Sometimes when the first book in a series surprises you and sweeps you into the romance, I wonder if the second book will live up to the first. In this case Susan May Warren has written a sequel that more than stands on its own. Be sure to go to the bottom of this post to find the link to Susan’s contest related to this book.
Taming Rafe tells the story of two broken people, each searching for something but not really sure what. Katherine Breckenridge wants to break out of the expectations that she’s been forced to live with. But she’s hesitant to try. And Rafe feels even more like the lesser Noble after his life implodes.
Katherine has a backbone that shows up in unexpected ways when she’s desperate. And now that she’s desperate to salvage her mother’s foundation, she follows Rafe to the family ranch, the Silver Buckle, with an idea that just might save both of them.
While Rafe and Katherine’s story is the main one, it isn’t the only one. Lolly, the diner owner, and John, a local rancher, play strong supporting parts as their not-really-there romance continues to wax and wane. There’s also a story inside a story that could be a gimmick, but actually pulls the characters together as they all read it throughout the book.
The book pulled me into the fictional dream mainly through the deep pain and searching of the characters. Katherine and Rafe each have deep reasons they are suffering their current problems. But the choice to confront those issues and take a less safe path, left me rooting for them. Could they do? Or would they take the easier rode?
The book is filled with challenges for the characters…each of those a natural outgrowth of the plot and characters. And the secondary characters added a rich layer to the story through John and Lolly’s fight to choose each other or walk away, and Nick’s inability to communicate with Rafe. Add in a grandfather who wants to shelter his granddaughter, an almost fiancé who wants to elope and all kinds of other conflict, and this is a rich story it was almost impossible to put down.
And there were just enough glimpses of Stefanie and her struggles to leave me hungry for book three.
To check out Rafe’s blog, go here. The book trailer is located here. And to read the first chapter, go here. But if you read the first chapter, realize you’re going to want to read it all, so click here to buy the book! To enter Susan’s Taming Rafe contest, click here.