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Moon Ranch #1

Tough and Tamed

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Revenge sex and a healthy dose of a bad boy making all the wrong decisions equals one hell of a wild ride. The horse is optional.

Zayden Moon and his brothers are back home for the old man’s funeral, but too bad none of them give a damn what happens to the failing ranch they’ve inherited or all the bad memories that come with it. Now Zayden has more than his murky past and the ranch to contend with. As usual, trouble comes searching for him when he’s asked to rescue a woman lost on the mountain, stranded on Valentines’ Day of all things, and he’s the only man who knows where to look. And whoooeee, there’s a lot to look at when it comes to this curvaceous beauty.

Esme thought she was going to the mountain getaway to receive a diamond ring, and instead she’s abandoned by her boyfriend and left to make her own way down the jagged terrain. When a sexy cowboy rides in on a white steed, she thinks she’s seeing things, but soon his warm, rough hands show her otherwise. A hot and heavy dose of revenge sex seems to be in order too, right?

If Zayden had a heart, he’d be falling for the woman with spunk to match her wild curls, but he knows better than to attempt a relationship. And Lordy, Esme sure gravitates to the worst men… except there’s something more to Zayden than he allows anyone to see. If she ever figures out what, she might give Zayden a chance, because the man’s kisses sure can knot a woman up.

215 pages, Kindle Edition

Published February 24, 2020

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Em Petrova

201 books1,327 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 146 reviews
6,108 reviews20 followers
February 24, 2020
This is the first book in the Moon ranch series and this book is about Zayden the eldest of the siblings (Dane and Asher are his brothers) and the one who has to make decision about whether it is practical to try to keep the family ranch after their father has nearly destroyed it what they do know is that they will have the support of Mimi their "mum" no matter what they decide

Before he can make those decision though he is called out to help find a woman that has gone missing in the middle of a Storm The person who he needs to find and rescue is Esme she has headed to a cabin with her boyfriend Owen in fact she expects that he will propose while they are there what he actually does is leaves her taking the car with him and stranding her, she sets off walking trying to find safety. That safety will come in the form of a rugged cowboy who rescues her . With Zayden having a bad reputation and Esme not trusting her choice in men can the attraction they feel for one another be anything but a fling or have they both finally found the one thing that they have been looking for.
6,882 reviews80 followers
February 23, 2020
What an awesome start to a new series! The author does a fantastic job bringing two strong,likable characters in Esme and Zayden. She brings tons of emotions as these two navigate along through all the drama and suspense as well as the romance. I was captured from start to finish reading their story. It's well written with detailed and vividly painted scenes,moves fluidly and is , in my opinion , a must read. Highly recommend!

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book. All opinions in this review are my own and freely given.
Profile Image for Chanel.
1,833 reviews
October 14, 2022
With this author there is always a good story, interesting characters, but too many detailed sex scenes. Zayden and Esme are opposites that just click. Zayden.’s family is dysfunctional and may pull some triggers. There are times I just wanted to cry for the upbringing of the Moon brothers.
Profile Image for Tammy.
8,855 reviews34 followers
February 26, 2020
Zayden returns home to bury his father and care for the family ranch. While there he is asked to lead a rescue mission during a snowstorm. He finds Esme and sparks fly between them. Fast-paced read with plenty of drama and steam. Great characters with an entertaining story. I really liked it.
1,058 reviews23 followers
March 7, 2020
Zayden And Esme Dance Around Their Attraction Until Zayden Excuses It Under The Guise Of Revenge Sex. A Few Laughs And Tears But Sometimes Drags.

This is the first book in the Moon Ranch series about three wayward brothers who inherit the family ranch. Located in the podunk town of Stokes, Colorado, Moon Ranch is in a state of disrepair when Chaz Moon's liver finally fails him after a lifetime of drunkenness. Most cattle and horses are long gone and it is unclear how he had managed without any income aside from his military pension. His wife had left him when the boys were young, and she abandoned her sons to the psychological and physical abuse of their father. As they came of age the boys left home, scarred and broken, one by one. Only Mimi remained to look after Chaz and the ranch, as Zayden had once asked of her.

Book one follows Zayden, the eldest Moon boy. Book two is Dane's story - the brother that became a male dancer in Vegas. In book three, Asher's story is told as the bounty hunter returns home.

