The Cattleman's Ready Made Family by Michelle Douglas

Reviewed by Desere

The loss of a loved one can be very painful and life altering to the point where nothing seems real any more and your faith is so low that it will take a truly special event to restore your strength.

In the case of Tess that special event does not come in the form of something but rather someone.

That someone is I'll-knock-your-boots-off  Cam. He is immediately intrigued by Tess and falls in love with her niece and nephew on the spot, not to mention the woman herself.

But both Tess and Cam have a past that can shatter their future. Betrayal, hopes, dreams, love and the hope of a family all come into play in this fabulous read!

The characters of both Tess and Cam were nicely written, and I liked that they are both tortured souls and that all their insecurities and heartache ties into their past, but also has a definite impact on their immediate future if not fully and completely addressed.

I have seen it happen in some reads were the past is tied in with the future but the characters do not actually square up with their past in order to take control of their future, but instead their love blossoms and little bits of the past are resolved at the end of the read but it still lingers in a big way thus the future is still kind of bleak, and I walk away from the read feeling empty or like I missed out on some vital piece of the puzzle. So very nicely done Michelle!

I loved, loved, loved the idea of kids being part of the deal in this read. It gave the book a very homey feel and certainly gave me moments of heartwarming family tied happenings. It was also a very unique touch to bring the main characters together, yes it has been done in other reads but usually it is their children before the romance gets set back into motion. In this case the kids are already there and they are more like the rope between Cam and Tess, pulling them towards each other.

The backdrop setting was terrific! I loved the town of Bellaroo Creek, it matched the theme of this read to a perfect tee, all family and stand together till the end no matter what or who comes our way.

The dialogue was heartfelt, sensual and caring. The perfect romance read for any fan of romance. I am taking away a message of loss can bring you down and betrayal can make your heart a dark place, but you need to pick yourself up, fight back and learn to trust again in order to gain happiness.

I highly recommend this read for all fans of Michelle Douglas books, her unique manner of story telling will leave you with feelings of joy, happiness, love and all things sweet.

4.5 star review
" No matter where she goes he will follow" 


Reviewed by Nancy Crocker

In The Cattleman's Ready-Made Family: Tess Laing has moved to Bellaroo Creek with her little niece Krissie and her nephew Ty after they were orphaned. She is hoping Bellaroo Creek is just what the three of them will need to start a new life. They are all three suffering the lost of Sarah "Tess's sister and Krissie and Ty's Mother". But Tess also feels guilty over her sister's accident. So grief stricken she could have prevented the accident had she returned home, she has given up the love and passion in her life because of that guilt. 

Cameron Manning has come to deliver the keys to the cottage and get the new tenant to sign the rights to the land back to him so he can plant the canola crops he has been committed to. Once he gets Tess's signature on the papers he is off to Africa for two years to help the Feed the World organization. He is instantly attracted to Tess, but refuses to even give into the attraction after being betrayed by his finance and brother.
Estranged from his family, there is nothing keeping him in Bellaroo Creek. Soon Cam is drawn not only to Tess, but too Krissie and Ty. This is what he has always wanted. The family he feels he was cheated out of.

This is a heart warming story of people stepping up and putting their lives on hold, to help two young orphans overcome the loss of their parents. There is more to this story regarding the children that will just break your heart. You can't help but feel for these two little ones. It is also a story of forgiveness and moving on with life. It also shows a great community coming together and supporting each other, weather a welcoming luncheon or taking time out to clean the local cemetery. At times it is a very emotional book for a couple of reasons. And the last chapter was a real tear jerker.

I thought the author did a really good job of describing the scenery throughout the book. I felt at times that I was at the cottage in Bellaroo Creek. She even had me looking up a sultana cake recipe. And if their is a place like Bellaroo Creek, that has amazing rate for renting a cottage, then sign me up.

I must thank Michelle Douglas for sending me an ARC of this book. My review was optional. 

4.5/5 stars

Reviewed by Maria

The cattleman of the title, Cameron Manning, is an unsociable character, something very unusual in the close knit community of Bellaroo Creek.  His dreams of a family were shattered when his fiancee left him for his younger brother.  In fact, he's made plans to wind up his affairs and leave town.  But now the new neighbour Tess Laing, a young lone parent, has turned his head.  She has two cute little wards, Tyler and Krissie and before long Cameron, or 'Cam' as he's better known, is helping the little family find suitable pets and start a vegetable garden.

