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Book 2: Third Time's the Charm (Three Rivers Ranch Romance™)

Book 2: Third Time's the Charm (Three Rivers Ranch Romance™)

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Escape to Three Rivers, Texas for small-town charm, sweet and sexy cowboys, and faith and family centered romance. 

About THIRD TIME'S THE CHARM: He’s her brother’s best friend, and she’s so broken she’s sure not even the strong Army cowboy and his therapeutic riding program can help her…Embrace the heartwarming journey of two wounded souls, brought together by destiny, as they find redemption and love through faith, courage, and the healing power of horses in this inspirational Christian cowboy romance novel by USA Today Bestselling author, Liz Isaacson.

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Read Chapter 1 Now!

The strip of skin on Chelsea Ackerman’s ring finger hadn’t been so blindingly white before. Of course, the first time she’d been engaged, it had been winter. The second time had been during the previous two months when the Texas sun had been at its pinnacle. This past summer’s heat alone could’ve bronzed her skin while she worked indoors—all except what the diamond had protected.

She stared at that line, taking her attention from the two-lane highway leading her home. Home to a ranch she didn’t want. Home to an empty homestead now that her parents were moving into town. Home after her brother and his fiancée had left for College Station so he could finish his veterinarian degree.

A blaring horn caused her to jerk the steering wheel to the right. Since she’d drifted across the middle line, she didn’t hit the gravelly shoulder on her side of the road. She skidded to a stop anyway, her pulse bobbing in the back of her throat.

The truck that roared past belonged to Three Rivers, but Chelsea didn’t recognize the man who drove it. No surprise there. She hadn’t been home since last Christmas, and she certainly didn’t keep up with the personnel on her family’s cattle ranch.

She glared at the taillights retreating in her rearview mirror, switching her laser-gaze back to the traitorous tan line on her left ring finger. Strong emotion welled where her lungs were, making it impossible to breathe.

Sucking at the air, she fumbled for the door handle, getting a blast of October heat when she spilled from her luxury SUV. She bent over and braced her elbows on her knees, still trying to get enough air, still trying to forget about the circumstances that had led her to this stretch of road in the Texas Panhandle.

As her lungs remembered how to work, she vowed she’d never wear another engagement ring.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

There would not be a third time.

Chelsea collected herself, grateful for once for the low population of Three Rivers. She gathered her designer sunglasses from where they’d fallen on the asphalt and returned to the driver’s seat. The air-conditioned seats drove away the heat, and when she sealed herself back in the SUV, the air had re-oxygenated itself.

Gripping the steering wheel, she prepared to keep on toward her destination, much as she didn’t want to. A sign several yards down the road caught her attention. She inched the car forward until she could read the faded letters.

Three Rivers Ranch, 5. Five more miles until she met the worst turn her life had taken in the past twenty-eight years.

Beneath the old sign hung a much newer one. One that hadn’t been there ten months ago.

Courage Reins Therapeutic Riding. No mileage included. Chelsea puzzled through what the sign could mean. Was this therapeutic riding program at the ranch?

Surely not. Someone would’ve mentioned as much to her. After all, she was the one taking over the management of the homestead until Squire graduated. The thought of planting and weeding her mother’s massive vegetable garden made Chelsea feel twenty pounds heavier.

She pressed on the accelerator and centered the car in the appropriate lane. She’d find out about this Courage Reins in another five miles.

* * *

At the turnoff to Three Rivers, she squinted through the dusky sky to see another sign—new, with the same words. Courage Reins.

Annoyance sang through her. If the ranch had a new program, she should know about it.

She dismissed the thought. She wasn’t in charge of the entire ranch. Her father had made that clear. She was to maintain the homestead—the house and the yard. Tom Lovell was the general controller and he oversaw the cowhands. Her father had hired a new foreman to replace the one who had been stealing money from the ranch for the past five years.

Chelsea sifted through her memories to remember his name. Garth Ahlstrom. He’d been foreman for a cattle ranch in Montana before making the move south. She shouldn’t care about what happened once the grass of the homestead turned to the dirt parking lot on the ranch.

She pulled into the driveway leading to the garage, a wash of homesickness hitting her like a cold bucket of water. Which made no sense. She was home. This time, for a lot longer than it took to bake a ham and open presents.

She parked the car, but her fingers wouldn’t release their grip on the wheel.

