Quinn - A Wyoming Sky Novel, Book 1
By Dorine Linnen
Mar 13, 2012 - 8:00:00 AM

I love it when a novel starts out with a poignant moment during the childhood of the main characters.  The prologue for QUINN introduces us to three young boys who live with their father and grandfather on a ranch in Wyoming, just after experiencing loss in two different ways.  You can feel the emotion and strength of the characters, which makes you hope for their happy-ever-after in the future.  Great beginning!

Quinn Conway's childhood experiences influence his career choice as a naturalist, specializing in wolf pack behavior.  He also helps out at his family's cattle ranch while on breaks in-between following the pack.  Quinn's research concentrated on five years of following a wolf he tagged while in college, which has earned him respect as a top authority and has become his life's passion.  Unfortunately, this same wolf, now a pack leader, is shot by a rancher just after the wolf's mate gives birth to cubs.  Years of research end with one rancher's careless act and Quinn is determined to make that rancher understand the repercussions of environmental irresponsibility towards these beautiful creatures.

Quinn isn't prepared when he realizes that his nemesis is a female rancher.  Even so, he's determined to let her know how wrong she was to shoot a wolf that was tracking deer to feed its family.  Cheyenne O'Brien is no pushover and is fully prepared to prove to Quinn that his wolf was after her new-born calves.  In a battle of wills, the two go head-to-head until they decide to ride out to the location and find out exactly who's right and who's wrong. 

Will it really matter to either of them once they realize this argumentative heat is just a prelude to their irresistible passion and emotional need for one another?

Cheyenne and Quinn both have sorrow in their past, which immediately connects them with heartache.  Danger is about to find them, so there's much more than sexual attraction to keep them together or tear them apart.  The question is…can they get past every obstacle and create a life as two very independent people living together as a loving couple?

It was easy for me to become enthused about the setting since I love Wyoming.  It's what attracted me to this book in the first place, besides the scrumptious cover.  Quinn's research reminded me of my favorite novels by Jack London, due to author R. C. Ryan's description of the wolves' life-cycle and hardships, which also sets the tone for this couple's tense first meeting.  There's nothing more romantic to me than a rugged cowboy whose strength is matched with a woman who can hold her own.  There's no doubt that Cheyenne is used to running things her way since the death of her brother and father.  But how much can one person withstand without some strength to lean on? 

QUINN kicks off the WYOMING SKY series by R. C. Ryan, also known as Ruth Ryan Langan.  The novel is layered with family time, sitting around the table together or evenings in front of a roaring fire, discussing ranching.  When mixed amongst observing the camaraderie of doing every day chores, you have ample time to get to know all the family and friends while they interact in this tranquil, but hardworking, lifestyle.  With the Grand Tetons in the background, it's easy to become wrapped up in what seems like a rich life.  It's also a life created by living in sparsely populated areas where depending on each other can sometimes be the difference between life and death.  That's why when a series of accidents become more than a coincidence, it gets everyone involved in setting a wrong to right.

I think my favorite part of this book is that it did have sections that captured my interest for different reasons.  It's a good contemporary western; complete with small town values and gossips, but the added suspense element made the last half of the book action-filled.  Even though the suspense was sometimes predictable, there were still aspects of it that kept me engaged.  I look at it as two halves of a whole because in the first part of the book I was enthralled by the people, but during the second half I was absorbed by the action.  Add in the allure of Quinn's two brothers, each with their own brand of sex appeal, and it's inevitable that you'll anticipate the next two books of this promising new western series.

For a contemporary western that includes the added adventure of suspense, QUINN by R. C. Ryan is a great way to dive into the sensation of the Wyoming wilderness.  This novel's picturesque setting and bold characters will make you yearn for a rancher of your own.

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