Book One: Belanger Creek Ranch Series
Sparks fly when Frank Lamonte and Colt Thompson meet. There is an explosion of anger, based on misinformation and suspicion: but there is also an undeniable attraction. Thirty-six fateful hours set the stage for a lifetime of consequences.
Veterinarian, Frank Lamonte, comes to Belanger Creek Ranch to work as a ranch hand after her boss recognizes her growing symptoms of depression and insists she take a leave of absence. She is reeling from a series of emotional blows, the final one being a broken engagement. He tells her to leave town for a while and give her ravaged emotions a chance to heal, without constantly facing reminders of the past. She’s determined to get better quickly, and nothing will stand in her way.…that is, until she meets the owner of Belanger Creek Ranch. Her attraction to him could end her plans, even though she thinks otherwise.
After divorcing the cheating wife who destroyed his dreams, Colt Thompson has become a bitter and cynical man. Being vulnerable once broke his heart; allowing it to happen twice will never happen. He will make certain that he never falls in love again. When he finds Frank Lamonte at the ranch, he makes up his mind that she is a liar and a cheat. He will not let himself be attracted to her, even though the tension sizzles.
Will Frank and Colt open their hearts to true love? Or, will Colt do everything he can to protect his heart?
Will he wed Shauna Lee Holt, his “friends with benefits” woman; a woman he doesn’t love?
Will Frank take a risk and make him think again?
Will she settle back into the state of depression that resulted in her coming to Belanger Creek Ranch?
When Dr. Jason Winters DVM arbitrarily put her on leave of absence, he told her to deal with her emotional trauma. He promised that her job as a veterinarian at his clinic would be waiting, when she was mentally healthy.
Will she jeopardize all her opportunities?
Heartache lies ahead for these two intractable characters, and neither one of them will make wise choices along the way.
It is refreshing to read a romance that not only satisfies the readers desire to read this genre, but also teaches an important life lesson.
‘The Second Time Around’ is the first book in the Belanger Creek Ranch series. Well-developed characters like veterinarian Frank Lamonte (Female), Dr. Jason Winters (DVM) and Colt Thompson(Owner of the Belanger Creek Ranch in Saskatchewan, Canada) to name a few, bring real life issues into normal life settings where the reader can relax and relate in one or more ways.
When courage comes before comfort to assist a friend, co-worker and employee to seek the help needed for a depressional episode, the main character can not only find help, relief, time and the environment to promote healing, she can overcome the root cause of her depression and help a man that comes into her life to live and love again.
Realistic, warm, touching and romantic with writing that draws the reader into the story. Author Gloria Antypwich brings her own experiences, environment and fascination with human nature to the table in her creative process.
In my reviews I always quote at least one passage to show the writer’s style and intent I am very careful not to spoil the story for you the reader. I quote from page 62.
“The Thunder Breeding Hills, she mused as she fanned herself with her hat, appreciating the movement of air as it wafted across her face. Native people had called the Cypress Hills that, because they thought they were the home and breeding ground of the storms. She lifted her face to the sky. The night was going to be spectacular. It was a good thing she wasn’t afraid of thunder and lightning, or being by herself.
When she stepped out of the tub an hour later, a loud clap of thunder shattered the night. Within seconds, rain sluiced down in a torrent. Frank dried off, wrapped a fresh towel sarong-fashion around her body, and then stepped back into the bedroom. Shaking her hair loose around her shoulders, she went to stand at the window. She smiled as she watched the welcome drops bounce on the cement walk below. Their pounding rhythm on the roof was almost exciting, and she was stirred by the sound of it as she ran her fingers through her heavy, damp hair. She turned to pick up the electric hair dryer and a styling brush and worked her hair until it floated around her shoulders like a soft, fragrant cloak. Fiery lights glinted off it like sparks borrowed from the lightning that pierced the evening sky.”
Cold Coffee Press Endorses ‘The Second Time Around’ (Belanger Creek Ranch Book 1) by Gloria Antypowich as a Contemporary Adult Romance inspired by her husband (they are both retired) who is the love of her life. This book was reviewed from a Kindle/PDF version. The review was completed on July 22, 2015. For more information please visit Cold Coffee Press. http://www.coldcoffeepress.com
Book Two: Belanger Creek Ranch Series
“Shauna Lee, I told you I’m a hunter. I have hunted cougars in the wild. That is where I like to keep them: in the wild; with me doing the stalking.” Her face went scarlet. “Are you calling me a cougar?” she asked, indignantly.
Twenty years ago, eighteen-year-old Shauna Lee Holt rose like a phoenix, out of the ashes of tragedy. Fierce determination focused her drive for independence. After graduation, she worked non-stop, scrimping and saving every penny. She purchased Swift Current Accounting and Bookkeeping Service. Now she is regarded as a successful accountant in the business community: but no one knows her personal, private hell.
Brad Johnson recently moved to Swift Current, where he set up Windspeer Energy; a company specializing in small wind energy turbines. Brad feels an undeniable attraction to Shauna Lee, but he refuses to play her “nothing serious, no strings attached” game.
As time passes, he falls head over heels in love with this tormented woman. Shocking fragments of her tragic past come to light, and he begins to realize that she may never be able to give him the emotional connection he desperately desires.
