Ranch Hideout

Author: Julia Daniels

Publisher: Cerridwen Press

Release Date: September 20, 2007

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4.5

Format: EBOOK

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Caleb Kirkpatrick has to hire a cook for his ranch so when his brother Josh, the reality television junkie, comes up with the idea to bring three women out to the ranch to compete for the position, Caleb goes along with it.   He really doubts that it will liven up life in the boonies of Nebraska but he figures he doesn’t have anything to lose.

Sabrina Marconi (alias Laura Marshall) is on the run.   She faces serious repercussions if she’s found by the mob boss she ratted on to the Feds and has refused to enter the protection program.   Disappearing is imperative and where better to disappear to then ‘Nowhere, Nebraska, population fourteen.’   She has no doubt in her abilities to cook and is absolutely determined to win the competition for the position of ranch cook.  


Josh couldn’t have picked three women so different from each other if he’d tried.   Angel is obviously on the prowl for a man and from her state of dress or lack thereof, she has no qualms about using her assets to her advantage.   Phyllis is a shy ex-nun who while she has no qualms about cooking and does it very well admits that she is interested in finding a husband.   And then there’s Laura who judging by her looks exudes class so why she’d be competing for a cooking position is beyond him.  


Caleb has to admit he is immediately attracted to Laura, but he doesn’t have time or a need for romantic entanglements at the moment - he’s busy raising a young son and running his cattle ranch.   Throw in Caleb’s mother who has no qualms about meddling in his personal life and a little boy who Laura can’t help but adore and you have the makings of an extended family that would draw most women.   Laura dives into the competition with relish and quickly finds herself taking on Angel’s chores as well since the other woman can’t seem to rouse herself enough to accomplish anything.   Caleb quickly realizes that Laura is a wonderful cook but he can’t help but wonder if she’d be just as spirited and thorough in the bedroom.

Just as things really begin to heat up between Caleb and Laura her past comes back to haunt her in the form of a fellow partner of Caleb’s who does a lot of traveling but also happens to have eaten at the restaurant which Laura had successfully built from the ground up and been forced to abandon. Will Caleb’s opinion of Laura change once he hears the truth about her past and the danger that’s forced her into hiding out on his ranch?   If Caleb thought that Josh’s ‘reality-based’ competition was simply going to be all about cooking then he was way off base - all aspects of life will be forever changed for the better.


Julia Daniels brings reality-tv competition to small town America with her newest book RANCH HIDEOUT.   With quirky and somewhat questionable characters, witty dialogue, and a sexual attraction which draws readers to Caleb and Laura this is a book you won’t want to miss.   I confess I was dying to know all about Laura and what had happened to send her into hiding and if the mob ever finds her but as it turns out I became more intrigued by the life she builds on a ranch in the middle of nowhere simply by being the outgoing person which made her such a success in Chicago.   I especially loved her friendship with Phyllis and the relationship she develops with Conner, Caleb’s son, and his mother, MaryGrace.   RANCH HIDEOUT is a well-rounded story that provides readers with plenty of storyline to sink their teeth into.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Chrissy Dionne

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