Zayden Moon, roughly between twenty-six and twenty-eight, is gifted with horses and has the Moon charm that comes in handy with the ladies and beyond. But underneath the heartstopping grin and great looks, he carries a load of baggage. He shouldered the burden of running a ranch and raising his younger brothers due to his absent mother and good for nothing drunk father. At thirteen he effectively ran the ranch. In desperation he went to the neighboring Ute reservation looking for help, and came back with Mimi, in her fifties, who effectively became the combined mother and grandmother figure to the young boys. He hired Mimi and two hands to help out, but at sixteen he dropped out of school to run the ranch full time. When he came of age he left the ranch and abuse behind, but had spent a decade lost, working construction, blowing his paychecks, and getting into bar fights. He had a record to show for it. Still, he didn't want to become his father and hadn't touched alcohol in months when he got the call about his dad.

As the fixer of the family, Zayden reluctantly assumes responsibility for attempting to get the ranch up and running again. After so many years without direction, he is surprised to find himself resorting to his old habits. When a young woman, Esme, is reported missing on the neighboring mountain in the midst of a snowstorm, he doesn't hesitate to volunteer to assist with the search. He finds her wet and cold but thankfully without frostbite. He is drawn to her, but probably just because he hadn't been with a woman for some time. He only did quick hookups because of the Moon curse; he was too damaged for a relationship. Yet with Esme, his protective instincts kick in, and no matter how many times he walks away, convinced he isn't good for her, he can't get her out of his mind.

Esme, roughly in her early to mid-twenties, loves all things outdoorsy. She studied business and finance in college, but quit before finishing in order to follow her bum of a boyfriend from Tennessee to Stokes, Colorado. She got a job at People's Credit Union and stayed even after their relationship ended. She likes her new hometown, even if she doesn't have family or friends outside of work. Unfortunately, her taste in men is awful and every man she dates turns out to be a bum. After eight months together, Owen abandoned her in a mountain top cabin. But her handsome rescuer not only sees to her physical well-being - he has such kind words that she begins to believe him. She doesn't like playing victim, so she decides to heed his advice. She decides to make a change and stop falling for losers who only value her for what she can do to please them in and out of the bedroom.

Zayden and Esme dance around their attraction until Zayden can't hold off anymore. But their excuse is under the guise of revenge sex, as Zayden makes clear he isn't good for her otherwise. But when the couple can't get enough, they find themselves treading into the relationship zone. Zayden struggles to keep the ranch a float while Esme tries to regain control over her career, and they lean on one another for support. All the while Zayden is a gentleman with Esme as he insists she deserves better than him. It isn't until he recognizes that he isn't his dad, that he can make a change and end the cycle, that he finally begins to see the possibility of a real future with Esme. The couple eventually earns a happy ending.

Zayden and Esme's story shows the struggle to overcome a difficult childhood with a drunken parent. There are a few laughs and a tears. The plot is fairly developed but the story drags. While more could be written of Esme's background, Zayden and Mimi's characters are well-defined. Zayden and Esme are both enjoyable to read about. Mimi's character is a wonderful addition and there will hopefully be more of her in the remaining books of the series. The story is written in third person. The POV alternates between Zayden and Esme. I rate this book 3.5 stars.

I received a free copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review.
1,530 reviews3 followers
February 26, 2020
Zayden Moon had returned to Stokes, Colorado only to bury his good for nothing father and leave again. When he got there and saw the ranch again with the help of Mimi the woman that helped him raise his brothers Dane and Asher, he was not so sure that was what he wanted to do any more. Zayden went into town to pick up up feed when he heard that a woman was lost in the mountains during a blizzard. A couple of the guys at the feed store convinced him that he needed to join the search. Finally, he decided that he would, and he started by driving up to the cabin where she was supposed to be staying, but finds her gone. He headed home to get a horse to start searching that way.

Esme had been asked by her boyfriend Owen of eight months to spend Valentine weekend with him in the mountains. She was sure he was going to propose, but when she went into the bathroom to change for the night and came back out she could not find him anywhere. When she looked outside the jeep was gone. He had left her up on the mountain with no transportation or phone signal. It was starting to snow, so she knew being from the mountains of Tennessee that she could not stay there. She needed to head down the mountain until she could get a phone signal and call for help. Putting on as many warm layers as she could, she started down the mountain using all the knowledge she knew from the mountains back home to survive.

Zayden found where she had been in one of the lower cabin's, but she had moved on. He moved on out to follow her and soon caught up with her. He took her back to the cabin as it was closer than town. He needed to get her warm and fast. The cabin had a small place he could put the horse out of the weather. He got Esme in front of the fireplace undressed with a blanket to warm. Mimi had packed him some soup and hot chocolate mix to fix. He fixed her a bowl of soup and cup of cocoa to warm insides. Afterwards he tucked her into bed sliding in beside her to share his body heat as she was still cold. The next morning they returned to town, where Zayden took Esme home.