This is a stand-alone book in the series, but the lives of Colt and Frank Thompson are woven into Brad Johnson and Shauna Lee Holt’s story. The couple, who seem to have everything, discover that grief and pain are no respecters of person. When they face the unimaginable, will their relationship be shaken beyond repair?
This is a story of wrath, hatred, murder, betrayal, denial, and unconditional love.
Book Three: Belanger Creek Ranch Series
Tim glared at Christina. “I guess I get the floor.”
“Quit being an ass and get a grip on yourself. There is no need for anyone to sleep on the floor. I’m sure we are mature enough to make the best of this rotten situation. I’m not going freak out if your leg touches mine. It’s not as if either of us is interested in anything other than sleep and keeping warm.”
He stared at her. “Are you suggesting we share the bed?”
Thirty-eight-year-old Christina Holmes is the office manager at Swift Current Accounting and Bookkeeping Services. On the surface, she is a happy person that everyone likes, but in her heart, she carries pain. She has MRHK syndrome.
Her marriage had deteriorated because of the rare congenital condition, and it ended in humiliation for her. The experience is a secret that Christina has not shared with anyone since she came to Swift Current. She has avoided intimate relationships, feeling less than a woman, and ashamed of the hand that nature dealt her. She has allowed her condition to define her, making her certain that no one will love her as she is.
Forty-eight-year-old Tim Bates came to Swift Current four years ago, when Colt Thompson hired him to manage Cantaur Farm. Forsaken by his stepfamily, Tim was reeling from a contested family will, and an ugly divorce filed by his wife who had never truly loved him. He was bitter and angry, trusted no one and despised women.
When he first arrived, Christina thought of Tim as a cold fish, and Tim saw Christina as an officious bitch. However, during the past four years the two of them have developed a comfortable relationship: but it isn’t the kind that comes with intimacy, or fringe benefits.
When Tim Bates finds a picture on the old ranch hand’s desk at Belanger Creek Ranch, he is stunned. He reacts with suspicion that turns into feelings of betrayal and anger. The picture becomes the focus of a mystery that involves people at the ranch: people who have been friends for years. The answers could forever change the lives of those involved.
Tim discovers that what he has always believed about his birth is not true. Shaken, he turns to Christina for friendship and support.
Sometimes The Hand of Fate intervenes. Will it bring unexpected miracles into the lives of these two friends?
This is a story of family ties, unconditional love, loyalty, powerful friendships, sacrifice, mystery and the realization of dreams that seem impossible.
This can be read as a stand-alone book in the Belanger Creek Ranch Series. The lives of Colt and Frank Thompson (The Second Time Around, Book One) and Shauna Lee and Brad Johnson (Full Circle, Book Two) intertwine with those of Tim Bates and Christina Holmes in this work of fiction.
Book Four: Belanger Creek Ranch Series
“No!” Taylor’s cry was a wail. “I don’t want to move again……..
“Taylor, I’m your mother. You’ll listen to me.”
Taylor’s look became set and stubborn. “I am not moving again and… I’m not leaving Grayson. You’re wrong about him. I know it!”
When Sarah Brite arrives at Belanger Creek Ranch, it’s like a sanctuary from her troubles, even though she can never totally relax. She is always looking over her shoulder—alert and waiting to run. The ranch is a vast rural area, a place where it doesn’t seem likely that her son’s violent father would find them.
The ranch ‘family’ is a close knit group consisting of co-workers and the owners, Colt and Frank Thompson. They all look out for each other. There’s only one thing that makes Sarah uneasy… that’s gentle, friendly Grayson McNaughton.
Her son, Taylor immediately bonds with Grayson. This disquiets Sarah. Grayson is a nice enough man, but Taylor makes it increasingly clear that he would love it if they became a family. Sarah decides to share her dark secret with Grayson so he will understand why he can never be Taylor’s father. He is filled with compassion and insists she share her fears with the Thompsons, who stand staunchly behind her.
Sarah relaxes, and begins to want to make Taylor’s wish a reality. However, Grayson McNaughton has a secret of his own; he had destroyed a man’s life, and he was charged but not convicted of aggravated assault, eight years before he came to the ranch.
Burdened with deep-seated guilt, he chooses to live in obscurity and hideaway in pain. He loves Sarah, and as they gradually grow closer, he knows he has to be honest with her, so even though it may jeopardize their relationship, he shares his painful past.
Sarah is devastated; furious that she has let him get close to her son. Even though she does not have all of the facts, she immediately labels Grayson as a violent person. She has had enough violence and fear in her life, and she doesn’t want to expose Taylor to it. She is ready to pack up and run again, but Taylor is older now and he isn’t having it. He loves Grayson and is through with running. He digs in his heels, ready to fight his mother.
Colt Thompson offers a solution to Sarah that will allow everyone to stay at the ranch. Taylor begrudgingly accepts the terms, but Sarah’s ultimatums come at a cost… she realizes she is losing her sons affection and respect. An unexpected tragedy intervenes. Is it too late for Sarah and Grayson to make Taylors world complete?
Will they have A Second Chance?