When Todd Harris makes the move from the mean streets of Chicago to the sleepy roads of Marietta, Montana, it’s not just his career that’s changing… it’s his entire life. Going from police officer to forest ranger isn’t too much of a stretch, but getting used to how things work in a small town is. As he settles in, Todd realizes he loves the slower pace of the countryside, but then… an Olympic gold medalist comes to town and shatters his hard fought peace.

But the town’s new forest ranger doesn’t like attention and he sure as hell isn’t looking for any kind of relationship with someone who does. When Molly gets lost in the woods though and Todd is the one who saves her, the spark he’s been trying to ignore smolders and ignites. It’s then that he realizes there’s a lot more to Molly than ambition and public adulation.

When Todd signs up for the Men of Marietta calendar shoot to raise money for Harry’s House, a place for children to commemorate a fallen firefighter, Molly realizes the kind of man he is. With the shoot wrapping up, she faces a painful decision–return to her old life, or give her new life with Todd a fighting chance.

Titles in the Men of Marietta series include:  Tempting The Deputy by Heidi RiceFlirting With Fire by Kate HardyDaring The Pilot by Jeannie MoonFalling For The Ranger by Kaylie Newell – Burning With Desire by Patricia W. Fischer

Title:  Falling For The Ranger
Series:  Men of Marietta 34
Author:  Kaylie Newell
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Published:  April 11, 2017
Publisher:  Tule Publishing
My Rating:  4 stars

There is a line early on in Falling for the Ranger that Molly speaks – I didn’t highlight it so I’m ending up paraphrasing but it’s similar to…”those are real people behind the pictures”.  I honestly think that if the idea around that line hadn’t stuck with me that this review might have been quite different.  You see, at first Molly is very difficult to like, let alone root for her happy ending.  And oddly enough, I think we’re meant to feel that way, for a while at least.  Molly is now the result of bad decisions, losing herself in the fame and celebrity-hood of being an Olympic medal winner, and a few personal hard knocks.  She doesn’t like herself very much right now – so how are we to like her either.  She come to Marietta to visit – that means to hide – with her cousin and her young family while she figures out what to do next with a failed career, no sponsorship, and headline grabbing tabloid pictures haunting her everywhere she goes.  She’s got anger management problems, attitude adjustments badly needed… and down deep, she’s scared because up until now her life has been in a pool, in the bright lights of fame.  And she’s far from that now.

Todd has ended up in Marietta after leaving the Chicago police force.  He needed the difference in life style, unfortunately his wife didn’t.  When she miscarried their baby, she was done and gone.  He may fool the townsfolk, but there is bitterness and anger there as well as a feeling of why bother again.  His job as a forest ranger now fulfills his needs, that and a dog named Bug.  He’s about to have his world flipped on him once again by a sassy, attitude rich hiker, one who is definitely living down to her reputation.  Could he possibly ever find his way beneath the surface to the true Molly hidden away?

I think one day Molly is going to be one heck of a character in Marietta, once she gets her head screwed on straight.  With Todd’s love and the acceptance of the community, I believe that’s possible for her future.  By the ending of Falling For The Ranger we only see the beginnings of Molly understanding herself enough to fight for who she truly is… when she discovers who that woman is now, I’d really love to run into her again.

I did enjoy myself with this one.  It does take a bit of thinking past the surface, perhaps putting yourself in someone else’s shoes – but I think Molly is worth loving and worth a second chance.  I hope you’ll give Molly and this story along with the rest of the series a chance.  You might discover something to think about along the way.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*

Available for the Kindle