Wednesday, December 12, 2018

"Home on the Range" by Ruth Logan Herne

Nick Stafford is the middle son of the central Washington ranching family the Staffords. He’s divorced; he has total custody of his two daughters, Cheyenne and Dakota. Cheyenne is having problems in school, as in she’s falling so far behind that she’ll likely be kept back a year. Nick and the school both know this is a result of his wife and the girls’ mother walking out of their lives several years before. 

But the problem has to be dealt with, and so Nick finds himself, at the school’s strong suggestion, talking with Dr. Elsa Andreas, a psychologist who moved to the area and lives in the woods. Dr. Andreas has her own problems from the past to deal with but agrees to meet with Cheyenne and the family.

Elsa comes from a farming family herself and knows her way around animals, especially dogs. As she reaches the hearts of his daughters, Nick discovers she’s also reaching his heart. And then Nick’s errant former wife returns (and it’s difficult to imagine a more unlikeable character).

Ruth Logan Herne
Home on the Range is the second novel in the Double S Ranch series by Ruth Logan Herne. The first, Back in the Saddle, focuses on the oldest son, Colt, who returns home after an unsuccessful attempt to make his name in the financial world. The third, Peace in the Valley, is about the third son, Trey, a successful country-western star who is mourning the death of his wife. The Stafford patriarch figures in all three books, a once-domineering man who has come to faith and is trying to make his peace with his sons.

Herne has published almost 50 books and novellas, most in the Christian romance genre. She has more than a million books in print.

Home on the Range is and easy read, which is good because it's difficult to put down. Herne writes a compelling story and adds just enough villainy to keep the narrative from becoming too sentimental. And I haven’t read a more fascinating account of puppies being born than what’s part of the story here.

Top photograph by Priscilla Du Preez via Unsplash. Used with permission.

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