Review: Commitment Ranch (Leaning N #1) by BA Tortuga

A fist fight, a snowstorm, a stolen kiss in the barn... and a second chance at love.

Ford Nixel has two law offices, two fancy condominiums, and all the right connections. In short, he has everything he wants.

The last thing he needs is his Uncle Ty’s stake in the Leaning N, a ranch that’s been in the family for generations. Ford hasn’t even been to the ranch in over a decade, not since he left his boyfriend Stoney behind and headed back to college alone.

Ford arrives at the Leaning N to find Stoney, now a single father, right where he left him. A fist fight, a snowstorm, and a stolen kiss in the barn later—Ford knows none of the heat between them has dissipated.

Ford and Stoney’s college romance ended badly. Stoney ended up working at Ford’s uncle’s ranch and marrying Ford’s cousin, while Ford left the ranch and never looked back. But a call from his ailing uncle brings Ford back to the Leaning N, and back to Stoney, now a single father. They’re less than happy to see each other.

Ford believes that Stoney used him to get a share of the ranch, while Stoney thinks that Ford left him because he wasn’t good enough for an up-and-coming lawyer. The two bicker repeatedly, but have to put aside the animosity if they want to save the ranch. They can only deny for so long that underneath the anger, the mutual attraction still burns strong.

For the first half of the book, I wasn’t a fan of either Ford or Stoney. Both were very immature, making each others’ lives, and their own, miserable. It was miscommunication galore.


But things improved considerably in the second half, and I ended up genuinely enjoying the book. The big reveal about what actually happened when Stoney and Ford broke up went a long way in making up for the drama! The reveal wasn’t OTT, but it kept with the Dreamspun Desires harlequin themes.

I may not have been so happy with how Stoney acted around Ford, but I was definitely swooning over how Stoney took such good care of Quartz, his nine-year-old son. It made some of his actions understandable, given that his first priority is providing for Quartz.

On the other hand, it took me well into the book to warm up to Ford. He did a pretty good job maintaining his persona of the cold and detached lawyer. It takes him a while, but Ford does eventually start letting his guard down.

I liked seeing how it was Stoney who brought Ford out of his self-constructed shell. The two MCs may have been at each other’s throats for most of the first half, but it became pretty clear that they still cared for one another. Once I got to see them without all the anger and hurt, I could easily understand why Ford and Stoney belonged together.

Steam-wise, this is a very tame book. I was a tad let-down, because this author usually delivers in the smexin’ department, and because the sexual tension between the MCs was killer.

I very much enjoyed ranch setting. The secondary characters who call the ranch home all added to the story, and provided some comedic relief. Plus, I’m a sucker for a countryside winter!


Overall, I liked ‘Commitment Ranch’. The beginning was rough, but it steadily got better. If you’re looking for a book with a lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers trope, give this book a try.

For more info on Dreamspinner Press or Goodreads!

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