Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

The Cedar River Cowboys #5

The Rancher's Unexpected Family

Rate this book
1 Cowgirl Cop + 1 Single Dad = Double the Desire!

Running a ranch for troubled kids, policing the town and raising a son—Ash McCune is in complete control of her hectic life. Till one sexy single dad arrives on her Cedar River ranch with his daughter. Cole Quartermaine is rich, successful, a good father. But in weeks, he's leaving. So why does he make her feel something she hasn't felt in years—like a woman?

Cole needs this ranch to connect with his newfound daughter. What he doesn't need is a jaw-dropping attraction to the cowgirl cop who runs it. Nor hero worship from her son. He's got three weeks to resist her and return to the city, a party of two…or stay and make a family of four.

224 pages, Mass Market Paperback

Published July 18, 2017

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Helen Lacey

156 books146 followers
About Helen
Helen Lacey grew up reading Black Beauty, Anne of Green Gables and Little House on The Prairie. These childhood classics inspired her to write her first book when she was seven years old, a story about a girl and her horse. Although, it wasn’t until the age of eleven when she read her first Mills & Boon, that she knew wanted to write romances. Her parents’ love of travel meant she saw much of the world in those early years and she feels fortunate to have had a diverse and interesting education over several continents.

She continued to write into her teens and twenties with the dream of one day being a published author. A few years and careers later, including motel operator, florist, strapper, dog washer, and retail manager, she got the call from Harlequin Special Edition. She loves writing about tortured heroes, both cowboys and CEO’s, and heroines who finally get the love of the man of their dreams.

From Welsh parents and a large family, she lives on the east coast of Australia in a small seaside town at the southern most point of The Great Barrier Reef, with her wonderfully supportive husband, many horses, two cats and three spoiled dogs.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
28 (47%)
4 stars
18 (30%)
3 stars
8 (13%)
2 stars
2 (3%)
1 star
3 (5%)
Displaying 1 - 17 of 17 reviews
Profile Image for Alexandra.
385 reviews
July 3, 2017
Its good to be back in Cedar River. This time round its Ash and Cole's story. Ash is a single mother and cop, who fosters troubled children. Cole has recently found out he is a father to a teen aged girl. Finding it difficult to bond with Maisy, they head to Ash's ranch. Right from the start the chemistry between Ash and Cole is strong. Its a joy to catch up with the residents of Cedar River.
I strongly advise reading this series in order. If your a fan of small town romance. Pick up a copy.
Profile Image for TashNz.
723 reviews18 followers
August 31, 2017
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Helen's Cedar River stories and this is no exception.

Ash and Cole are bought together by way of Cole seeking help with his newly acquired teenage daughter.

I just can't describe how I feel reading these stories, it covers EVERYTHING. Fun, laughter, tears, emotions, love, pain - just everything. Very much like Maisey Yates Cooper Ridge books.

Short and sweet is this review because I just can't think of anything to say that beats LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Helen Lacey's Cedar River Cowboys!

Profile Image for Nancy.
2,113 reviews66 followers
September 6, 2022
Insta-love. Drama. Main characters behaving immaturely.
Skip-read after reading a third or so.
[i see that i read another in this series that I didn’t like too well .. so not the series for me!]
Profile Image for Helen.
2,222 reviews12 followers
July 21, 2017
MS Lacey has bought us another fabulous story in this series I really do enjoy visiting the town of Cedar River and this one is such a feel good emotional and so very honest story of love and caring that really left me with a huge smile, sit back enjoy Ash McCune’s story she is the police office come rancher that helps out troubled and orphaned kids and she certainly meets the best man for her in ex Nascar driver Cole Quartermaine.

Ash lives a busy but rewarding life in the town she grew up in she has her mother and uncle for support and help with her son Jaye and the kids she fosters and a relationship is not what she is looking for, you see she has been abandoned by all of the men in her life father step father Jaye’s father but she has now agreed to help out a friend of a friend Cole Quartermaine and his troubled 14 year old daughter Maisy and Ash’s life is about to change.

Cole was a champion Nascar driver until an accident changed all of that he still works with the family car racing team and has been through a divorce and is happily single and he has only just met his daughter never knowing he had one and Maisy is causing a few problems for him, so he takes her off to the country to try and get to know her and help her, but what he finds is a loving family and a beautiful caring woman that he can’t help falling for.

