Book Review: The Rancher's Surprise Daughter by Jill Lynn

rancher's surprise daughter jill lynn book review

The synopsis on the back of the book: 

A reunion he never expected... In this Colorado Grooms novel Luc Wilder's surprised when his ex-girlfriend Cate Malory arrives at his Colorado guest ranch. And he's downright stunned when she introduces him to his three-year-old daughter, Ruby. Bonding with the bubbly little girl is easy--Ruby loves ranch life, just like her daddy. But after all the secrets, can Luc and Cate find a way to trust in each other again?

  • Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance
  • Pages: 288
  • Published: 7/17/2018
  • Publisher: Love Inspired
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.32 Stars
the ranchers surprise daughter jill lynn book review

Why I Chose This Book

Jill personally reached out to me review her book. You know I always love a good romance story so of course, I agreed! 

First Initial Thoughts

First off this cover is just too cute for words! 

Cate and Luc use to date when they were just young teenagers. Cate was devastated when Luc ran off when they had a big fight after she accused him of cheating. Soon after she found out she was pregnant with his child. Three years later when Ruby, Cate's child, needs heart surgery, she goes to find Luc to tell him Ruby is his. 

Speaking of Luc, I think he handled the situation very well. Imagine if a former flame came to your door to say, "hey by the way this child is yours!". He was angry but he didn't lash out and not want to have anything to do with Ruby. He genuinely cared and wanted to be a part of her life. 

It took a lot of courage for Cate to travel all the way out west and find Luc to tell him Ruby was his child. This was probably not easy and I appreciated how Jill wrote this part out. She had a way of making Cate not seem like the "bad guy" and make us realize that she made a mistake - like we all do in life. 


What I appreciated from this novel is that Jill focused on one particular setting, at the ranch, so that we could focus on Cate and Luc specifically. The small town and ranch made me miss the mountains though! 

Final Thoughts

A lot of love inspired books are kind of predictable but Jill's book was different. I appreciated how she went the extra mile to make it more unique with her story and characters. Not too many Christian books have a child born out of wedlock. I really liked that Cate and Luc didn't find Christ until later on in their life. I admired that Jill emphasized that even though both of them found Christ, they still had personal issues to work out afterward. Which is true for a lot of people who find Christ! 

Both characters had to learn to trust each other again. There are real struggles mentioned in this book- like co-parenting and typical relationship issues. I found this book to very relatable in that aspect. That not every relationship is smooth going. We all hit roadblocks and rough roads in relationships. With God, we can maneuver around those roadblocks. 

Would I Recommend? 

Yes, most definitely! I think this would be the perfect book to read on the porch in the evening with some tea or lemonade. 

Q&A With Jill Lynn

How do you select the names of your characters?

Randomly! ☺  I love naming characters. Sometimes I play around with different names until the right one clicks. Other times I know right away. And sometimes it’s a name that I had on my list for naming children, but then I only had two and couldn’t use them all. ;) I’ve also been know to ask my Facebook tribe for suggestions. They named two characters in this book.

How do you develop your plots and characters?

I daydream a lot. While I’m driving, showering, walking. I usually start with trying to figure out the conflict of the story and what makes my characters who they are. That combination allows me to outline some chapter ideas. And then new things always come to me as I’m writing.

We all need a hero! Tell us about your protagonist(s)? Was there a real-life inspiration behind him or her?

My heroine Cate is a bit of a control freak…and I totally understand her on that because I struggle with the same. The hero Luc is dependable and yet flawed too. What I like about these two characters is that they’re working through real-life issues. Anyone who works on bettering themselves is a hero in my book. ☺

There was a real-life inspiration behind Ruby’s story in the book. My niece also had heart surgery at a young age, and Ruby’s medical issues stemmed from that.

What was your hardest scene to write?

Getting the opening just right was tricky. Cate has kept a daughter from Luc, so I needed readers to understand her reasoning and sympathize with her decision even if they didn’t agree with it.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

The internet. When I get stuck, I find I’ll drift off to social media and plunk around. But when I come back to the book, the same problem is still there waiting for me to fix it. 

If you could tell your younger writing self-anything, what would it be?

Have more grace for yourself. Going slow is okay. Write what you love. Phew! That’s a lot of advice, but that’s what comes to mind.

What do you do in your free time when you aren’t writing?

I love to read. I can be found watching Netflix. And I walk. I’m not a runner, but I love a good walk or hike.

If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?

Well, I actually do work at our small business with my husband. So if I didn’t write, I’d work there more. I also think it would be fun to have a wedding venue. Colorado is full of pretty scenery and places that are perfect for weddings.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

Yesterday’s Tomorrow by Catherine West. It’s one of those books that messed up my life by not letting me do anything else until I’d finished. Excellent book.

Do you drink any coffee or tea while writing? If so, what kind is your favorite?

I’m a coffee girl—the stronger the better. I drink it in the morning, but I don’t have more than a few cups. After that, I switch to room temperature water with lemon. My husband thinks I’m crazy, but I think it’s easier to drink water that way. 

What are the preferred methods to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, Goodreads, etc.) and link(s)? 

I interact with readers the most on Instagram and Facebook. Here are the links for those. 

I also send out newsletters and often host giveaways. Sign up is at 

About the Author

jill lynn

Jill Lynn writes small-town happily ever afters filled with humor, grace and faith. She lives near the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her husband and two children and can be found online at or on Facebook and Instagram @JillLynnAuthor. Her latest release, The Rancher’s Surprise Daughter, is in stores and online now.


I hope you all are having a wonderful week! Have you ever read a Love Inspired novel? If so share your thoughts! 

the caffeinated bibliophile