When It’s Right by Jennifer Ryan

When It’s Right by Jennifer Ryan
Montana Men #2
Publisher: Avon Books
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (265 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Hawthorn

Everything’s bigger in Big Sky country, including the hearts of the Montana Men

Wide open sky, rolling green hills . . . Gillian Tucker could get used to life in the country—one far from the violence she left behind in San Francisco. Warily accepting an invitation to the Montana ranch that belongs to her grandfather, a man she’s never met, Gillian hopes this is the haven she seeks. A sexy, overbearing cowboy who shines a light on her well-hidden dreams is not at all part of her plans.

Blake Bowden’s reckless past is far behind him, and as a newly named co-owner of Three Peaks Ranch, he’s not taking any chances. Until a beautiful, haunted woman arrives, igniting a desire he shouldn’t feel. His partner’s granddaughter is strictly off limits. But the longer Gillian’s there, the stronger the pull grows between them. And when a new danger surfaces, Blake will do anything to keep her safe…even if it means risking everything for her heart.

When Gillian was at her lowest point in life, the goodness of the family she didn’t even know she had changed everything for the better.

The journey Gillian went through was inspiring. As a character, she was a lovely mix of resilience and gentleness. The fact that her sole focus was the wellbeing of her brother portrayed her as a selfless, courageous and tender woman. Her love for her brother was one of the sweetest aspects of the novel. I was expecting a bit more tension between her and her grandparents initially, but Bud and Dee were portrayed a bit too sweet to allow for any depth in their relationships.

After the tumultuous beginning and a lot of suspense, the novel experiences a slump in pace towards the middle, but it picks up at the end, culminating in a scene that is both sweet and tragic, thanks to Ken, a character who is fascinating because of how thoroughly bad he is.

Blake, as sexy and strong as he is, didn’t convince me as the hero of this story. While I understood his need to protect Gillian, he was often pushy and overbearing, answering questions and making decisions instead of her etc. His best scenes are with Justin, rather than with Gillian. His friendship with her brother felt a lot more genuine than his attraction to her. The words ‘I love you’ are repeated too often by the end of the novel they begin to feel empty and fake. There’s no real tension between Blake and Gillian and that is why I felt no chemistry between them.

The gentleness that Gillian is capable despite growing up in a family fraught with abuse is the highlight of this novel. She grows into her new family and into a gentle relationship with Blake, finally realizing she can have a happy ending, too.

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