“Come on, Chels,” she coaxed herself. “Just go in. It’s going to be fine.”

Fine wasn’t quite the word she’d been using on the six-hour drive from Dallas. Fine wasn’t the word her boss had used when she’d told him she was quitting to babysit a piece of land and a house. Fine wasn’t the word that came to Chelsea’s mind when she got the call from the hospital informing her of her fiancée’s “accident.”

She pushed away memories and remembrances of her life in Dallas. She didn’t have a life in Dallas. Not anymore.

Her open-toed sandals drank up dust as she made her way into the garage. Once there, she scaled the steps to the entrance to the house. She braced herself for the smell of her mother’s cooking to hit her upon the opening of the door. Surely her mom had been baking all afternoon in anticipation of Chelsea’s arrival.

Sure enough, when she cracked the door, the scent of whole wheat bread slammed into her nostrils, along with the mouth-watering smell of roasting meat. She slipped through the mudroom and loitered in the doorway that led to the kitchen.

The ease with which her mother moved with a knife in her hand only served to remind Chelsea that she’d burned her last microwave meal. She wasn’t fit to take care of the homestead, and anyone with one eye knew it.

“Hey, Mom.” Chelsea ignored the skittering in her chest and the way her feet had grown roots.

“Chelsea, honey.” Her mom set down the knife and moved around the counter for a hug. Chelsea managed to uproot herself and cross the room. “How was the drive?”

“Good,” Chelsea lied. “Long.” Only because she’d turned around twice, driven for a few miles back toward Dallas before forcing herself north again.

Boxes lined the wall behind the dining room table, which was likewise stacked with packed garment bags, suitcases, and dishware.

“Sorry about the mess,” her mom said, returning to the zucchini squash on the cutting board. “But we’ll be gone tomorrow, and this place will be yours.” Her voice carried too much gravity, breaking at the end.

Chelsea looked away as her mother wept, her own tears pressing so close, so close, so close.

“I’ll go look at my room,” she said, holding her breath as she clicked across the kitchen tile. Once in the safety of the hall, she released the air, which shuddered on the way out.

She didn’t understand why her parents were leaving a house they clearly loved. Squire wouldn’t need it for four more years. Chelsea certainly didn’t need it now. She could’ve gone anywhere after the phone call that led to a hospital that led to her wearing black and speaking about Danny like he was the greatest man who’d lived.

A sob shook her shoulders, also knocking something loose inside her chest. Something that felt like her ability to sympathize, forgive, love.

Her mascara smeared when she wiped her eyes, but she didn’t care. She wouldn’t come out of her room tonight, not even for her mother’s goodbye feast.

She didn’t go down the hall to her old bedroom. Instead, she slipped downstairs and outside to the patio sheltered by a deck above. She perched on a decorative boulder and let the darkness inside her spread until even her tears felt like tar leaking from her eyes.

“You okay, ma’am?”

Chelsea startled at the masculine tone, wiping again at her face. Her fingers came away stained with black and blue. So much for waterproof makeup.

“I’m fine.” She didn’t mean for her voice to blow through the space like an arctic wind. She turned toward the man and found a tall specimen with more muscles than she knew could be contained by skin.

The concern in his green eyes frosted at her tone, and as he crossed his arms, Chelsea saw the puckered and pink skin of a burn on his right side. The mark extended under the sleeves of the blue T-shirt he wore and marred all the fingers on his right hand.

“Of course you are,” he said. “I regularly cry in a remote place on the ranch because I’m fine.”

She didn’t need this stranger judging her, and she certainly wasn’t in the mood for company.

“It’s none of your concern.” She stood like she’d march away, but realized she didn’t have anywhere else to go. Though she wasn’t happy to be here, she didn’t want to make things harder for her mother.

He saluted her. “If you say so.” He ambled to the stone steps he must’ve come down. She hadn’t heard him in her distress.

Her breath hitched and the writhing in her stomach felt like she’d swallowed snakes.

He was leaving, the same way Danny had left.

“What do you do on the ranch?” she called after him, suddenly desperate to keep him there for a few more minutes.

The man twisted back to her but maintained his position on the steps. “I’m opening the new therapeutic riding program.”

And she wanted him to leave again. “Courage Reins. I saw the signs on the way in.” She reseated herself and flicked an imaginary piece of lint from her leggings. “What is it?”

His gaze gave none of his emotions away. “It’s a therapeutic riding program.” He spoke slower, like perhaps she didn’t understand English.