They saw each other only on occasion after that, usually when Esme made another poor choice regarding a man. Zayden kept telling her that she deserved better than she was getting. Finally, she started to believe him, and she was teaching him that he was better than he thought. They brought out the best in each other.

Wonderful development of characters especially the two main ones, with outstanding supporting characters. It is a lesson that people can change and not everyone in a family is alike. Well worth the read.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Bec.
1,344 reviews22 followers
February 24, 2020
Esme was depicted as a woman who needed a man. Needed. She went to the mountain cottage with her boyfriend of eight months thinking she was about to receive a proposal. Instead Owen had left and taken the truck with him leaving her stranded. No word. Ever. Why? What was he thinking? When she does manage a phone conversation with him he said he was stupid and let’s have dinner together and he would explain. Only he doesn’t show. Again. Still the question remains, why? Yes, you can say he is a dick, selfish, whatever. But it was just so abrupt without any closure to go from thinking your relationship was one way when it was completely the opposite. I guess I needed closure more than the heroine. It was just a convenient non event. A way to have the hero be a hero. Only it never made any sense.

She then immediately falls for the hero. She isn’t even heartbroken over the Owen situation. I mean a proposal means you are all in ready to marry someone. Was she that needy it’s all about having a ring on your finger? Did she love him? So here she is falling in love with Z. Moon. He has feelings to and it’s all very convincing. He has many insecurities from the upbringing he had. He was away from the ranch for ten years but you don’t hear what he did. It seems like he didn’t accomplish much in that time. He at least makes some headway at the ranch and improves his outlook on life in general. There was a lot to fix up from his fathers dirty deeds it just seemed to keep raining trouble. It got a little depressing after a while. I’m glad some things came together because at one point it seemed like he would need miracles to start a new life.

The romance was quick. There was push and pull but mostly just his insecurities holding it back. She was saying that she needed to change her ways but really didn’t only we are to accept that he was a better bet than the losers of her past. She followed a man to a new town and then follows a different man up the mountain cottage. Then she’s with the hero who has endless trouble ahead of him, so I really can’t see that she changed only that she found the right guy this time.

The story was well written but short at three hundred pages. I have read a few other books from this author and will read more. Who doesn’t enjoy a good cowboy yarn?🙃
Profile Image for Karen Roma.
2,691 reviews31 followers
February 23, 2020
Zayden is the eldest of the Moons and forced to decide whether to sell the family ranch or try to save the legacy that has been decimated by his late father. But before that can happen, Z is called upon to head a rescue mission during a fierce Colorado storm. Esme thought a romantic Valentines getaway was exciting, even faced with the bitter cold of a Colorado winter; and getting ditched by her so called lover was not on her radar. Hiking through the snow, getting lost and cold, Esme is relieved when a sexy Cowboy comes to her rescue. And so the adventure begins…..

Tough and Tamed is the first book in Em Petrova’s brand new Moon Ranch series, that follows the trials and tribulations of the three Moon brothers drawn back to the family ranch after the death of their alcoholic father. Memories of their childhood aren’t something the Moons are all that eager to relive, but time and circumstance will make facing their demons a necessary evil and a catalyst to their future survival.

An intriguing story that details bad reputations, total humiliation, family drama and disappointment, tough decisions, unprecedented challenges, and a depth a commitment to hold on to what seems unobtainable. The Moon Ranch is set to be the background for some exciting and not so welcome events, but through it all, Mimi will be there supporting her beloved boys, Zayden, Dane and Asher (as only a surrogate mother can) and ensuring that there’s food on the table and unconditional love for them all.

If your familiar with Ms Petrova’s writing, you are probably expecting a fast-paced, sexy romp that burns up the pages and sets your heart racing. Tough and Tamed is more of a slow burn and set at a more moderate pace than previous books, but no less enjoyable. Zayden and Esme are an intriguing couple that find each other in the worst of conditions, but when they most need stability. You can’t help but be drawn to Esme’s infectious personality and Z is you’re A typical broody, misunderstood hero. Together they may succeed in slaying their demons.

But trouble’s on the horizon, and Dane Moon will be front and centre.
Profile Image for Connie.
1,502 reviews4 followers
February 14, 2020
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Booksprout and I am voluntarily reviewing it.

