Ree fell in love with Ladd at first sight, according to the juicy details she shared in an issue of The Pioneer Woman Magazine (via Country Living). “He was tall, strong and mysterious, sipping bottled beer and wearing jeans and cowboy boots,” she recalled as she described that fateful day they met at a bar.

After staring him down for “a few minutes,” Ree pounced. She began chatting with him, but Ladd had to leave the bar early to “cook Christmas turkeys for some folks in his small town.”

She expected him to call the very next day, but Ladd played it cool. “Nor did he call that day, or week, or month. Throughout that time, I allowed myself to remember his eyes, his biceps, his quiet manner. Disappointment would wash over me,” she lamented.

Finally, four months later, Ladd made her hotline bling, and the rest is history. So what took him so long to finally dial her digits? A reader of her blog asked that same question, and Ree replied, “I know the answer. But I’m going to let him tell you.”

Was there another pioneer woman in the picture? Did his horse eat his phone? Or did he get lost somewhere on his 433,000 acres of land? Your guess is as good as ours. 

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