Larch Valley Series, Book 1 - The Rancher’s Runaway Princess

Author: Donna Alward

Publisher: Harlequin Romance

Release Date: January 2009

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4.5

Format: EBOOK

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Brody Hamilton has dedicated himself to making a success of Prairie Rose Ranch.  He’s got the perfect opportunity to form an alliance with one of the greatest stables in Europe but dealing with King Alexander’s representative is more distracting than he’d anticipated.  He senses that Lucy’s hiding something but can’t quite figure out what or why and after what he’s endured over the past couple of years he’s not about to assume that anyone is who they claim to be or trustworthy.

Lucy Farnsworth’s life has taken a drastic turn in the past couple of months.  She learned that she’s royalty, lost her mother – the one person she’s always counted on, and everything she’s known and loved is suddenly gone.  Her love of horses is one thing that’s carried her through this whole ordeal and when King Alexander sends her to a ranch in Canada she views it as a chance for normalcy – at least for a little while.  That is until she meets the ranch owner, Brody, and realizes that there’s more at stake than an international alliance.


As Princess Luciana of Marazur Lucy feels out of place and uncomfortable, but as just plain Lucy she feels a measure of safety.  It’s what she knows and she’s far more comfortable dealing with horses than royal duties and the expectations of being a princess.  When she’s sent to Canada to check out Brody’s operations, his stock, and the man himself she makes the decision to keep her true identity a secret.  She introduces herself as Lucy Farnsworth and allows Brody to believe that she’s the head of King Alexander’s stables.  Brody and Lucy definitely don’t get off to a good start.  They’re both mistrustful of each other and not looking to get involved in any sort of emotional relationship but as they come to know each other and through each of their confrontations a healthy respect develops and so does a sexual desire that they try hard to ignore.  She won’t be there very long and Brody certainly has more than his own share of issues to deal with and nursing a broken heart isn’t one he’s interested in incurring.


Donna Alward tells a compelling story throughout the pages of THE RANCHER’S RUNAWAY PRINCESS.  Lucy’s unique situation makes her a character readers will be able to empathize with - she’s down to earth, witty, spunky and brokenhearted.  Her sense of ‘self’ has been ripped away from her and she’s struggling with who she is and what it means to be a ‘princess.’  Brody’s suffered his own devastating chain of events and trusting people isn’t something he does easily but Lucy proves herself reliable and despite himself Brody falls for her.  This is a truly heartwarming story with an utterly charming ending that had me sighing in appreciation. 


Ms. Alward’s next book HIRED: THE ITALIAN’S BRIDE will be released in June 2009.


By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Chrissy Dionne

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