The Bodine ranch and resort in western Montana is a family business, an idyllic spot for vacationers. A little over thirty thousand acres and home to four generations, it’s kept running by Bodine Longbow with the help of a large staff, including new hire Callen Skinner. There was another member of the family once: Bodine’s aunt, Alice, who ran off before Bodine was born. She never returned, and the Longbows don’t talk about her much. The younger ones, who never met her, quietly presume she’s dead. But she isn’t. She is not far away, part of a new family, one she never chose—and her mind has been shattered…
When a bartender leaves the resort late one night, and Bo and Cal discover her battered body in the snow, it’s the first sign that danger lurks in the mountains that surround them. The police suspect Cal, but Bo finds herself trusting him—and turning to him as another woman is murdered and the Longbows are stunned by Alice’s sudden reappearance. The twisted story she has to tell about the past—and the threat that follows in her wake—will test the bonds of this strong family, and thrust Bodine into a darkness she could never have imagined.
ARC received from: Netgalley
Trope: Cowboy, Suspense
One-Sentence Summary: Family, romance and mystery in cowboy land
Review: A Nora Robert standalone romance can usually be guaranteed to deliver:
✔ A strong, independent Heroine
✔ A rugged, handsome Hero
✔ A dark secret/trauma from the past
✔ Family drama
✔ A beautiful setting
✔ Adorable animals
✔ A delightful secondary romance
✔ Wise motherly/fatherly figures to give out sage life advice
✔ Baddie’s POV
Come Sundown delivers all that and more!
For a start you get 3 romances for the price of one:
❤ Callen/Bodine – I loved how naturally things moved for them and how well Bodine understood him like when he went to the bar looking for a fight, she didn’t try and stop him and just insisted on being there to support him.
❤ Chase/Jessica – Chase and his shyness was just the sweetest. I love how determined Jessica was to take charge.
❤ Rory/Chelsea – we got to see the relationship between these two the least but I really liked what a standup young man Rory was, especially with his Aunt.
Family dynamics are key to this book and they are one of the main reasons I didn’t want the book to end – from the Grammies to Maureen/Sam to Clementine the cook and all the periphery characters in the resort. Roberts has a way of making them all so dynamic and real. Ditto the setting, I felt like I was right there on the ranch with the characters and the horses (especially Sundown). I never wanted to leave.
And then the “mystery” part of it. Gosh reading those chapters when Alice was in captivity. That was hard. So so heartbreaking, even when she is found and reunited with her family …. still really pulled at the heartstrings. I won’t spoil how it all wraps up but needless to say there is a Roberts-esque twist ….
Finally, for those of you thinking that this book sounds a bit like Montana Sky then I also thought the same thing. Montana Sky was one of the first Nora Roberts novels I read so I am very hazy on the details but as far as I am concerned, Roberts could write a whole In Death length series set on a ranch in Montana and I would happily read every single last one of them.
This was everything I ever wanted in a Nora Roberts romance. If only she can be persuaded to leave the paranormal stuff behind and focus on some good old straight-up romance I would be extremely happy and not having to wait a whole year for her next book like this.