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May 2011

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ACFW Book Club Review: Second Chance Ranch

ACFW Book Club ImageTitle: Second Chance Ranch
Author: Leann Harris
Publisher: Steeple Hill
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Date: December 2010
ISBN: 978-0373876464
Reviewed by: Martha Artyomenko

In June, the ACFW Bookclub will read two books. One of them is Second Chance Ranch by Leann Harris. Join now to read this book with Martha Artyomenko and other bookclub members.

[This book] gives readers a short, but good, description of the struggles facing men and women in the armed forces.

Zachary McClure returns from Iraq with more than physical injuries. He has lost hope that anyone or anything can reach his soul and retrieve it from the dark place it has gone. When he visits an equine-therapy ranch, he is skeptical, but begins to soften when he meets ranch workers and therapy patients.

Cover of First, there’s a special boy, Andy, who sees his artificial leg as a trophy and something to admire. Then he finds a mentor in Ollie, the foreman, a man who has experience helping a family member who returned injured after the first Gulf War. Zach’s doubts are tested most when he meets Sophie Powell, an ex-army medic and his sister’s old college roommate, who wants to try out some therapy methods on him. Can she reach behind Zach’s bitterness and pain to his heart and soul?

Like most Love Inspired books, Second Chance Ranch is short, but it deals with deep topics. Leann Harris’ characters face hardships from circumstances that can’t be changed; they blame themselves, but also deal with feeling the blame of others. Readers will relate Harris’ topics to their own lives and be encouraged to find healing, move forward, and push out of their comfort zones, even when it means a set up for failure.

I enjoyed the romance, but I found with this story, romance wasn’t its primary focus—which was nice. Second Chance Ranch is written well and gives readers a short, but good, description of the struggles facing men and women in the armed forces.

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