Redemption Ridge, Book 1
Kieran Sullivan is broken when he arrives at Redemption Ridge. A wrongful conviction and twenty months in lockup will do that to a man. The ranch is a place for second chances and fresh starts, but for him, it’s an opportunity to discover who set him up. Get in, get answers, and get out. The plan sounds easy enough until Kieran meets an equine specialist whose sunny smile could warm the coldest heart.
Finley Ashe is a sucker for bruised spirits and sad eyes. The horse whisperer and broken-boy magnet is six months into a hiatus from love when Kieran, the king of emotionally unavailable men, gets assigned to work under his supervision. Mutual attraction is gasoline on proximity’s flame, testing Finley’s resistance in new ways.
Priorities shift, shields come down, and truths get exposed. Will the inevitable combustion redeem Kieran and Finley or consume them?
Guys Like Him is book one in the Redemption Ridge series. Though each story features a different couple, reading the series in order is essential. Guys Like Him contains mature themes and is intended for adults.
Thick gray clouds hovered overhead, rolling like the anger churning inside him. For the past year, he’d expressed his eagerness to put the past behind him and start fresh. That’s what the prison counselors and the people with power over him wanted to hear, so that was the bullshit he fed them. But privately, Kieran tended to his bitterness like a stew on the stove. He knew when to adjust the heat and which ingredients to add to the pot to keep his resentment sharp. And the fucking drab sky and clouds only antagonized him more.
For twenty months, his entire existence had been gray—the floors and walls, the food, and the pallor of the inmates’ skin. The only break in the monotony were the prison scrubs. He would happily go the rest of his life without seeing the color orange again. Kieran had foolishly allowed himself to daydream about the vibrancy he’d see on release day, but he’d just gotten more of the same. Everything around him was wet and shiny from the rain, but it was more of a piss on his parade than a refreshing, clean slate. Kieran’s olfactory senses zeroed in on the motor oil brought to the asphalt’s surface by the shower. It was a scent he knew all too well, and it became a match to his pilot light. Rainwater splashed up on his feet and shins as he walked, but his wrath made him impervious to the chill. Kieran reached inside the padded envelope, removed the wallet, and stuffed it into his back pocket. Then he tossed the envelope with the cell phone into the trash bin. The device was dead, the contract canceled, and there was no one on the contact list he wanted to speak to anymore.
A slight breeze stirred the air, and Kieran closed his eyes and tipped his head back. Yeah, he’d enjoyed fresh air during breaks in the yard, but they never lasted long enough and were controlled by someone else. He’d lived long enough like a marionette, and there was no better time to embrace free will. The weather wasn’t what he’d hoped for, but he got to enjoy it outside the fences, and that was a victory he’d stop and embrace.
A rumbling engine caught his attention, and he opened his eyes in time to see a black king cab truck with a silver Redemption Ridge logo stop in front of the facility. The guy behind the wheel wasn’t a chauffeur, but he was there for Kieran just the same. A year ago, he set a plan into motion, and Cash Sweeney’s presence proved it had worked.
Kieran’s good behavior had gained him access to the K9 programs at Arrowhead, where he’d met Cash and his dogs from Redemption Ridge. The front passenger window rolled down, and a familiar black-and-white head poked out. Patsy, a border collie, was the first dog he’d met during the program, and it had been love at first sight for them. It turned out Kieran had a sixth sense when working with animals, especially the shyest ones. His talents had captured Cash’s notice, and he’d offered Kieran employment and housing on his ranch, where he rehabilitated horses and dogs. Kieran’s participation in the program and the subsequent employment opportunity hadn’t been divine intervention or luck; it was all part of his carefully orchestrated plan.
Oooh, a new series by ANW! **rubs hands together** GIMME!
Set in Colorado on a ranch called Redemption Ranch, this is a long way from her previous books set in Savannah. Run by a former convict turned gazillionaire, the owner Cash likes to give people a chance after they get out of prison. He offers that chance to Kieran who served 20 months for car theft. But Keiran was set up and wants to get to the bottom of it. And how Cash, his new boss, is connected to it.
Keiran is kind of a typical kicked puppy kind of kind. Drug addict parents, tossed into the system at 10, no one held out much hope for him to make anything of himself. He wants to be at Redemption Ranch to do some digging. Find out how Cash is connected to his slimy exboyfriend. And while he is there, he plans to keep his head down, work hard and make no connections.
UNTIL he ends up working with the horses with Finley as his boss. Finley who likes to try to fix broken guys. But he wasn’t doing that anymore, right? Right. Six months clean. Even though his hippie mom (she’s fab!) is pushing him to try dating again.
Since both guys are swore off relationships, y’all can guess what happens. It is a romance after all. They did start out trying to be friends. They did pretty well at it. And even though Keiran really didn’t open up and say much, they still really enjoyed each other’s company and just hanging out together. But then they kiss.
And even though Keiran didn’t want to involve anyone, he does tell Finley a bit about his ex and taking the fall for him and wanting to catch him doing illegal car stuff. He doesn’t tell him about the Cash connection though.
There is a fun cast of characters as well. Finley’s mom, as I mentioned. But also his sister who is the cook at the ranch and a bunch of ranch hands with fun personalities.
Honestly, the vibe of this book reminded me a lot of the Clean Slate Ranch series by AM Arthur. And that’s not a bad thing at all. There are some key differences though, which makes it very easy to separate one from the other.
Keiran does get answers and closure. It was a little bit of a stretch for me, but still believable without going over the top.
I’m really looking forward to more!
4 pieces of eye candy
Ever since she was a little girl, Aimee Nicole Walker entertained herself with stories that popped into her head. Now she gets paid to tell those stories to other people. She wears many titles—wife, mom, and animal lover are just a few of them. Her absolute favorite title is champion of the happily ever after. Love inspires everything she does, music keeps her sane, and coffee is the magic elixir that fuels her day.
I’d love to hear from you.
You can reach me at:
Twitter – https://twitter.com/AimeeNWalker
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/aimeenicole.walker
Instagram – http://instagram.com/aimeenicolewalker
Blog – AimeeNicoleWalker.blogspot.com
Want to be the first to know about my book releases and have access to extra content? You can sign up for my newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/dlhPYj
My favorite place to hang out and chat with my readers is my Facebook group. Would you like to be a member of Aimee’s Dye Hards? We’d love to have you! Click here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/AimeesDyeHards/