Review: The One I Stood Beside by Piper Rayne (Plain Daisy Ranch #2)


Note: An advance reader copy (ARC) was provided by the authors via Valentine PR.

A marriage of convenience between strangers can be complicated, but when it's between the best of friends, nothing could possibly complicate things. Right? Well, when it comes to Jude Noughton and Sadie Wilkins, what was a case of the former helping the latter in the way he thought best became a situation that may force them to confront and deal with certain feelings that they've made their mission to ignore, unbeknownst that it's all very much mutual. It's no secret that thirty-four-year-old rancher Jude would do absolutely anything for thirty-three-year-old graphic designer Sadie, but in The One I Stood Beside, offering to marry her in order to help save her family's failing farm is something that they should NOT readily share with their family and friends--and the nosy townspeople of Willowbrook. Convincing everyone that they've been madly in love for years, however, may be a whole lot easier than convincing themselves that they're merely best friends who are spouses only in name and totally, oh-so-not in love.

We're back with the Noughtons on Plain Daisy Ranch, and this go-around, it's the eldest Noughton brother, Jude, who needs to figure things out and if he can dare to hope to make a go of his shot at a happily-ever-after with his bet friend, Sadie. This second Plain Daisy Ranch novel certainly brought tears to my eyes at notable points, particularly when it came to the loss of the Noughton matriarch all those years ago--a loss that continued to touch Jude, his brothers, and his father. There were also lighthearted moments, especially when it came to the barely disguised matchmaking that was happening, although maybe it was more of giving Jude and Sadie that gentle nudge in the right direction. Did it take a while for Jude to get his act together? Yes, but then I also understood why he was as hesitant as he was, and my heart broke for how he dealt with his grief. I loved the growth that I see in the main characters, especially Jude, the family dynamics, and how the community was rooting for Jude and Sadie. Five stars easily go to The One I Stood Beside, and I'm already eager to dive into The One I Didn't See Coming soon!

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Read my reviews for the Plain Daisy Ranch series:


One Last Summer (prequel novella) - four stars - My Review

The One I Left Behind (book one) - 4.5 stars - My Review

The One I Stood Beside (book two) - five stars - My Review (posted above)

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Release Date: 02 July 2024

Date Read: 26 June 2024

Learn more about Piper Rayne.

Pre-order The One I Stood Beside on Amazon | Apple Books | B&N | Google Play | Kobo.

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