Rainbow Valley by Barbara Clark

Whoopee-ti-yi-yay! Fresh out of cooking school, Annie Reed is overjoyed to be offered a job as head cook at a well-known dude ranch. But that job doesn’t work out, and she finds herself down to her last dime in an unfamiliar town. When she overhears a stranger talking about a cooking job at his ranch, she quickly nominates herself for the position. Then she finds out her new boss is no other than the arrogant Jake Stone, and she begins to wonder just what she has gotten herself into.

In “Rainbow Valley“, Barbara Clark gives her readers an authentic and highly entertaining tale of the New West. Ranching is hard, dirty, dangerous work and it is darn hard to make it pay. Although his showy neighbor, Ben Russell, gains extra income from paying guests, Jake resists any changes to his ranch, preferring to do things the traditional way. He and his hands work hard, and he doesn’t need advice from his cook on how to make ends meet, no matter how pretty she is. He is deeply attracted to Annie, but experience has taught him that women just can’t be trusted.

Annie feels a strong attraction to Jake, too, but his hard shell is enough to scare any woman away. She is determined not to be hurt, so she stifles her feelings and concentrates on her job, cooking for the cowboys. She learns to love the beautiful, wild country and the friendly rural folk she meets. She even learns to ride a horse – an activity that previously terrified her! She tries not to become too attached, though, because she only has a six-month contract, and once it is up, she intends to leave Rainbow Valley Ranch to pursue her dream of becoming a well-known international chef. If she lets herself fall in love with Jake, will she be able to go when the time comes?

This book is full of great descriptive scenes of ranch life and the beauty of the American West. The dialogue is quick-paced, witty and entertaining, with plenty of surprises, too. The characters are believable, and more importantly, likeable. The reader will be drawn into the plot to the point that they will just want to shake Annie and Jake, and tell them to kiss and make up! What a pleasure!

Buy this book: Rainbow Valley

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