3 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Beth Jumper Book Contemporary Cowboys Dreamspinner Fade to black/No Steam Gay Heat Index Insta Love m/m Mary D May/December May/December Mid level angst Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Opposites attract Part of a Series Standalone writer

Meanwhile Back at the Ranch by L A Merrill

release day review

 Dreamspinner Presents

David Marks is looking for the perfect place to film his new web series and recover from his latest failed relationship. When reclusive writer Michael Sharp opens his Montana ranch to paying guests, David knows he’s found the right place—but he doesn’t expect to find Mr. Right too.

Forty years ago Michael Sharp’s father was murdered in front of him. No one believed a six-year-old boy’s testimony against the powerful Carver brothers. For years Michael has lived in self-imposed exile, the only living witness who can bring down the Carver criminal empire. But now the money is running out, and he’s forced to play host to a troupe of temperamental web actors and their energetically attractive director in order to stay alive.

The Carvers aren’t about to stand for rebellion. Michael has outlived his usefulness. Now Michael and David have to find a way to end this fight once and for all, finding justice for Michael’s father and meeting David’s funding deadline—all before one or both of them ends up dead.

Review by Beth

There were some interesting concepts and twists in this story. Film crew going to a location they have only viewed online, ranch opening as a resort to help pay a debt, and little to no internet signal lead to a comedy in errors for the first half of this short story.
David has great ideas for stories, he just sucks at dialog. Michael wrote a book 20 years ago that was so popular it was made into a movie. I just don’t think spending 5 nights writing together inspires the insta love the story presents. I would look at this story more as a how do we survive instead of a romance.
Like I said there are a couple twists you don’t see coming so the story will keep your interest, but as a romance or love story it’s just too unbelievable.

3 of 5 stars



Review by Mary

I have not read anything by L.A. Merrill before and I found this story interesting. David comes across as a klutzy character. He has had a difficult life and his heart is in the right place but life doesn’t go well for him. Michael is stoic. He knows he has to face the Carvers but doesn’t want to get any one else involved. It was a gentle romance over a short period of time. The romance sort of happens in the background while the focus is on the filming and then the Carvers. All of which is fine by me. I really liked that Ronni and Jen also found love, it was a nice touch.

I didn’t really get a sense of Montana in the story. The description of the scenery wasn’t very detailed so I found it hard to picture the setting or get a feel for the beauty of Montana. But that is just my assumption of the series, to showcase the State the book is about, it doesn’t really detract from the story at all. It still works quite well. The story itself is intriguing and pretty well encapsulated within the novella.

I would have liked more in the conclusion. It is happy for now for Ronni and Jen with a hint of happy ever after for Michael and David.


3 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided by Publisher For Honest Review

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.