This is a great read. I thoroughly enjoyed spending time on Moon Ranch with Zayden Moon and Esme. Zayden grew up with an alcoholic father and a mother that abandon him and his two younger brothers. As an early tween, Zayden assumed control of the ranch and his brothers. He goes to the nearest reservation and hires Mimi. Mimi is a mother and grandmother all rolled into one to the boys. Zayden leaves home and after a decade away only comes home long enough to bury his father and sell the ranch. He soon learns of a young lady that is lost on the mountain and there is a storm raging up there. Zayden goes to save the woman and meets, Esme. Esme's tale is also a sad one. Her boyfriend takes her up to a cabin in the mountains on Valentine's Day. While she is in the bathroom getting ready and expecting an engagement ring, he leaves. Say what?!

This tale is one for the books. Two people who have suffered heart-break after heart-break. Zayden is also facing challenges right and left as to the debt his father left attached to the ranch and the Moon name. Fortunately it seems that Esme is more resilient and soon is "chasing" Zayden. I adored her. I also adored the dual POV format that this story is written in. I wasn't raised in an environment like the Moon boys and I wouldn't have completely understood Zayden's actions at times if I didn't have that glimpse into his thoughts. It was so heart-breaking for me as a reader to fully identify with such a broken spirited (at times) man; especially as he was so alpha like. It was so endearing tale.

This is a spicy read (not erotica in the sense that it is just a book of sex scenes and no story) so I can only highly recommend this to anyone over the age of 18. If you adore your male protagonist as an alpha but very humanized, along with a STRONG female protagonist, than you will definitely enjoy this story.
Profile Image for CarolKat.
1,799 reviews16 followers
February 21, 2020
Zayden really didn't want to be back in Stokes and his return starts with a confrontation with a deputy he knew years ago. That said, his family didn't have a very good reputation thanks to his now deceased father. At the moment all he wants to do is get the man buried, sell the ranch and leave.

Of course that's not what's going to happen, he has an innate sense of responsibility and upon seeing MiMi the woman who is both mother and grandmother to him and his brothers he knew leaving was out of the question.

As he sort of settles in he runs into some folks as he's buying feed for the animals. A young woman is missing on the mountain in the storm that's headed this way.

Thing is she's not missing per se, she was left on purpose. When Esme discovered Owen had stranded her on the mountain she was a lot more than angry. In a move that probably wasn't smart, she decides to leave the cabin, hoping to find cell service further down the mountain or maybe a ride back to town.

Freezing she finds shelter under a pine tree to shelter her from the elements a bit. This is where Zayden finds her, but it's too late and she's way to cold for him to take her all the way back to his truck.

After an interesting night in a cabin Zayden brings her home.

Between all the things wrong with the ranch, the debts, and even theft left to him by his father, Zayden didn't have time for a relationship. His brothers Asher and Dane were little to no help as one leaves and one Zayden has to send away, although with a heavy heart.

Esme has a talent for finding the wrong guys and Zayden appears to be her go to guy for rescue. While these two start out as just friends, once things heat up between them they sizzle off the pages.

Twists, turns and plenty of heat will have you turning the pages. I can't wait to read Dane's story in the next book 'Screwed and Satisfied'.
Profile Image for Viper Spaulding.
2,852 reviews18 followers
February 17, 2020
I'm over the Moon for Zayden!

Zayden is a known scoundrel, but also a real-life hero. Returning to his childhood home to bury his father, he is resigned to the fact that the family ranch needs him as much as he needs a purpose in his life. He's got a lot of bad reputation - some his, but mostly his father's - to live down, and that starts with rescuing a damsel in distress stranded on the mountain he knows better than anyone else.

Esme has had such rotten luck with men that she rightly distrusts her ability to tell the good ones from the bad. Still, there's something about Zayden that she's never encountered before. Once their insatiable chemistry ignites, there's no stopping their runaway train of a romance.

I loved, loved, loved all the emotions and heat in this story. Esme and Zayden both have a lot of insecurities to wade through, and it was so heartwarming to watch them learn to trust themselves as they trust each other. Each joyous high point is countered with authentic doubts, letting the reader see right into their broken yet hopeful hearts. So much family history is on display here in the small town of Stokes, and the author uses every bit of it to reveal all the layers of the charming cast of characters.

