Title: Taking the Reins by Kat Murray
Roped & Wrangled Series, Book One
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 288 pages
Book Rating: B
Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley
Peyton Muldoon needs a man bad.
No, not that way. What she needs is a trainer for her struggling stud ranch. And only a true life horse whisperer will do, a man with the right touch and real know how.
Redford Callahan’s on a hot streak.
Not in the sack. But with the ranch owners who hire him to gentle their animals without breaking their spirit. He can pick and choose his next gig, so he’ll be damned if he’s going to waste his time on a mismanaged operation like the M-Star. Not until Peyton sashays into his motel room one night to make him a deal he can’t refuse. Now Red’s days as a loner are numbered and he’s starting to wonder if there’s one spitfire he won’t be able to tame…
Taking the Reins, the first novel in Kat Murray’s Roped & Wrangled series, is a sweet yet sensual romance between a feisty cowgirl and a sexy cowboy.
Peyton Muldoon is the only one of her siblings living on the family ranch. Following her mother’s death, she is determined to restore the ranch’s reputation and expand the business. Much to her dismay, she discovers her absent siblings, brother Trace and sister Bea, are co-owners and she cannot make any major decisions without their consent. Trace’s return to the ranch brings an unexpected surprise while Bea’s homecoming is complicated by unresolved past issues between her and Peyton. But the biggest threat to Peyton’s peace of mind (and libido) is her new horse trainer, Redford “Red” Callanhan. Sparks are soon flying and it is just a matter of time before someone gets burned…
Peyton loves the family ranch and has no desire to live anywhere but the M-Star. As the middle child, she has struggled with finding her place in the family. A tomboy, she never quite lived up to her mother’s expectations for a girly-girl daughter. And although Peyton was close to her father, he expected Trace to run the ranch. Peyton is proud, stubborn and just a wee bit defensive but she is willing to listen to advice and admit when she is wrong.
At loose ends after completing his current job, Red is carefully weighing his options when Peyton offers him a permanent position as head trainer on the M-Star. He is reliable, well-liked and well-respected. And fortunately for Peyton, he has an endless supply of patience. In short, he is exactly what Peyton needs in both her professional and personal lives.
The romance between Red and Peyton is strictly business in the beginning of Taking the Reins . There is a strong attraction simmering between them, but Peyton has valid reasons for wanting to keep their relationship professional. Although she is clearly conflicted about her feelings for Red, their passion is too strong to ignore and they give in to their feelings. Peyton tries to pull back, but Red easily convinces her to give their romance a chance.
The secondary story arc that deals with Trace and Bea’s return to the M-Star is quite intriguing. The dynamics between the three siblings are complex and very little detail about Trace and Bea’s lives are divulged. There are definitely some past issues that need to be resolved between them but the love they have for one another is always apparent.
Taking the Reins by Kat Martin is a heartwarming novel that fans of contemporary romances are sure to enjoy. The characters are quite appealing, and the storyline is delightfully realistic. The sex scenes between Red and Peyton are playful and deliciously steamy.
This fabulous novel starring the Muldoon family will leave readers eagerly awaiting the next installment of the Roped & Wrangled series.