As if things were not already complicated enough at the Ranch, Thompson brings us an outside threat in the form of Hope Woods. Trying to escape her mob ex-husband and her past, Hope runs to Dead River to hide out. Andrea Colton is her college roommate and gladly welcomes her. Not surprisingly the danger follows Hope to Wyoming. Her ex-husband’s enforcers are trying to killer her before she can testify against him. Once at the Ranch, Hope manages to run-afoul of the Mastermind orchestrating the deadly goings-on at the Ranch. If all this sounds a bit confusing, it is; however, Thompson masterfully weaves the two storylines together. She manages to keep the two storylines clear for the reader as she moves the story forward. The Hope storyline could have been distracting but doesn’t ever reach that point.
Hope’s storyline is much easier to resolve and comes to a logical conclusion at the end of the novel. Once again another couple leaves the Ranch and the search for answers. I don’t agree with the choice that Dylan makes to leave with her, but I understand it. No matter what his name is Dylan’s heart is clearly at the Ranch. I also very much wanted to see him find the answers he was looking for regarding his mother’s death and his own history. By them leaving I don’t know that that will come about. I really liked Dylan throughout the earlier books. I was happy to see him finally get his own romantic HEA. He makes a fine Colton heir, even if he doesn’t want to accept that designation.
I did expect Thompson to resolve a few more loose ends. While she did address a biggie there are still many more to cover. Adding to the many remaining unanswered questions is why the Mastermind wants to kill Hope. Beth Cornelison certainly has her hands full of loose ends to tie up in the last book in the series. Based on the first five, I’m sure she’s up to the task. I can’t wait to read the last installment, Colton Christmas Rescue, and finally see justice done.