In the end, Zayden realizes that the mountain he explored as a child trying to find himself has gifted him with the answer to all of his life's questions in the form of the enchanting Esme. Their HEA was hard won and so very satisfying. This is a terrific romance, and a very promising start to a new series. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.
2,200 reviews
February 26, 2020
This is book one in the Moon Ranch series.First off, I love the cover and the blurb 'Revenge sex and a healthy dose of a bad boy making all the wrong decisions equals one hell of a wild ride. Horse optional.', well I could not resist opening this book up and giving it a read. This is Zayden's story and an eye opening into the family life and what the ranch impressions mean to him. The Moon brother's gather back at home for their father's funeral. None of them really care about the failing ranch that they inherited. To make things worse according to Zayden, he needs to go out and locate a lost woman on Valentine's Day yet. Zayden does not know it yet but locating this woman, Esme, may be worth it and more when he does find her. Esme believes her boyfriend is going to propose, its Valentine's Day after all, on their mountain getaway but instead she is left on her own to get back and she ends up lost. When Zayden comes riding in on his white horse looking all hot and sexy, Esme has a dilemma. Is their attraction purely physical or is there more to it? Can Zayden and Esme take a chance and risk their hearts one more time? This book had a great story, offered just enough details to get the basics of the Moon brothers but left more to be discovered as each of the brothers share their stories in future books. I cannot wait to see what happens and fingers crossed, they will all find their special someones and a HEA. They each deserve it. Enjoy!

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
February 20, 2020
This book is gritty, sexy and real!

It's only the first book in the series and already I am hooked! Zayden Moon is not normally the kind of man that would "turn my head", but I can't help admiring his grit and pure stubborn determination to end the negative stigma that his drunken father put on his family's name. Despite being rough and tumbled on the outside, Zayden is a man who would go above and beyond to protect those he loves, including his 2 brothers, his "Mimi" and a curvaceous fireball named Esme who inserts herself into his life after he rescued her from the mountaintop during a snowstorm. Esme's fervert belief in his goodness, along with their combustible passion, is the missing element needed to help him face life's adversities that continually keep beating him down after his father's death. Will he be able to rise above all of life's challenges to become the man he longs to become? Or will he let the Moon name define him and give up on achieving his dreams?

This is book has all of the wild passion, intriguing characters and fascinating plot development that author Em Petrova's book have become synonymous with. This series is another "must read series" which I will eagerly await the next book release.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
851 reviews4 followers
February 23, 2020
Everyone in town knew the Moon boys and their drunken, conniving father...well the father died, leaving three sons, the oldest being Zayden who had to grow up and drop out of school to try to run the ranch...ten years later, after liver disease finally took his father, Zayden had to make some big decisions like if he was going to stay and try to bring the ranch back to life...he had Mimi, the part-Ute woman who took care of the boys, Zayden, Dane and Archer, when they were younger and still cared for the ranch with the aid of her grand-nephew. Zayden was in town getting feed when he heard of woman stranded in mountain storm on Valentines Day. He rode out to look for her, eventually finding her while on horseback since he knew the mountain so well...he had to get her warm so took to another cabin and they talked...Esme came to small town in Colorado from Tennessee following a man, who she broke up with, then started going out with man who took off, stranding her in cabin with no vehicle or cell service...really decided to never trust men again until she met Zayden... who she called whenever she wanted to talk or have wild-uninhibited evenings...but you will need to read this story to see what happens...I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
94 reviews1 follower
February 25, 2020
Explosive right from the first page. A bad boy coming home to bury his vicious and abusive father and a woman abandoned by her boyfriend on a mountain on Valentine's day in a major snowstorm. What could go wrong? Zayden Moon has been labelled bad from childhood because of his father - nothing has gone right for him his whole life. When he finds Esme on the mountain half frozen it opens up feelings in him that he has never felt before. When nothing but trouble follows Zayden because of his crooked father he starts to loose faith in himself. His two brothers, Dane and Asher, don't seem to want to help him save their ranch. The housekeeper, Mimi, seems to be the only one to want to help. Jayden starts to have feelings for Esme after he saves her. His lust hits him hard. This book is full blown incinerating. There are lots of twists and turns and you wonder how Zayden handles it all. The tension runs high and there is a heck of a punch while reading it. There is emotional power and fiery passion. Friendship blooms along the way with angst, laughter and lots of steamy hot sex! It is a sizzling romance with a clever mix of seduction and heat. Cover to cover this was a truly a provocative treat to read.. Highly recommend it. Hang on for an intense ride! I received an ARC of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Raecharmed.
7,543 reviews41 followers
March 14, 2020
Zayden comes back to the family ranch when he learns that his father has died. He doesn't want to be there but once he saw Mimi he knew he wouldn't be leaving because she was his family. When he heard that a young woman was lost on the mountain he volunteered to go search for her. Esme expected something more from her boyfriend when they headed to the mountains. However being left alone with no way down but to walk and no phone service wasn't how she saw her getaway being. When Zayden finds her she is half froze so they stay the night at a cabin. It starts with friendship between Esme and Zayden especially when she keeps putting herself in bad situations with other men. Zayden starts working the ranch only to find more secrets his father has left behind. His brothers only show for a brief time and then move on with their lives. When Zayden realizes that he wants Esme for his own he goes after her. But will he push her away when more things crop up that he didn't know about from his father? Can Esme convince him that she's the one for him?

