Something Undeniable (Split Rock Ranch #1) ~ Rory Maxwell
Something Undeniable is a well-structured, well-written debut novella from an author who shows quite a lot of potential, and I'm looking forward to reading more and watching them grow as an author.
Micah Avery has called Split Rock Ranch home for most of his life—it’s one of the few places he can be totally himself without worry or judgment. The ranch, the horses, and the people are Micah’s future, and he couldn’t be happier. The fact that it’s also home to the ranch manager he’s determined to marry one day is icing on the cake . . . all he needs is for Ryan to notice him.
Ryan Astor came to Split Rock Ranch at a time when he was desperate to start over. It was just supposed to be a stop on the road, but instead he found a home and a family—that family includes Micah, the sweet kid who’s been the ranch mascot since before he was tall enough to see over the stall doors. Ryan’s finally found his place, and he can’t imagine wanting anything to change.
Then little Micah Avery grows up. And Ryan’s suddenly confronted with a whole mess of feelings and desires he never expected. Now he needs to decide if he can give in to what they both want without jeopardizing everything they have.
I found the author’s writing style very engaging, and it grabbed my attention very early in the story. I have a weakness for a well-written age-gap romance. I particularly appreciated the time jump in the story that allowed Micah to grow up and get experience beyond the ranch/small town before he decided what he really wanted.
A danger to found in novellas, particularly those that are either standalone or starting a series, is that they can be a bit shallow; the shorter word length can limit story or character development.
The author overcame these possible pitfalls by limiting the story to exploring the relationship between Ryan and Micah and introducing the Ranch and the people living on and around it. This allowed for deeper character development of not only Ryan and Micah but also created interest in a cast of secondary characters ensuring that I am invested enough in them to want to read future stories to see them get their happy endings.
Once I started Something Undeniable, I didn't want to put it down. I enjoyed every moment of it. Rory Maxwell has done a fantastic job with her debut book, and I can't wait to see what she has in store for us in the future (make sure to get a copy of the free bonus epilogue - link in the back of the book).