Sunday, July 27, 2014

ARC #Review: Saving the Sheriff by Roxanne Snopek - 5 Wine Glasses

22670812Title: Saving the Sheriff: A Three River Ranch Novella 
Series: Three River Ranch #3.5
Author: Roxanne Snopek
Format: ebook, 110 pages
Expected publication: July 28th 2014 by Entangled: Bliss
ISBN: 1633750264
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | ARe
Source: NetGalley
Reviewer: Linda
Rating: 5/5

Previously released as part of the Stranded with a Hero anthology. Now available individually! 

The power might be out…but the heat is on.

Every year, free-spirited Frankie Sylva banishes her holiday loneliness with good deeds. This time, she’s rescuing a truckload of neglected reindeer—until a blizzard sidetracks her scheme, and now she’s stuck…literally.

Local sheriff Red LeClair is shocked to find a very cute, half-frozen woman trespassing on Three River Ranch in a ditched rig, with a suspiciously empty trailer. Is she a horse thief? Is she on the run? Is she out of her mind? He has no choice but to take her back to the ranch and keep an eye on her.

But when the power goes out, Red and Frankie are forced to depend on each other in a way that both have avoided for years. The sheriff’s quiet holiday is suddenly festive: a crackling fire, candles, carols, and an irresistible stranger…who might be a felon.

“Once in rur-al Flathead coun-ty
Stood a cru-wel Christmas scene
Dumped for slaugh-ter were the rein-deer
When an elf did intervene.”

SAVING THE SHERIFF by Roxanne Snopek was, without a doubt, the sweetest contemporary Christmas romance I've ever read.  It was previously released as part of the Stranded with a Hero anthology; It is being released individually now as novella 3.5 in the series.  There are interconnected characters, but this tale can easily be read as a standalone;  It does not need to be read in order.  The snowed-in Three River Ranch setting was certainly a welcome relief to July in Florida.  It was a quick read at only 110 pages and I absolutely couldn't put it down once I started it.

The characters were truly genuine and they shined!  Frankie Sylva, our heroine, is a substitute teacher who devotes herself to charity efforts during the holidays so she doesn't think about being alone.  This year, she has decided to save some reindeer from their packing plant fate so she has dressed up as an elf and hijacked their transport.  I mean, what kind of black heart sends reindeer to their deaths on Christmas Eve?  Mother Nature interferes with Frankie's mission of mercy in the form of a blizzard and the truck is stuck in a ditch at Three River Ranch.   

Local sheriff Red LeClair, our hero, is also alone at the holidays. 

“I'm named after my father, Rudolph," he said, then shot her a stern look. "But if you connect that with my red nose --”  

It's his first Christmas since his divorce and his heart is still broken.  Rather than spend Christmas in town alone, he had offered to ranch-sit Three River Ranch while the family is away.  While feeding the livestock, he discovers a half-frozen elf in a ditched rig.  Will he be her jailer or her rescuer?  And who will end up rescuing who?

“Great. He had a ranch with no power, a burgeoning blizzard, animals depending on him and now, a frightened, felonious elf to look after.” 

Frankie was a cute, feisty, resourceful do-gooder and Red was a handsome hunk.  Their sexual chemistry simmered before it boiled over.  Their banter had me laughing out loud more times than I can count.  Following please find just a few teaser quotes illustrating their attraction and the humor:

“She was licking something off the end of a wooden spoon. Red froze. His body reacted as if he'd walked in on her twirling half-naked on a pole....
Frankie was intriguing. Unsettling. Challenging He wanted to figure her out. He wanted to play strip poker with her. He wanted to throw her on the couch and ---
"A touch more oregano, I think." Frankie pointed the spoon at him.” 


“It's nothing fancy, I opened a jar of sauce and cooked the linguine. But there's fresh Parmesan and I even found a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon."
"You found wine." Earlier he'd been thinking about microwaved Who Hash, solitude and if he was very lucky, beer.
But a hot, fresh-cooked meal? Candles? Wine? And a chatty yoga-elf chef? With a body like a Las Vegas showgirl?” 


“Consider yourself warned, Frankie. Something about these mountains convinces previously sane women to give up Starbucks for saddle sores.” 

Roxanne's crisp storytelling and fun, well-crafted plot add up to a solid, highly entertaining read.
I was enchanted!  The epilogue was warm fuzzies heaven.   This book ranks right up there with Miracle on 34th Street for me!  I'd highly recommend SAVING THE SHERIFF to anyone who loves romantic, starry-eyed, candy-coated Christmas tales!    

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