Starting a relationship can be hard at times and with kids involved even harder to keep those feeling under control and MS Lacey has done it so well this really is a moving gorgeous story one that will have you shedding a few tears but boy you will be sighing and smiling I fell for Cole as quickly as Ash did he is just the most honest hero I have ever met and Ash so vulnerable but so strong and they really deserve and need each other so badly but so do the kids who play a big part in this story. I do highly recommend this one sit back and enjoy.
871 reviews
June 13, 2022
3.5 Stars. The romance didn’t get off to the best start for me, there was something about Cole being so aggressive with innuendo from the second they met that just didn’t appeal to me. I get that the story wanted to establish an immediate pull between these two but I kept thinking if I was Ash and a man immediately came on that strong while staying on my property and when I’m supposed to help his daughter in a professional capacity, to me it would have been off-putting and set off alarm bells about him being well, kind of a sleaze.

Ultimately, Cole isn’t that of course, he is a good guy. And later on I warmed to him and Ash together as the author did an excellent job of showing what a solid influence and help each is to the other’s life, there were several instances where they got each other rethinking their stances especially in their parenting decisions that made a convincing case for their potential as long-term partners.

I really liked Cole needing to connect with the fourteen year old daughter he’s only just met, him feeling like he’s never putting a foot right with her and Maisy’s surliness and resistance felt realistic to the situation, the scenes involving Maisy were among the most resonate throughout the book and had me wishing the Special Edition line wasn’t quite so strict about the page count for just a little more room to expand on Maisy’s arc let the pacing be a touch more gradual, still, even with a more limited length here, Maisy’s part of the story drew me in more than anything else.
Profile Image for Cheryl Steckling.
318 reviews1 follower
July 7, 2017
The Rancher's Unexpected Family (The Cedar River Cowboys, Book 5) by Helen Lacey
Cole Quartermaine was well known in the Nascar racing circuit as was his family. Cole suffered a tragic accident which made him decide if he wanted to race again and perhaps die or walk again. He chose to walk again and although he is still connected with his family to the racing he is not racing any cars at all. The Quartermaine’s live in Phoenix, Arizona.
Cole just recently found out that he was the father of a 14-year-old daughter. Her mother had recently passed away and there was no place else for her to go except into foster care. All though it came as a shock to him, he gladly took the girl in and tried to connect with her. As you can imagine, she was distraught, had never met him before and both were in total shock.
Maisy did not trust him and she was heading down a bad path and Cole needed help.
Cole found out about a Cedar River, South Dakota ranch that was operated by Ash McCune, her cousin told Cole about it.
Ash wore many hats; such as mom, foster mom, daughter, cop, etc. She was just what Maisy needed. However, the attractive Ash was not what Cole needed or expected. He had not felt like this for so long and neither did she. Maisy and he were signed up to stay there three weeks and get closer to his daughter and for them to bond.
Helen Lacey has not left me disappointed once since I began reading her books. She deserves more than 5 stars I can give her.
Profile Image for Nas Dean.
813 reviews37 followers
September 6, 2017
THE RANCHER’S UNEXPECTED FAMILY by author Helen Lacey is a September 2017 release by Harlequin Special Edition series. This is Book 5 of Helen Lacey’s mini-series: Cedar River Cowboys.

Ash McCune is a single mom and she believed every man she cared about left her so her heart was closed for love or man.

But when ex-NASCAR driver, Cole Quartermaine came to her ranch for help, she couldn’t keep her heart closed. Cole needed her help to fix his relationship with his daughter. And they had chemistry between them, but when they gave in to the passion, she knew the relationship couldn’t go far. After all Cole lived thousands of miles away. But what she hadn’t counted on was all her family matchmaking her with Cole.

THE RANCHER’S UNEXPECTED FAMILY is a sweet romance that would make a reader sigh with contentment. And reach for tissues when Ash’s son asked Cole if he would be his daddy forever if he married his mom. Author Helen Lacey brought out the emotions in this story that would touch your heart. And she did a wonderful job of bringing Ash and Cole together despite all the emotional baggage and past grief they carried. This story would enthrall a reader and keep her hooked until the very last page. I finished this story in one sitting, as I was eager to discover what happened next.

Highly recommended for all readers of romance.
Profile Image for Lynn Brooks.
3,013 reviews30 followers
July 16, 2017
A lesson in going with the flow and picking up the pieces when life drops surprises in your lap! Characters with a really fun connection with each other make this a great read. There's laughter and tears, heartfelt emotions and bittersweet memories. Really enjoyed this return trip to Cedar River!

Cole Quartermaine didn't expect to be here at this point in his life, yet here he is, a father to a newly discovered teenage daughter. He's at his wits ends with how to deal with her, so he's taken a friend's advice and contacted Ash McCune. Not only is she a well-liked cop in Cedar River, South Dakota, but she's also experienced in working with troubled teens on her ranch and getting through to them. Cole will do just about anything to be able to connect with his daughter and be the parent that she needs.

