A cattle ranch is not the best place for a corporate retreat, is it? It’s certainly no place for a romance between a city girl and a cattle rancher. Jocelyn by Sarah Monzon is the story of Jocelyn and Malachi and it’s such a sweet one.
My Review of Jocelyn by Sarah Monzon
When Jocelyn’s company sent her team on the annual retreat the last place she expected was a working ranch. As someone who’d never lived anywhere but the city, she’s surprised to find herself breathing easier and being drawn to Malachi, the owner of the ranch.
This is book two in the Sewing in SoCal series and it was great reading Jocelyn’s story. This book could be read as a standalone but I believe it would be best enjoyed in sequence.
The Characters in Jocelyn
Malachi had trouble speaking with people, especially women. But when Jocelyn shows up on his ranch, he’s inexplicably taken with her…as she is with him.
In Molly, we got a hint of the stark division between Jocelyn’s personal and professional lives–now we know why. I liked the interplay between Jocelyn and Malachi. He was introverted and reticent which seemed to bring out her more talkative side. The two had a good influence on each other. I have to admit that in the beginning, I wondered how the romance would progress since Malachi was so shy. But he eventually came out of his shell and man! was he a sweetie.
I enjoyed watching the romance bloom between the two and appreciated how much courage it took to go after the woman he wanted.
As secondary characters go I loved Scout. Let me just declare that Scout is a dog (of the actual four-legged kind) but he was absolutely entertaining. He also served as a bit of a buffer between Jocelyn and Malachi and was just downright amusing.
Many of the characters in Jocelyn were already introduced in Molly (or will appear in future books) but you got enough of an impression to differentiate the bad guys from the good.
The Themes in Jocelyn
Jocelyn had a bit of an identity crisis when she found herself on the ranch. For years, she had told herself that she needed to do what was necessary to survive which included starving her dreams. She had to come to terms with the idea that sometimes one needs to go after a dream even if it means not having control over the future.
Just as Jocelyn has to decide if security was worth more than chasing her dreams, Malachi had to decide what he was willing to risk for love. While he was interested in pursuing a relationship with Jocelyn, his natural reticence made him want to choose the path of least resistance which was letting her go. But he had to decide if the possibility of love was enough of an incentive to get him to try something different.
“…you can order your life in a certain way, but you can’t stop bad things from happening or hardships from knocking on your door.”
Final Thoughts on Jocelyn
The faint elements in Jocelyn were very faint but the reader is reminded of the Creator in the beauty of nature. We are reminded to ground our sense of identity in Christ instead of in material things.
I didn’t find Jocelyn as funny as I did Molly but I enjoyed the story which was a clean, sweet read. If you enjoy strong female characters and endearing male leads, pick up a copy of Jocelyn, you’ll be glad you did.
WWSOD—What would Scarlett O’Hara do?
Anything to survive, that’s what. But instead of a man-eating Southern belle in hoop skirts and big hats, my version of existence looks an awful lot like a financial conglomerate employee staring blankly at budget analysis spreadsheets. Either way, the motto has served me well most my life.
Until now, that is.
The corporate retreat location has just been announced, and this city girl is headed to a dude ranch in the country. How will Scarlett help me survive that? No, this time I’ll turn to the sage advice of preteen YouTubers and their ponies to keep me from making a fool of myself.
But who’s going to help me navigate the kind yet reticent cowboy in the black Stetson—the cattle ranch owner who’s slowly claiming corners of my heart?
About Sarah Monzon
A Carol award finalist and Selah award winner, Sarah Monzon is a stay-at-home mom who makes up imaginary friends to have adult conversations with (otherwise known as writing novels). As a navy chaplain’s wife, she resides wherever the military happens to station her family and enjoys exploring the beauty of the world around her.
You may also like: