Tanner Wilks comes from a long line of Marines. But he has always had a tenuous relationship with his father. When his mother died, he and his siblings were left in the care of their grandfather until he died. Felling abandoned by their father, all 3 have flown the coop but Tanner has been called home by a family friend after his father has a health scare. He and his father may not be close but he doesn’t want the old coot to die on him either!
When he finds himself delaying his return to the family farm, he cuts loose at the local bar and finds himself a distraction before the hard work of dealing with his father begins.
Julia Heller is the new town vet, after taking over from her uncle. But she knows she”always be the new girl and as such she is trying not to show favouritism to any one rancher. So she dances with all of them and dates none of them! When she gets up close and personal with Tanner on her night off, she wishes he was doing more than passing through town. But colour her shocked when he turns up at the ranch were she rents a home and realises that he is the prodigal son returned!
Tanner is happy to find his recent bedmate at the ranch and looks forward to more conventional dates but Julia has these weird rules that both try to follow but they soon find themselves breaking!
I loved these characters. Tanner is sexy, alpha, determined and cunning. Julia loyal, professional and in desperate need of some fun. The Colonel would make anyone exasperated and reaching for the exit! I enjoyed the weaving of veterans into the story and the side story to the romance of using veterans on the ranch was a great idea. We also see just how much work goes into running a ranch.
I did think bits were a wee bit mis-timed. Sometimes time jumped forward quite a bit and then there was a whole load happening at once but that might just be me. I would have enjoyed more time for the characters to get to know each other after the ONS but there is only so much room in the book and I understand that sometimes my book couples have accelerated timelines!