This is an amazing story once I started it I couldn't put it down. The chemistry between them is blazing hot. This is a well written and very entertaining story. I would recommend this book to any book lover.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Emily Pennington.
15.9k reviews195 followers
February 24, 2020
Zayden Moon leaves home, eager to escape from his alcoholic father. When his father dies, he is forced to come home to make a decision about whether to sell the family ranch that has been ruined by his father or try to make a go of it and salvage the family's reputation. Zayden hears that a woman has been lost on the mountain – literally dumped and abandoned by her so-called boyfriend -- and there is a fierce storm making rescue difficult. So he heads out to find her if he can.

Foolishly, Esme leaves the relative safety of the cabin to look for a cell tower further down the mountain. Zayden finds her half-frozen to death and needs to take her back to the cabin since he wouldn’t be able to safely get her to his truck in time in her current condition. There is something about Zayden that draws her to him. Will they ignore their sizzling chemistry? Is either one ready to consider a relationship after what they have been going through?

I felt like I was looking under a rock and finding these horrible people Zayden and Esme have been exposed to! Will Zayden and Esme take a chance on starting over, leaving their difficult pasts behind? Grab your copy and see if two people can find love despite the bad experiences in their lives.
1,734 reviews8 followers
February 25, 2020
Going home again was not always what you expected…

Zayden was home though he didn’t want to be. The feelings his hometown gave him were a storm of mostly bad though his brothers were the only good memories he had. Faced with an impossible task, he gritted his teeth, kept quiet and just went about his business… Until Esme crossed his path…

Esme chose the town for her new home but she was questioning many of her recent decisions. Not the least of which was a boyfriend who just vanished and left her literally fighting for her life. Being rescued by a sexy cowboy may not have been on her to do list but it sure now topped every list she’d ever written…

I admit I was confused about the ex-boyfriend, who was a douche no doubt, but I really wanted to know more about the drama that caused this story to spark. I will definitely not argue with the results though as Zayden and Esme’s story was an emotion and heat-filled read from start to finish. Zayden was delicious and Esme the perfect woman for him, with their chemistry brightening the way. Stoic and aloof met warm and supportive in an insta-lust beginning that was just the start of a loving romance…

I couldn’t be happier that this is the first of the brother’s stories!

*I happily reviewed this story
**Thank you to Booksprout
1,144 reviews5 followers
February 26, 2020
Tough and Tamed is the first book in the Moon Ranch series. Zayden has come back to his family ranch for the first time in years, long enough for his deadbeat father’s funeral and then he plans on leaving again. But between the lady that helped raise him and a bad winter storm leaving a woman stranded on a mountain, could Zayden turn his life around?

Wow, what a way to start off a series! Zayden and Esme’s romance is not one that’s fast, but it is intense, with friendship, support, passion, and trying to turn bad habits around. I think one of my favorite aspects about Zayden was that he often thought the worst of himself, but underneath his gruff exterior, he was a protector and honestly quite sweet. I loved his interactions with Mimi and his brothers, I loved that he didn’t back down from a challenge, and I loved how hard he worked to try to turn himself around. Esme was a very likable character, and I loved her romantic mind, her passion, and the way she fights for what she wants. I thought they were fantastic together! There’s definitely a lot of drama in this book, but I liked how deep into the characters Ms. Petrova dove! I am loving how this series started and look forward to the next Moon brother’s story!
Profile Image for Lady Elizabeth.
454 reviews14 followers
March 16, 2020
The oldest of the Moon brothers is Zayden. He's the one that arrived first back into town after his father died. His idea was to help Mimi, the closest thing they had as a mother, and get rid of the ranch to leave as soon as possible.

The town doesn't love the Moon family and still they ask him to help in a rescue mission during a storm. After he finds the woman people are looking for things starts to change for him, and he's not exactly happy with the change of heart he's having.

Esme expected to have a wonderful Valentine's trip with her boyfriend, staying in a cabin and probably getting a proposal. Instead, she ended up alone at the cabin without a way back to town, a storm coming. Lucky for her Zayden found her and rescued her.

This Em Petrova story it's heart-warming, sexy, interesting and has characters that feel realistic enough to make you forget that what you're reading it's fiction.