Neither of them are prepared for the massive attraction they both feel the moment they set eyes on each other. She's a single mother and determined to never let herself be hurt by a man again, and he was already floundering with what he wanted to do with his life even before this surprise child came into his life. Will they be able to resist each other and concentrate only on the problem at hand, or will they muddy the water and try to figure out how to make a future together work?
710 reviews9 followers
July 18, 2017
Helen Lacey continues her amazing series The Cedar River Cowboys book 5 and what a fantastic story.  This story is about Cole Quartermaine, Nascar racer, or truly was a racer till a serious accident forced him to choose to leave while he could still walk.  He finds out he has a 14 year old daughter Maisy that was headed to foster care because her mother passed away.  A true eye opener for both of them as neither was aware of the other.  Cole wanted to do right by her and was concerned she was headed for trouble so he takes her to Cedar River , which is way different then ARizona.  Hoping he can get help at the ranch he meets Ash McCune who was not what he expected.  Ash has had some bad breaks in her life and besides helping foster children she is also a police officer.  Some how both of them click upon meeting but Cole has lots of work ahead of him trying to get his angry daughter to accept him.  A truly lovely deep story of how time and patience can help broken hearts.  Ms. Lacey has written another amazing story that will touch you heart and of course make you happy.  Loved it.
97 reviews
July 5, 2017
Helen Lacey is just fantastic, I’ve read quite a few of her books and I’m never disappointed. The Rancher’s Unexpected Family is no exception. It is a wonderfully written story with characters that seem so realistic. It’s almost like Cedar River is a real town and the people there are friends you go and visit when you pick up one of the books in the series.
In this instalment, Ash McCune runs a ranch helping troubled kids, she’s a cop and a single mother all in one. Cole Quartermaine is referred to Ash to help him with his troubled daughter, which he only found out about when her mother died! Both Cole and Ash get more than they bargained for when they meet…
I highly recommend this book and the complete series to any and all romance lovers. You can’t go wrong with Helen Lacey.
54 reviews1 follower
June 25, 2017
I am so in awe of this woman books, Helen Lacey, she is such a terrific writer and all her characters are so wonderful put together, I will keep reading her books..
The Ranchers unexpected Family was a steamy and well written book that kept glued to the pages and wanting to get to the end and find out what happens. If you are going to read her series , start with the first one ...I absolutely fell in love with and it had me going all the way until this book #5. Start with this book, Three Reasons to Wed.(The Cedar River Cowboys #1) . You will really love her books, just like I did.

I can't wait for more. Thanks Helen Lacey
Profile Image for Janie.
1,329 reviews13 followers
July 17, 2017
"The Rancher's Unexpected Family (The Cedar River Cowboys)" by Helen Lacey is a wonderful, classic romance. Cole Quartermaine finds out that he is a father to a teenage girl that he knew nothing about when her Mother died. He arrives at the ranch for troubled kids and finds that he is attractedto Ash McCune who runs the program. Ash is a strong woman with a past that makes her distrust men and she is raising her son by herself while taking in foster children, and she is also a cop. Both Cole and Ash find themselves drawn to each other and sparks will fly.
934 reviews4 followers
August 23, 2017
The Rancher's Unexpected Family by Helen Lacey. The Cedar River Cowboys series. Ash McCune runs a ranch for troubled kids. Also a police officer and running the ranch and taking care of her son, Jaye.
Cole Quartermaine comes to the ranch with his 14 year old daughter that he just found out about when her mother died six months ago. Cole is a champion ex NASCAR driver, who had to quite driving after a bad car accident at the racetrack. Sparks fly between Cole and Ash. They work together helping each other with their children. A good read.
Profile Image for Amanda.
620 reviews
September 21, 2017

The Rancher's Unexpected Family by Helen Lacey is a sweet, country romance that follows one cowgirl cop and a handsome single dad. This is a good story but I don't think this is Ms. Lacey's best effort yet. I've read other books from this author and immensely enjoyed them. I cannot say the same for her latest release. At times I found the pacing terribly slow and that took away the pleasure of immersing myself in the story one hundred percent. Mind you, The Rancher's Unexpected Family isn't a bad story but it just didn't appeal to me as much I as thought it would.

3.5 Stars

Profile Image for Louise Cusack.
Author 16 books71 followers
June 22, 2017
This book is so steamy it makes your toes curl, but it was also surprisingly sweet and had such a deep emotional core that I cried more than once. Real life characters struggling toward love with believable problems to overcome. I adored the town of Cedar River and particularly liked catching up with characters from previous books in the series. Not only that, the ending was deeply satisfying, and left me wondering if this wasn't my favourite Helen Lacey romance so far!
Profile Image for Katie Valdez.
217 reviews9 followers
April 26, 2018
One of my favourites by far on this series.
It made my heart ache and love, it is the magic of a book right?
So give it a try and enjoy it!
Displaying 1 - 17 of 17 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.