“What—does—it—do?” She dragged out each word in case his hearing had been affected in whatever accident had given him that burn.

“We take individuals who’ve been through trauma, and we help them with their rehabilitation.”

“So like physical therapy.”

“Any kind of trauma,” he said.

She swept her gaze meaningfully toward his arm. “Like yours.”

His gaze bored into hers, straight past every one of her defenses. “Or yours.” He turned and marched up the steps, leaving Chelsea gasping for breath and grasping for something to keep her from drowning under the sudden memories of Danny’s death.

Dear Lord, she prayed. Help me.

In her distress, she couldn’t articulate much more than that.

What Readers are Saying

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “LOVE: Words can't describe how much love I have for this book (or this series for that matter). If you love cowboys (I mean, who doesn't?!) this is a fabulous inspirational western romance. I definitely recommend these. Not to mention they're written by one of my all time favorite authors. She just gets all the feels going no matter what book I'm reading!!” ~Morgan

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Third Time's the Charm" is a wonderful tale of healing, peace, and hope that takes place within two people that never thought it could happen to them. People say that time heals all wounds, but for these two people horses actually have the magical touch. Some say that God works in mysterious ways, and that is seen throughout this beautifully told novel.

I recommend this series, each one is better than the last. Very well written, it's like a story coming off the pages before your very eyes.” ~ Ms. Hancock

View full details

Escape to Three Rivers, Texas for small-town charm, sweet and sexy cowboys, and faith and family centered romance. 

This is the series that started it all, and the world continues to grow in other cowboy romance series by USA Today bestselling and Top 10 Kindle All-Star Author, Liz Isaacson. You'll get second chance romance, friends to lovers. older brother's best friend, military romance, secret babies, and more! The Three Rivers cowboys and the women who rope their hearts are waiting for you, so start reading today!

  • Book 1: Second Chance Ranch

    A wounded Army cowboy, a divorcée with a child, and their second chance to heal old hurts...As Squire and Kelly work to save the ranch and navigate their complicated relationship, can they also give love a second chance, follow God’s plan for them, and build a family out of heartache?

  • Book 2: Third Time's the Charm

    He’s her brother’s best friend, and she’s so broken she’s sure not even the strong Army cowboy and his therapeutic riding program can help her… Can Pete and Chelsea confront their insecurities and learn to trust in love, acceptance, and the promise of a brighter future together?

  • Book 3: Fourth and Long

    A cowboy contractor, his ex-wife, and the son he never knew he had… Will their love be enough to heal the wounds they've inflicted on one another? Or will they allow the bitterness of their past to tear their family apart forever?

  • Book 4: Fifth Generation Cowboy

    A shy cowboy, a single mother, and their journey out of the friend zone. Can they face the challenges of single parenthood, past traumas, and societal expectations to build a life together? Or will their leap of faith leave them all broken-hearted?

  • Book 5: Sixth Street Love Affair

    In the heart of Texas, where the sunsets paint the sky with fiery passion, a rugged ranch foreman and a courageous veterinary technician find themselves entwined in a tale of second chances, faith, and unyielding love—even in the face of danger. Can these two wounded souls discover that love and redemption are within reach, but if only they dare to take the leap of faith…together?

  • Book 6: The Seventh Sergeant

    A veteran cowboy, his care coordinator, and the chance to heal their hearts together. Will Reese allow Carly into his guarded heart so they can build a happily-ever-after together?

  • Book 7: Eight Second Ride

    A champion bull rider, a barrel racing winner, and the ride of a lifetime as these enemies attempt to become lovers. Torn between their familial obligations and their hearts, can Ethan and Brynn embrace a different future together? Or will their hearts be broken on the rodeo circuit the way they have been before?

  • Book 8: The Ninth Inning

    The Christmas season has never felt like such a burden to boutique owner Andrea Larsen. But with Mama gone and the holidays upon her, Andy finds herself wishing she hadn't been so quick to judge her former boyfriend, cowboy Lawrence Collins. Well, Lawrence hasn't forgotten about Andy either, and he devises a plan to get her out to the ranch so they can reconnect. Do they have the faith and humility to patch things up and start a new relationship?

