Author: EM Lynley
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Type: Book in Series
Received from Publisher
Blurb: A Novel in the Delectable Series
Cordon Bleu-trained chef Riley Emerson arrives in Aspen, Colorado for a summer at the best restaurant in town, only to discover his jerk of a boyfriend has dumped him, leaving his heart and his plans in tatters. Doubting himself and longing for a change of pace, he takes a low-paying position at the Rocking Z guest ranch, though he expects nature up close and personal won’t hold a candle to his exciting Paris lifestyle.
When born-and-bred cattle rancher Colby Zane spots a newcomer being pawed at by a passel of horny cowboys at Aspen’s Club Rawhide, he rushes in, throws the guy over his shoulder, and rescues him. Sober, Riley Emerson is sweet and sexy, but not interested in more than a one-night stand. Still, Colby’s over the moon when Riley later arrives as the new cook on his family’s ranch.
But all’s not well at the Rocking Z. Unsurmountable financial problems force them to seek a cash infusion from outside investor Fitz Wellington. Fitz is hot for Colby, and he won’t sign on the dotted line without some very personal incentives. The future of the ranch is at stake, and Colby’s just that desperate, but saving the Z might mean losing Riley.
Review: Riley Winthrop Emerson is flying high. He’s just graduated from his last course at the famous Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and is flying to Aspen, Colorado to meet up with his partner/lover Denny. They’ve got big plans for the summer, working with an exclusive chef at a well-known restaurant in the area. Denny had traveled to Aspen a month earlier to set things up, so when Riley showed up at their apartment a week early, he expected Denny to be surprised and pleased. Not surprised and with another man…
Off he goes to the Red Roof Inn to decide whether he’ll stay in Colorado, because who wants to work with their ex in a hot, crowded kitchen all summer? After trying several avenues for employment in town that don’t pan out, he hits a diner where a friendly waitress/owner offers not only a delicious meatloaf sandwich but some good advice about a job fair the next day. Later that night, instead of moping in his room, Riley decided to visit Club Rawhide to let off some steam. Unfortunately, he ends up with some dubious friends who decide to “play” him for a fool. Luckily he’s rescued by the handsome plaid cowboy he saw in the diner earlier.
Colby Zane’s in Aspen overnight with his Aunt Lynn, getting supplies and hiring seasonal employees for their part working ranch, part guest ranch. Hitting Club Rawhide is something he usually does whenever he’s in town, since finding other men to hook up with in the area is hard to do, and there aren’t a lot of opportunities out on the ranch. When he sees Riley in the bar, he immediately senses he might be in trouble. After rescuing him, he cleans him up and offers to let him sleep it off in his room. Not expecting anything to happen, they wake up early and sparks fly. But when he wakes again, Riley is gone.
As is inevitable in romances, the job Riley finds at the job fair is with Aunt Lynn; Colby doesn’t realize his handsome stranger Riley is the “fancy chef” she’s wasted money on hiring until after he’s complained about it and gets to eat his words; and Riley himself is tickled pink to find himself out in a gorgeous remote location with the plaid cowboy of his dreams. They begin a slow slide into a relationship; however, since Riley has just been dumped by Denny and stated he’s not ready for a relationship, Colby isn’t really sure what to expect in terms of the future. And when big city boy Riley begins to fall in love with the ranching life, he wonders if Colby can see a future with him at his side? Could he live in a place so different from the big city life he’s used to? And is Colby interested in him for the long-term?
True love never runs smoothly; the ranch is having financial difficulties, and Colby feels responsible. The family is having to consider several unpleasant alternatives, the least unappealing of which is to find an investor willing to put some money into the guest ranch side. When financier Fitz Wellington shows up and makes it apparent that he is interested in more than being friends with Colby, will he bow to the inevitable to save the ranch? Or will he fight to keep both the ranch and Riley’s love?
Wow! I wasn’t expecting to love this book as much as I did. It was funny, exciting, with a little bit of a villain thrown in for good measure. It was a great, funny romance with some hot sex thrown in for good measure–enough to keep this reader up too late for her own good! I’ll be checking out more of this author’s books in the future!