After the death of her husband in a car crash, Beth Danube, a 29-year-old mother of 3 young sons moves from Calgary, Alberta to small town Rocky Mountain House to start a new life. When the accommodation she has arranged doesn’t work out the building’s owner arranges for her and the children to move into a house next door to the Coleman’s Six Pack Ranch. Before leaving Calgary, Beth gathered together the threads of her tattered self esteem and courageously agreed to go for an evening out to a bar along with her sister. Beth meets Daniel Coleman and there is instant sexual chemistry between them, he wants to see her again. However, Beth is skittish, while she needs and wants to explore her sexuality she is in no way ready to share personal information with a man. You see, Beth suffered 10 years of emotional and physical abuse at the hands of her husband.
Daniel is none too happy when he discovers the phone number the lovely, appealing Beth has given him is disconnected. Even though the setting of their first meeting wasn’t optimum he felt a connection with her and really wanted to get to know her. Daniel is 25 and has dealt with his own difficult personal issues and loss. He was deeply hurt by his former girlfriend but I saw him as a man who was ready for the right woman to come into his life.
Unlike Rocky Mountain Heat, the first novel of Vivian Arend’s Six Pack Ranch series, Rocky Mountain Haven is far more focused on the relationship of the heroine and hero, which was necessary given their complexities. When Daniel discovers Beth is living next door with her 3 young boys, he wastes no time in pursuing what ignited between them in that Calgary bar. What is wonderful and heartwarming is that he shows her compassion and understanding. In Daniel, Arend crafts a handsome, honorable alpha male, who shows remarkable maturity and intelligence. Daniel recognizes Beth is suffering and working through many issues, a good mother who is very sensitive to her sons needs. Arend develops their special love story over the course of the novel, along with forging a relationship between Daniel and Beth’s 3 young boys. There is one particularly emotional scene near the end where Daniel has a heart-to-heart talk with 7-year-old Nathan concerning his father that brought tears to my eyes.
Beth’s ability to trust and begin to enjoy living a full life also shines through. She has a teaching position at the local high school, she begins to socialize, not only with Daniel but also the close knit Colemans. She also learns the joy and value of having a circle of female friends in the Coleman women for the first time in her adult life. Moreover, Daniel and Beth are able to share their sense of loss and pain regarding a particularly sensitive medical issue. Beth is a woman with deep, painful secrets which she reveals to Daniel as their relationship strengthens.
This story isn’t all serious and emotional, Arend’s signature wit permeates the narrative, the dialogue and thoughtful introspection is fitting for the novel’s setting and demographic. And, of course you get smoking hot love scenes as Daniel nurtures Beth allowing her to explore her sensual nature for the first time in her life. Arend doesn’t shy away from penning kink into the love scenes of her erotic romances, this one is no exception. ;)
There is a sub-plot involving Coleman cousin Gabe who is at the crossroads of his life and deciding how best to move forward. Gabe was introduced in Rocky Mountain Heat and Vivian Arend appears to be building his story over the course of the series. I really like Gabe and look forward to seeing where the author takes him next.
Rocky Mountain Haven offers readers a heartwarming story of a second chance at love set in the beautiful Canadian Rockies. I read this one in one sitting and enjoyed every minute. Coleman brother Matt’s story, Rocky Mountain Desire will be released next and I’m so looking forward to reading his story! :)
Book Lovers Inc.