I enjoyed Zayden and Esme's story. Besides that, I have to admit I'm too curious and want to get my hands on Dane's book as soon as possible. Reading books with cowboys it's becoming one of my favorite activities this year so far.

Obs: I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review. This is my unbiased opinion.
Profile Image for Stacy J..
1,314 reviews9 followers
February 14, 2020
This is one hardworking and determined cowboy.

I loved the character of Zayden. While he has a past, it's not hard to see that he a good man. When he comes back to town for his father's funeral, he isn't welcomed with open arms. However, when he gets to the ranch, he starts to realize what his purpose is in life. My heart broke for him because it seemed like every time I turned a page some more bad news came his way that he didn't see coming.

Esme is a kind and caring individual. She does seem to go after the "wrong" kind of men though. However when she meet Zayden, you start to see she is what he needs and the same can be said for her. I liked that she was portrayed as being sweet and kind, yet she has a backbone made of steel and doesn't have a problem taking on a stubborn man like Zayden.

I do thing the unsung hero of this book is Mimi. This woman put up with more that any one person should have to. First with Zayden's father and then being the sounding board for Zayden. She is his biggest supporter and also the person who will get in his face and give him some tough love.
894 reviews
February 25, 2020
A great start to a great new series by Em Petrova, one of my favorite authors. Zayden Moon is returning home to the Moon Ranch after being gone for years to bury his drunken father. When he sees the state the ranch is in, he knows he has to be the one to takeover and get it back on track. But before he can do anything, he is called on to help rescue a young woman lost in the mountains with a winter storm brewing. He’s the only one who knows those mountains the best and he WILL find her on his own. After he rescues Emma from her ordeal, the attraction between the two is strong, but he has his reputation to overcome, no thanks to his drunk of a father and all the bills he left his sons to pay. A realistic storyline that contains hurt, anger, danger, judgmental people and the determination to overcome the past to make a new life. Esme and Zayden both have past issues to deal with, but through their growing love each comes out stronger, wiser and determined to make a life together. I loved, loved, loved this book and can’t wait for the other Moon brothers’ stories.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Elsie Pitt.
1,718 reviews8 followers
February 27, 2020
Zayden had a no good father but managed to raise his brothers and keep Moon Ranch going even being away. This spoke volumes to me as his character transformed into the Tough Sexy ALPHA he became throughout the story. Esme was bitterly abandoned by a selfish, despicable poor excuse for a man. She not only gets abandoned but is left in the middle of a major blizzard. Zayden is in town getting supplies and gets into a conversation with the locals needing a man to go out and find this girl. Now I have to say that Esme was written as a girl needing a man but I thought it was in respect of her. She needs whatever Moon Ranch can offer her to really live. That is where Mimi comes in as she is the force that keeps it all together. Zayden has is own issues to deal with like his reputation primarily from his fathers contemptable ways but some are his doing also.
This book had me from the first page. I loved reading about Moon Ranch and am excited to read more from these fantastic men and the women that can tame them.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Denise .
843 reviews7 followers
April 4, 2020
Tough and Tamed is a great first book in the Moon Ranch series from Em Petrova. Zayden, the H, is a handsome and capable man whose self-esteem is pretty nonexistent. He has spent most of his life held down by the low expectations of everybody who knew his wastrel of a father, and he shares in those low expectations. The reality is that Zayden is a very good guy. He is a ‘fixer’ who cannot figure out how to fix himself.

Esme, the h, is also a victim of her own bad self-esteem. She is beautiful and sweet and makes very bad decisions. She has a history of choosing terrible guys and giving up everything for them, only to be left miserable and worse off than she started. She’s a strong young woman who doesn’t see herself that way.