Cam is intrigued by Tess, especially when he discovers that she gave up a successful international career to raise her orphaned niece and nephew.  What sort of person does that?  A woman, who instead of buying a chicken that lays plenty of eggs, buys a showy, fluffy bird just to make little Krissie smile.  A woman who allows her little niece and nephew to plant marigolds in the vegetable patch because it was their late mum's favourite flower.  A woman who will put on the radio and dance like crazy with the kids, just because it's fun....  Soon, Cam's thinking that leaving town isn't such a good idea after all......

This is the type of book I dream of reading.  This is about a relationship where two people with different needs and different experiences come together and help each other to grow and move on in life......absolutely perfect.  One thing is sure...Cameron is all man.  But he's not afraid to drop his guard and show his vulnerable side to the woman he loves.  And while Tess knows very well that she can raise these kids on her own, she knows that with the man she loves by her side, she can do it so much better.

Congrats to Michelle Douglas for writing this beautiful, family story which nonetheless sizzles with excitement.  And do you know what?  If I'd had the opportunity, I'd love to rename this story.  As:  Marigolds in the Vegetable Patch!

Reviewed by Nas

The Cattleman's Ready-Made Family (Bellaroo Creek!)
Mills & Boon : The Cattleman's Ready-Made Family (Bellaroo Creek!)
The Cattleman's Ready-Made Family (Bellaroo Creek!)

THE CATTLEMAN'S READY-MADE FAMILY by author Michelle Douglas is a Harlequin Romance release for July 2013.

Tess Laing leaves her musical career and her city life to move to a small town. She wants to give the perfect life to her orphaned niece and nephew.

She and her charges begin to depend more on their neighbor, Cameron Manning.
Cameron was on the verge of leaving the small town and go to Africa. He couldn't wait to get away yet he postponed his trip for a month to help his neighbor settle in. He was getting attracted to Tess and her family. But would it be enough to stop him from leaving? And would Tess take a chance to bring a man who may not stay for long, into her family?

Author Michelle Douglas has written a fun, engrossing and fast paced story in THE CATTLEMAN'S READY-MADE FAMILY. There are hidden depths to Cameron and Tess's characters. The emotional and sensory details are exquisitely done. THE CATTLEMAN'S READY-MADE FAMILY has strong characters, snappy dialogue, and tender, sweet and exciting moments which will keep a reader riveted from the first page.
Review by TashNz
Michelle Douglas's Bellaroo Creek:
The Cattleman's Ready-Made Family

Can I go and live in Bellaroo Creek please? 

My first taste came with Michelle Douglas's The Cattlemans Ready-Made Family.  What a magical tale, heartwarming and just a fantastic good old fashioned love story based on two people gradually getting 
to know each other and slowly letting their guards down.

Tess has taken over the care of her neice and nephew because her sister has died in a car accident.  We learn later that she's turns away from her prestigious career to live in the Australian country town of Bellaroo Creek, where everyone knows their neighbors and say good morning in the street.  Tess has won a contract to rent a farmhouse for $1 a week.  She thinks of it as a fresh beginning for her new family and a chance to settle the kids down and provide them what we all really want for our kids, a happy, stable and enriched environment to grow and nurture our little ones.  When she arrives she meets Cam, the co-owner of the land who needs to talk her into signing back some of the land that has inadvertently ended up in the contract.

A friendship forms and grows and Cam and Tess reluctantly start to let their guards down.  The kids become accustomed to Cam and a strong bond forms there too but when Tess learns Cam is about to leave town for an adventure in Africa.  

One of the best aspects of this wonderful romance is the characters.  Tess, Cam, the kids Tyler and Krissie.  Tess just wants to do right by her sister.  She's strong in so many ways, she just doesn't realise it.  Cam is hardworking, salt of the earth kinda guy who's had personal loss too with his family.  His good nature naturally causes him to help out around the place with the building of the chicken coups, the vege patch, mowing the lawns and the fact that he's hot is a total bonus!  Tyler and Krissie are so well written they add to the story instead of detracting from it.  

When I look at the cover of The Cattleman's Ready-Made Family, I feel warm inside.  That's exactly how this story made me feel.  If you need a break from the angst filled romances and feel like reading a great, no - a fantastically great, warm-hearted, soulful romance, you cant go past the Cattleman's Ready Made Family.

Bellaroo Creek: Three brave women, three strong men ... and one town on the brink - I can.not.wait for the other two books by Barbara Hannay and the amazing Soraya Lane.

4 Warm Stars