Humphrey’s Take on Harlequin Intrigue

“Oh, a cowboy book.” Humphrey leaned over my shoulder, his cigar-smoke-breath tickling at my nostrils.

“No not exactly,” I mumbled, waving away the smell. I returned my gaze to the Kindle, where I’d been admiring the cover of Barb Han’s first ever Harlequin Intrigue: Rancher Rescue. “The hero is a rancher, and—”


“Potato, pohtahto,” Humphrey said. “And he’s wearing a cowboy hat. We haven’t read a good cowboy story in a while. May I?” He made a grab for the Kindle. “I don’t believe I’ve reviewed a Harlequin Intrigue before.”

I held it just beyond his reach. “I haven’t finished it yet.”

He cracked his knuckles. “Did you remember to buy more Fig Newtons? There were only three left this morning. And a sherry would be nice.”

Okay, so I’d finish the book later. Peace, anything for peace and quiet. And this could be great writing time, especially if the fussy old bear was occupied. humph 001


Several hours later I was tap, tap, tapping on the keyboard when Humphrey swaggered into the office and put the Kindle on the desk. Sheesh. Take off the Christmas socks, put a hat and a bandana on him and he’d be cowboy bear.

“Read it straight through.” He puffed out his chest, dropping crumbs onto the office rug. “Good characters. Great tension. Fast pace. Liked the fiesty heroine. Hero is just like me, Caleb is—”

“What?” I looked up from the snowstorm of cookie crumbs on the floor and frowned. The hero was not a cigar smoking, sherry drinking, Fig-Newton-eating white stuffed English bear. “How so?”

“Brave. Honorable. Trustworthy. A jolly good chap.”

“Well, yes, I agree. Of course.” I turned my head and suppressed the grin that hovered around my mouth. “So how was the romance?”

“Excellent. You see there was this scene where—”

I stuck my fingers in my ears and did a la la la la lah, just in case. Even if I had already read that scene, I most definitely did not want it described to me by Humphrey. My fault really, because I did introduce him to romantic fiction.

He finally got the message. “No spoilers. What’s for lunch?”

I grabbed the Kindle, and headed for my recliner. “You’re on your own, Humphrey. Maybe go catch a salmon. I’ve got some reading to do.”

He looked puzzled for a moment, and then he chuckled. “Catch a salmon. Good one.”

He continued to mutter as he wandered to the kitchen.

Five paws,” he yelled. Then he stuck his head around the door. “Forgot to tell you, I give it five paws. Oh, and yes, I like those books. Those Harlequins. I’d read more of them. And that author in particular, Ms. Han. Good writer.”

I nodded, but my mind was elsewhere. I was back on the ranch.


Getting tangled up with another woman in crisis is the last thing rancher Caleb Snow needs. The handsome cowboy has been badly burned too many times. But this one feels different—Katherine Harper is injured and reeling after an ambush in which her nephew was kidnapped. Caleb wants nothing more than to protect the beautiful, headstrong woman and help her find the missing child. If only he could ignore the feelings she stirs in him.

But as they search together, it’s clear someone wants Katherine dead. Soon the two are running for their lives, dodging bullets, and not knowing who to trust…or if they’ll survive long enough to bring a little boy home.

SONY DSCBarb Han’s writing career spans 14 years and most media. Barb’s held positions ranging from Sports Reporter at her college newspaper to Opera newsletter editor to News and Feature Writer for a Fortune 100 company. Barb has penned hundreds of articles in both U.S. and international markets and holds a bachelor of arts in journalism. A member of Romance Writers of America, Barb has served as committee chair for her local chapter. She may be reached at or you may follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

Rancher Rescue is available in stores in paperback, as well as on Amazon in both print and kindle formats:



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20 Responses to Humphrey’s Take on Harlequin Intrigue

  1. Barb Han says:

    I love you, Humphrey! (And it’s more than your great taste in books.) You are freakin’ adorable!

    Thank you for the great review, Robena and Humphrey.

    • robena grant says:

      Oh, my. Humphrey is preening. He’s gone pink from the collarbone to the jawline. Okay. I’ll be nice, I won’t tease him but I believe he’s wandering down the hall muttering ‘freakin adorable’ and shaking his head.

  2. Gina B. says:

    Humphrey always does the best reviews! BTW, does he eat only regular Fig Newtons, or is he open to the mixed berry, strawberry, etc.? 😉

    Congrats to Barb on her new Intrigue! Sounds like a fun story with a hunky hero 😀

  3. robena grant says:

    Humphrey is still blustering about your comment “regular” Fig Newtons, Gina. I swear his fur is on end. He’s firm in his opinion that there is only one FN and that is the original. He’s a traditional and very loyal guy, my Humphrey. ; )

  4. LOVE this! What a creative review, Robena! Probably best you didn’t hear Humphrey’s interpretation of that scene where…well, you know! I loved Rancher Rescue as well. Humphrey has good taste!

  5. robena grant says:

    Exactly, RoseAnn. : ) And yes, I really enjoyed Rancher Rescue. I’d read several of Barb’s other books and loved them. I really enjoyed RR and how she kept the romance and the conflict so evenly paced within the framework of the shorter book. I think there is a definite skill there. Hard for wordy me to do. ; )

  6. That picture of Humphrey is so gosh darn cute! Congrats to Barb on her first Harlequin Intrigue. Rancher Rescue sounds great!

    You and Humphrey are quite the team, Robena. 🙂 I love when you guys share what you’ve read!

  7. Sam Beck says:

    Hi Robena,

    Shhh. Don’t tell Humphrey, but…I think he’s cute! Thanks for the book recommendation. I’m overdue for some Intrigue and I can’t go wrong with a five paw-er like “Rescue Rancher.”

    Congrats to Barb Han on her first Intrigue!

  8. I love Humphrey reviews. I also love the Harlequin Intrigue line. I see a good book in my future. Congrats to Barb on her debut. Oh, and it never hurts to have a great cover either.

  9. robena grant says:

    Humphrey said thank you, Lynne. : ) I think you’d enjoy this story very much. I didn’t tell Barb I was going to do a stuffed bear review, just that I’d spotlight Rancher Rescue. Good thing she has a sense of humor. ; )

  10. Nia Simone says:

    Awesome post, got to tweet…

  11. JL Hammer says:

    Such a fun review. I love cowboys and Rancher Rescue sounds exciting.

  12. Robena, I admire this humorous, sweet, and creative review! I read your blog on how does an author promote oneself and published work in this age of social media? It is admirable to see author to author support in a blog. We authors are the biggest readers after all. Why not help positively promote ones you enjoy? Thanks for the recommendation!

  13. robena grant says:

    Hi, Trish. So happy to see you here, and thanks for stopping by. Yes, authors are generally avid readers. Some of the my favorite books were recommended to me by authors. I treasure Cotillion, by Georgette Heyer, which you gave to me one Christmas long ago. I’ve read it many times. : )

  14. Julie says:

    Well, you know how I feel about Humphrey and his reviews. Just thank him for us, but don’t tell him TOO many of the nice things we’re saying.

    Is this line often in libraries? I’ll go check now.

    • robena grant says:

      Ha ha, yep Julie. His ego is huge. On the books in the library question, I think each one is different. My local one has a decent selection of romance paperbacks but they are on one of those small racks at the end of a row. Of course the big names like Nora and SEP and anyone publishing in hard cover are up front. : )