A Reason To Stay
Las Vegas casino manager Ruby McPhee needs to lay low while the police deal with a stalker at work. So she’s trading in her high heels for cowboy boots and assuming her twin sister’s identity at the Gold Nugget Ranch. Ruby only plans on staying in Sweetheart, Nevada, until the threat back home has passed. But then she discovers a detail her sister forgot to mentionthe handsome sheriff she’s dating.
It only takes a single kiss for Cliff Dempsey to realize the woman in his arms is someone entirely different and completely irresistible. To protect Ruby’s secret, Cliff maintains her ruse, but soon the lines between duty and desire begin to blur. Ruby and Cliff know they have a once-in-a-lifetime connection, but will they have a chance to let their love grow?
Ruby, threatened by a stalker, swaps places with her twin sister in order to hide out for a few weeks. Little does she realise that the game she played with Scarlett as a child wouldn’t work out the way she thought as adults. First she has to work on a ranch, having not ridden a horse in over a decade, and then she meets the local, and very sexy, very single Sherriff, with whom Scarlett has being having an on-off relationship with.
Cliff, the Sheriff, has his own problems. After returning to his hometown of Sweetheart – his career in Reno damaged after a less than appropriate relationship. He liked Scarlett but realises that he is very much attracted to (then in love with) Ruby.
Rest of the book covers about 2 weeks, whilst waiting to deal with Ruby’s stalker which leads to a tense situation outside of town, and Ruby trying to make amends for putting the town’s people in danger
The romance is strong, involving two people who are resisting commitment for various reasons, whilst under pressure from Cliff’s extended family to commit to something more. The side issue of Sweetheart’s faltering economy due to a fire the year before is a good subplot, and allows for an interesting finale and denouement.
What sex there is is sexy enough, without making too many people blush, however there is some appropriate language in these scenes, so be warned if you’re not a fan of this kind of scene
I understand it’s difficult to develop the characters of people who are not part of the story until the second half (e.g. Ruby’s bosses at the casino, from where she’s had to take a sudden break from), so I felt they were a little flat when they did arrive. Wondering if Ruby, in talking to Cliff etc, could have expanded them out a little more – such as why Earnestino apparently didnt back her up much to the casino manager at the time she reported the harassment. Anyway, minor point, they were useful characters when they were needed in order to progress the romance between Ruby and Cliff.