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Summary by Book:

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Henry & Donna Rydell who have raised four boys on the Rydell River Ranch, die in a tragic car wreck, leaving thier oldest son, Jack Rydell to finish raising his 3 brothers, (then 13 and younger) plus his own young sons.

A few years later, Jack's first wife, Lily dies leaving him alone to raise his sons and brothers. 
 
Jack Rydell's biological mom left him and the ranch when he was two years old. He doesn't find about his half-sister, Kate Morgan until he's nearly forty. 

Jack's three brothers are half brothers. He never meets his biological mom and considers his mom to be his stepmom, Donna. 

Book #1: River's End: Year 1--  Jack Rydell meets newcomer, Erin Poletti and this introduces the Rydell River Ranch, across from the small town of River's End, and the original cast of characters. These characters includes his 3 brothers (in order) Ian, Shane & Joey. Jack's two sons, Ben (15) & Charlie (8). Also, Kailynn is introduced as their neighbor/housekeeper.
 
Book #2: River's Escape: Year 2-- Ian Rydell reveals his feelings for neighbor Kailynn Hayes, and he starts to push for changes in how the Rydell family and the ranch are structured. He wants to see them diversity into being a working ranch and a resort, while maintaining a producing orchard.

Book #3: River's Return: Year 3-- Shane Rydell meets local school teacher, Allison Gray and he finally settles back down in the valley, and decides to run Rydell Rides: a mechanics shop to fix vehicles, as well as build custom motorcycles. Shane & Allison have their first daughter at the end of this book and it's noted they will go on to have 3 more. 
The Rydell River Resort has been built. The ranch/resort is expanding to accommodate more family members.

Book #4: River's Road: Year 4-- Jack meets his half sister Kate Morgan. She ends up with his ranch foreman AJ Reed. AJ finds out about long-lost thirteen-year-old daughter named Cami. He & Kate will raise her.

Book #5: River on Fire: Year 6--  Last of the original "Rydell Brothers": Joey Rydell. A large fire sweeps through the ranch and destroys the old family homestead and several key homes. It makes it so the brothers have to re-build houses as well as make repairs on the resort. Joey falls in love with a woman with two kids.
He falls in love with Hailey Starr and her kids are Brianna & Jacob Starr.

 
Book #6: River's Lost: Year 7-- This story is about Jack's oldest son, Ben Rydell. Ben disappears the night of the fire. Married young and unhappily, his wife dies in the fire.  He finds out later that long time friend, Jocelyn Jantz has his baby girl, and names her Lillian. Lillian is Jack's first grandchild. Ben finally comes home to face the consequences of his actions and the changes the fire brought to the ranch and valley.
 
Later, changes to the ranch will include rebuilding the resort with expansions, and the building of giant indoor horse arena to be used for various business activities.
 
Book #7:  River of Change: Year 8-- This book dives into Kailynn Hayes' oldest brother, Caleb.  Caleb soon learns he needs to make some changes or he will lose his place in his family and on the ranch where he works as a ranch hand. He falls for Josefina Ruiz over the course of this process. Caleb and Kailynn's brother Jordan are also shown in this book. He marries long-time boyfriend Pedro Ruiz. Pedro is Josefina's little brother. 
 
Book #8:  River's Destiny: Year 10-15-- This story jumps ahead and takes place over 5 years. Telling Jack's youngest son's story. Charlie Rydell tells his long time friend, Cami Reed that he has feelings for her and this story follows their relationship. Cami is Kate's step-daughter. Technically Cami & Charlie are cousins, BUT they are not related by blood and they don't meet until they are thirteen.

Note: This book has Erin and Jack Rydell getting pregnant with their daughter, Melanie
Kailynn & Ian decide to have their first son, Hunter. 

The ranch adds on hosting the non-profit organization Shield Shelter to have summer retreats for foster kids.
 
Book #9: River's Rescue: Year 15-- This story tells of Hailey's daughter Brianna. She is Joey Rydell's step-daughter. She meets ranch worker Finn Alexander and this is their story.
Brianna's brother Jacob is off into a dark path of drugs and has a baby with a woman who overdoses soon after. That child is named Silas. Joey & Hailey take him in to raise him--even though technically Hailey is Silas's grandmother, she becomes his mother. 

This book introduces Jack returning to work primarily with horses as a trainer. He starts "River Rescue" that takes in injured or sick horses for rehabilitation and rehoming.  

The running of the ranch falls to Ian, Kailynn and Ben.


Book #10: River's Winter: Year 20-- Hailey's youngest child, Jacob is now clean and sober and shows up back at the ranch after a lengthy absence where they long believe he's either in jail or dead. Jacob is figuring out what to do with his life and if he should take his son back. He ends up witnessing a random act of violence with Luna Castellanos and that bonds them to figuring out how to heal together. 

Now click on to read about the next book: 

River in Darkness: Rydell River Ranch Series