Release Date: Nov 10, 2020
Series: Gold Valley Vineyards
Heat Level: Sensual
Imprint: Harlequin Desire
Claiming the Rancher’s Heir is the second book in the Gold Valley Vineyards series by Maisey Yates. This story takes place in the beautiful wine country of Gold Valley, Oregon.
Wren Maxfield works at Maxfield Vineyards, boasting a showroom that is sleek and high-end, all steel and glass. She works at her family business as the hospitality and marketing specialist. She was brought up in their family’s large Italian villa-style home, attended exclusive boarding schools and college on the East coast and has travelled extensively. From the outside looking in, it appears to be ideal. However, every aspect of her life was dictated by her father, including the expectation that she would work at the family’s vineyard. When her father leaves town following a scandal, Wren finds herself questioning the direction of her life.
Creed Cooper runs his own ranch and works at his family’s vineyard doing promotional work. Cowboy Wines, the Cooper family vineyard, is very successful. Their vineyard reflects the family’s laid-back attitude with rustic barns styled into showrooms and event spaces. When he was a teenager, Creed thought he was in love, but when the girl he was dating became pregnant, she named her old boyfriend as the father, taking away Creed’s parental rights. This broke Creed’s heart. He mourned not being able to be a father to his son and it has caused him to vow to never father another child. Since he refuses to fall in love and start a family, Creed is content to keep himself busy with his work.
Creed and Wren detest one another. Wren’s father always hated the Coopers and had instilled that feeling in Wren. Creed responded to those feelings with mutual hatred. Despite their not liking one another, they are greatly attracted to each other. With Wren’s father gone and no longer influencing their business, her sister, who oversees their broader brand, wants to change the perception of their winery. She does not think the rivalry between the two wineries is good, so she suggests a wine festival event to promote all the wineries in the area. To show the public Maxfield Vineyards and Cowboy wines are not rivals, Wren suggests they first have a smaller scale event focusing on their two wineries. During their first meeting to work together on promotional items for the event, Creed and Wren give in to the mutual lust they feel. This results in an unexpected pregnancy. The story continues with how they handle this situation.
The author wove an interesting tale around the classic hate-to-lovers trope along with the thrown in unplanned pregnancy dilemma. The characters were quite likable. However, the story felt rushed. The characters moved through emotions and life altering decisions at lightening speed. While it all made sense, and the author did not ramble on tirelessly, it seemed implausible for the characters to rationally work through their emotional baggage and take on their new lives so quickly and do so relatively seamlessly. I enjoyed this book and recommend it, and will look for more stories in this series.