alaina sees him as almost an older brother, or at least, a protector. So it wasn’t a surprise when he stepped in and offered to marry her. She was willing to raise her baby solo, but it would have left people pitying her. Gus gives Alaina security and protection. In the early days of their marriage, there is much bickering as they squabble about how they should adjust to marriage. She wants to cook and clean for him, while he is content to live on frozen pizza and in a dirty house. But soon they start to look like any other married couple as they enjoy meals together and visit friends. How long with it all last before old hurts raise its ugly head?

I found THE ROUGH RIDER to be an emotional read and one that I enjoyed so much that I’m giving it A Perfect 10. Gus and Alaina will make you cry, make you laugh, and leave you with a big smile on your face by the end. They are clearly wounded warriors of the heart, hurt by what life has thrown at them, but together they find healing and joy. Their family and friends at the Four Corners ranching community thought it was strange that Gus and Alaina got together, but knowing their history through the years, it’s no wonder that he steps in and rescues her again. But their marriage is rocky as both feel they don’t deserve love. At some point in THE ROUGH RIDER, things change. Will it lead to a realization that they can’t live without the other?

A beautiful and emotional journey about finding love between two people who deserve happiness, be sure to not miss THE ROUGH RIDER.

Patti Fischer

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