  • Book 9: Ten Days in Town

    Sandy Keller is tired of the dating scene in Three Rivers. Though she owns the pancake house, she's looking for a fresh start, which means an escape from the town where she grew up. When her older brother's best friend, Tad Jorgensen, comes to town for the holidays, it is a balm to his weary soul. A helicopter tour guide who experienced a near-death experience, he's looking to start over too--but in Three Rivers. Can Sandy and Tad navigate their troubles to find the path God wants them to take--and discover true love--in only ten days?

  • Book 10: Eleven Year Reunion

    Pastry chef extraordinaire, Grace Lewis has moved to Three Rivers to help Heidi Ackerman open a bakery in Three Rivers. Grace relishes the idea of starting over in a town where no one knows about her failed cupcakery. She doesn't expect to run into her old high school boyfriend, Jonathan Carver. A carpenter working at Three Rivers Ranch, Jon's in town against his will. But with Grace now on the scene, Jon's thinking life in Three Rivers is suddenly looking up. But with her focus on baking and his disdain for small towns, can they make their eleven year reunion stick?

  • Book 11: The Twelfth Town

    Newscaster Taryn Tucker has had enough of life on-screen. She's bounced from town to town before arriving in Three Rivers, completely alone and completely anonymous--just the way she now likes it. She takes a job cleaning at Three Rivers Ranch, hoping for a chance to figure out who she is and where God wants her. When she meets happy-go-lucky cowhand Kenny Stockton, she doesn't expect sparks to fly. Kenny's always been "the best friend" for his female friends, but the pull between him and Taryn can't be denied. Will they have the courage and faith necessary to make their opposite worlds mesh?

  • Book 12: Lucky Number Thirteen

    A wounded rodeo champion and a tender-hearted nurse find healing and love where they least expect it—with each other. Has God put him in Three Rivers for a reason, and is this the divine plan that will finally lead him to happiness and love?

  • Book 13: The Curse of February Fourteenth

    A runaway tennis star with a secret identity, a single dad cowboy, and the Cinderellaesque fairy tale romance that changes their hearts. Will she take a leap of faith and embrace her role as Cal's Cinderella no matter the cost, or will she continue to run from the shadows of her former life?

  • Book 14: Fifteen Minutes of Fame

    A nurse seeking for answers, a skeptical cowboy, and the legends of Three Rivers that help them see past their differences to the possibility of true love. Can love and legend come together for Gavin and Navy to create a tale of true love? Or will the walls around Gavin’s heart be too strong for Navy to break down?

  • Book 15: Sixteen Steps to Fall in Love

    A cowboy veterinarian who works sixteen steps from the woman of his dreams...and doesn't even know she's there. Can a chance meeting in a different location open his eyes to happily-ever-after?

  • Book 16: The Sleigh on Seventeenth Street

    When sparks fly in Three Rivers, can love light up the Christmas season for these two opposites? Can Camila and Dylan finish the build without breaking up or losing their shirts? Will they be able to traverse the delicate balance of water and electricity, the spell of mistletoe and Santa’s sleigh versus reality, without losing their hearts?

  • Book 17: The First Lady of Three Rivers Ranch

    A dance with destiny at Three Rivers Ranch between the sexy cowboy owner and the woman he hires to clean the cabins…who ends up stealing his heart. Will she return to school to fulfill her dreams or follow her heart and stay in Three Rivers with Frank?Can their faith in God and each other guide them to the sweetest of happy endings?

  • Coming Soon! Book 18: Eighteen Bow Ties and Counting

    Coming soon - summer 2024!

Escape to Montana with more sweet & swoony cowboys!

Embark on an unforgettable journey when you visit Horseshoe Home Ranch, where faith, love, and second chances abound. In this heartwarming series of Christian cowboy romance novels by USA Today bestselling author Liz Isaacson, each standalone tale is an invitation to explore the intertwined lives of rugged cowboys and the resilient women who win their hearts.


From the rolling ranchlands to the intimate corners of small-town life, these stirring stories are filled with emotional trials, inspirational transformations, and love's redeeming power. Whether it's a chance encounter, a second chance at love, or an unexpected competition, these tales of faith, hope, and love highlight the enduring bonds of community, the healing power of forgiveness, and the irresistible pull of the heart.


"Isaacson artfully combines disparate threads in her contemporary Western Christian romance…in her Three Rivers Ranch series." ~BookLife, Publisher's Weekly


Inspirational tales of love, faith, and second chances in the heart of Montana. Come fall in love with your next cowboy boyfriend!