REVIEW: Romancing the Rancher by Kate Pearce

Posted February 17th, 2024 by in Blog, Contemporary Romance, Cowboy Romance, Review / 6 comments

Romancing the Rancher by Kate Pearce is the sixth and final book in The Millers of Morgan Valley series. While it can be read as a standalone, I recommend reading them in order to gain a better understanding of the family dynamics. Plus, there’s an incident in the previous book that happened between Danny and Evan, and it’s not really recapped here although the story starts with some tension between the two, partly because of it.

Evan is the youngest of the Miller brothers. Considered to be the immature one who can’t keep a secret, he’s trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life. He has also been keeping a secret from his closest brother, Danny, which bothers him. In comes Josie Martinez. She’s helping her brother run his father’s company, while competing in bull riding on the side. After being attacked in her apartment by a stalker, Josie has retreated to her brother’s ranch in Morgan Valley. There she strikes up a friendship with Evan. Evan makes Josie feel safe, and Josie helps Evan to see that there’s more to him than the immature Miller brother.

I thought the secret that Evan was keeping from Danny was not really a big deal. He basically kept his brother at arm’s length for most of the book for nothing. I also didn’t care for the appearance of Josie’s stalker. It was anti-climactic and the whole scene was over before it really began. It didn’t add anything substantial to the story.

I liked Evan and Josie, but I didn’t necessarily like them as a couple. It felt like they were more friends than lovers, and the chemistry between them was lacking. I didn’t sense much of a spark between the pair, which was disappointing.

Those who have read the series know that Jeff Morgan, the father, had driven away Leanne, his wife, when Evan was only six, and he kept her away from her children. At one point Evan mentions possibly confronting his father about it, and one of his brothers mentions that all the other brothers had already done so. It was also implied that since Jeff was trying to change, that he shouldn’t be confronted about it again. This seemed wrong; if all the other brothers were able to confront Jeff and express their feelings about what happened, Evan should have been encouraged to have the same opportunity. It left me with the bad impression that the brothers didn’t really take Evan’s feelings into consideration.

Speaking of Jeff and Leanne, it felt like there was no real closure there. They had become friends with “benefits”, yet Leanne doesn’t want a romantic relationship with him again. To have them end up being friends who were sleeping together without the possibility of having a romantic relationship just felt like an odd way to wrap up their portion of the storyline.

Romancing the Rancher is about two people trying to figure out their lives and finding love along the way. While it wasn’t my favorite of the series, it was still a good read that fans of small-town romances may enjoy.

Book Info:

Publication: December 28, 2021 | Zebra Books | The Millers of Morgan Valley #6

Ranching will always run in Evan Miller’s blood, but as the fifth son, he also wants to prove to his skeptical family that he can forge his own path.

Drawn to the world of rodeo, Evan encounters Josie Martinez, half-sister of world champion bull rider Rio Martinez. He hopes Josie might show him the ropes–among other things–but Josie has priorities of her own…

Josie’s not sure what she’s doing at her brother’s ranch when she should be at her office in San Francisco, fulfilling her dream of becoming young entrepreneur of the year. Ever since violence unexpectedly entered her life and her home, she’s struggled to get her life back on track.

The ranch offers a sanctuary–with one gorgeous exception: Evan. But is he just a distraction, or can their growing bond–and undeniable attraction–persuade Josie that her heart is big enough for work and love.



6 Responses to “REVIEW: Romancing the Rancher by Kate Pearce”