REVIEW: Handling the Rancher by Sara Ohlin
The first in a series, Handling the Rancher begins with Cruz Brockman coming home to Graciella for the first time in years after the death of his father. Named executor of the estate, it's up to him to figure out the mess his father has deliberately left for him and his brothers. There's properties to manage, paper trails to get to the bottom of, farm equipment to update and animals to care for—and the first step is a full audit of the accounts.
Enter Miranda Jenks, the accountant hired to get to the bottom of this mess and figure out how much is owed the IRS in back taxes. I really do feel for Cruz; he's had no relationship with his father since he left home at eighteen because the man was a frankly awful human being, and now he finds out the man was probably committing tax fraud for years that could cause the farm to go under. It's no wonder that he's not exactly happy to see Miranda.
But there's no denying the sparks that fly between them, try as they both might. It's not the physical aspect that scares them, but the idea of being open and vulnerable with another person isn't something that comes naturally to either of them. I absolutely loved watching them both slowly opening up to one another; admitting to their fears and insecurities and learning to trust one another.
Not only is their romance beautiful and totally swoon-worthy, but Sara does a fantastic job of really grounding the story. There's an incredibly strong emotional connection to Brockman Farms and the town of Graciella from both Cruz and Miranda, despite her outsider status. And honestly, I cannot blame her; the landscape is described so wonderfully that I almost thought. I could almost smell the sea breeze, hear the horses whickering in the fields, or feel the grass between my toes. I've never wished a fictional small town was as real as I have this one; not only is it incredibly picturesque but also filled with a cast of delightful, entertaining residents. Every single one of them is a delight, and the web of relationships between them and the Brockman family adds so much life to the story.
Final verdict: This small town, swoony romance has absolutely stolen my heart! 🍯🍯🍯🍯🍯/5 honeypots.