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Reviewed by Amanda Rofe for Readers' Favorite
Sam Loves the Ranch by Lou Kamradt is Volume 2 in the 'Sam Loves' trilogy. Set on the Sweetwater ranch in a small town called Plainville, the novel continues the story of Sam Olgeve Grains. Sam moved from Missouri to marry Ted Grains, owner of the largest ranch in Wyoming. She has now settled into her new life and the couple wish to expand their business. They decide to open a Dude Ranch for city folk. However, they require more help and this arrives in the form of a 150-strong wagon train which camps outside the town. Amongst the new arrivals are sick children, pregnant women and an injured man. Sam takes many of them in and gives them a home. In return, they help to run the ranch and the prospective new venture.
The novel opens with an exciting sequence where Sam Grains, the heroine of the story, is thrown into a dangerous situation when a stagecoach veers out of control. Sam leads us through the book, introducing us to various characters, many of whom work on the ranch. The families, who are warm and inviting, experience joy as well as heartache in their struggle to get by. I always enjoy reading about the lives of people during this time period and was interested to see how the women managed, especially during childbirth. This is an honest book with a moral compass. There is a respectfulness to the writing which is often lacking in stories today. Readers will find this a refreshingly clean read with no profanity or explicit violence.