Although I have said that these are romance stories, there is more to them than just love. Both of these books have some issues that the characters must deal with, decisions to be made and personal growth. I enjoyed them both, although they are very different from one another. I hope you enjoy them if you decide to read them.

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Published June 7th 2016 by Washington Square Press

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is my first Taylor Jenkins Reid book I have read and I loved it. I have to thanks Susan at SUSAN LOVES BOOKS for this recommendation in my 12 Friends, 12 Books Challenge. Emma Blair was a bit of a misfit and didn’t have a lot of friends, but always had a crush on Jesse. He was the captain of the swim team and when he kissed her at a party, she was done. They eventually got married and had a wonderful life traveling the world. Her parents owned Blair Books and wanted her to run the store, but she has wanderlust, that is until the helicopter Jesse is on crashes in the Pacific on their one year anniversary. Her grief overwhelms her and she returns home, eventually to run the family bookstore. She runs into Sam, an old friend that had a crush on her in highschool. They become friends, eventually fall in love, move in together and get engaged. Three years after the crash, Jesse is found and returns, hoping to pick up where he left off. What is Emma to do? She loves Sam, but Jesse is her true love, or is he?

Wow, this was an amazing story. I liked all the characters and trying to decide who Emma would end up with was a difficult decision. My heart broke for all of them, because someone was going to be hurt and Emma had the hardest decision of her life. Her parents were great. As a teen, Emma might not have thought so, but they instilled great values in their girls and stood behind them. As they became adults, they encouraged them and were always there to talk to. There were other issues in this book besides the decision for Emma such as, sibling rivalry, family expectations, grief, having a child with a disability (deaf twins) and following your dreams. This was a heartbreaking story, one that had my emotions all over the place. How do you decide between two men you have loved? If you enjoy a good romance/love story, one with a lot of emotion, and one with some serious issues, then I recommend you pick up One True Loves.

The Wedding Ranch by Nancy Naigle, Lisa Larsen (Narrator)

Published December 29th 2022 by Dreamscape Media, St. Martin’s Griffin

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Lorri Walker knew that her marriage wasn’t perfect, but when her husband gave her a puppy for Valentine’s Day, she thought they were going to try and make it work. Six months later, she and her mastiff, Mister were left behind when he left her for the dog trainer. Lorri knew she needed to make a change and move on, so she moved to Dalton Mill, where she could work from home and start over. It was just going to be for a year, but things change. Lorri meets Ryder Bolt, her neighbour, who is grieving the death of his wife and son, killed by a drunk driver seven years earlier. He helps his niece and nephew run “The Wedding Ranch” which is where he met Lorri. The more time they spend together, the more they care about each other, until Lorri realizes that there is something between them that Ryder will never be able to forgive.

This was a lovely Nancy Naigle romance. The setting of the small town, the farm, and the summer all bring that romance to the forefront. Both Lorri and Ryder are great characters. They are both dealing with some emotional scars, but if they let it, they can heal each other. I liked that they are both artistic and how those talents help them heal. All the characters add to the story and support each other. The addition of Mister, Lorri’s mastiff, was great. He is always around adding fun to the story and was also instrumental in Lorri’s healing. There is a twist that causes some angst in the story, which I hadn’t suspected, but it wasn’t surprising either. This is a story of healing, forgiveness, grief, family and above all else, LOVE. I can definitely see this one being made into a Hallmark movie, it would be perfect. If you enjoy a sweet romance, with a delightful cast of characters and a charming dog, then pick up The Wedding Ranch. I did a read/listen with this book and enjoyed the narration by Lisa Larsen. I found it more of a reading of the book, rather than with voices, but it was easy to listen to and I did enjoy both formats.