These 2 vivid characters take turns rescuing one other, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. And the heat between them could melt your page! Zayden is a world-class dirty talker by the way! This was an excellent story with compelling characters. The secondary characters were also interesting and added a lot of depth. (Can I say here that I wish I had a Mimi!) This book was definitely a winner.
Profile Image for Paula.
1,526 reviews2 followers
February 17, 2020
I really enjoyed reading this story .
Zayden Moon and his brothers did not have an easy up bring their father was an abusive drunk . Zayden at a young age kept their Ranch barely up and running .
He and his brothers left years later . Called home to their fathers funeral , Zayden must decide if he wants to make ago of ranching or let it go . When a young woman Esme get stranded in the mountains during a bad storm , Zayden heads out to rescue her . Esme is left stranded when her no good boyfriend leaves her . Zayden comes to her rescue , they are definitely attracted to each other . Zayden fights his attraction to Esme because one he thinks she deserves better than he can provide and two he has a mess to deal with thanks to
his father . Esme and Zayden find themselves drawn together time and time again and their friendship grows as does their feelings . Esme had her work cutout for her breaking Zaydens walls down . This is a fantastic suspenseful romance . The characters are wonderful . This is book one in the Moon Ranch Series . I highly recommend reading .
2,793 reviews4 followers
February 26, 2020
Esme has the worst luck with men. Her latest boyfriend leaves her alone in a cabin on the mountainside, no cell service, no transportation, insufficient clothing. Zayden is back in town, and as one of the infamous Moon brothers, his reputation precedes him. His no-good drunken father just died. He's thinking about staying on the ranch to try and make a go of it, but his father left so many unpaid bills and debts. When there's someone who needs rescuing on the mountain, he's all in - no one knows that mountain better than he does, and he rescues Esme. What a wild ride this book is - Esme and Zayden have terrific chemistry, yet he thinks he's not a good man, certainly not good enough for a relationship. She sees the man he is, not the boy he was, or the son of a drunk. Mimi - just the best woman for her undying support of the brothers, and for putting up with his dad for so many years. This is a great opener to a new series.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Leslie Sanchez.
1,774 reviews2 followers
March 13, 2020
Zayden is back to his hometown to put his father in the ground. He was not a nice man and there is nobody grieving, including his three sons. But the town hasn't forgotten and blames the boys for their father's misdeeds. They inherited the ranch, which is falling apart plus the bills outstanding for it. However when a woman is stranded on the mountain in a snow storm and Zayden knows that mountain better than anyone. So who did they call? Right, Zayden.

Esme goes on a winter vacation with her boyfriend thinking he was gonna propose. What did he do, took off and stranded her in the cabin with a storm moving in. Of course she's devastated and heads out to hike down the mountain. At least that worm of a boyfriend called and reported her stranded. When Zayden finds her they become friends. What I didn't like was Esme's attitude about giving Mr. Worm another chance. This is a fantastic story and I love Ms. Petrova's cowboys as much as her special forces operatives. I requested an advanced reader copy from Booksprout and am under no obligation to leave this review.
Profile Image for Shelly Celli.
2,229 reviews6 followers
February 21, 2020
This man has strength he didn’t know he had. Him and his brothers have had it rough with a drunk for a father, but he took over when he was young and now that his fathers gone, he’s taking over again. The Moon brothers aren’t tight by any means, but Z is there for them and tries to do right by everyone when he can. When Esme is stranded on the mountain, he realizes he can do some good and that starts to break the cycle. Watching their relationship grow into a love that no one can deny is sweet, but heartbreaking too. He’s so worried he’ll turn out like his father that he doesn’t realize all the good he’s doing has already starting breaking the pattern he believes he’ll follow. With Mimi and Esme at his back, he grows stronger daily and becomes a better man than he dreamed of. I cannot wait to see how things with his brothers turn out too.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
59 reviews
February 22, 2020
The story follows Zayden, a tough alpha-male who's upbringing left him fearful of repeating history and Esme, a pretty tough lady herself despite her own complicated backstory.
When Zayden comes home for his father's funeral and to settle his estate, he is asked to help with a woman stranded in a cabin in the mountains in the middle of a storm. Of course he is the one to find Esme, who had gone there for valentines day with her boyfriend, expecting a ring, only to be left hanging when he suddenly up and leaves her there. Alone. Stranded.
What follows is lots of sex and laughter. But despite all this, and despite the good he's done, Zayden is still terrified that he will turn out exactly like his alcoholic father was. So while he may have started out as her saviour, she might have just become his.
Another great one by Em Petrova.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for JigsawGirl.
2,899 reviews
February 24, 2020
A good start to a new series. A fast paced, easy read that grabbed me from the very of and held on until the last page. I would give it 4.5 stars.

When Zayden found Esme on the mountain, I didn't expect the book to take the direction it ended up taking. Both Zayden and Esme had their fair share of baggage to overcome.

I liked the way that Zayden was there for Esme when she reached out to him. Although they were very attracted to one another, they started out developing a friendship. I also liked that although Esme had some really experiences, she didn't turn into a timid, fragile flower. She held her own. She was in intelligent, strong, and went after what she wanted.

Zayden and Esme successfully worked toward their HEA on a few different levels. Sweet, romantic, and steamy, all working together. I am looking forward to the other Moon brothers books.

I voluntarily read and reviewed the Advanced Reader Copy of this book received via Booksprout.
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