Tag: Cowboys

Guest Review: Cowboys for Christmas by Liz Talley, Kim Law & Terri Osburn

Posted February 19, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Cowboys for Christmas by Liz Talley, Kim Law & Terri OsburnReviewer: Tracy
Cowboys for Christmas by Liz Talley, Kim Law, Terri Osburn
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: November 18th 2014
Format: eARC
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four-stars

3 cowboys…2 weeks…1 wedding!Three all-new stories by Kim Law, Terri Osburn, and Liz TalleyClaire, Georgia, and Mary Catherine couldn’t be more different, but they promised they would be there for one another no matter what. And when they all gather in Holly Hills, Texas, for Mary Catherine’s Christmas wedding, they’ll find they have one thing in common: hearts that are about to be branded—by unforgettable cowboys.In “Love Me, Cowboy” by Terri Osburn, wallflower Claire would be more excited about the wedding if it didn’t mean running into Mary Catherine’s brother—the bull rider she once had a scorching one-night stand with…Ivy League volleyball coach Georgia never wanted to see Holly Hills—or another cowboy—again. But a sexy veterinarian is making her rethink her vow to never marry a Texas man in “Kiss Me, Cowboy” by Liz Talley.Claire and Georgia both think that Mary Catherine is getting hitched to the wrong man, despite how perfect he is. And in “Marry Me, Cowboy” by Kim Law, a local rancher with a wild reputation gives Mary Catherine a glimpse of what might have been—and what could still be...
“Magic and miracles are in the air in Cowboys for Christmas. It’s one of those wonderful holiday books that you wish would never end and you darn sure can’t put down once you start reading. It makes you believe…truly believe in the power of love!” —New York Times bestselling author Carolyn Brown “A trio of tasty cowboy tales.”—New York Times bestselling author Lori Wilde
Praise for Kim Law, Terri Osburn, and Liz Talley“[Terri Osburn] continues to enchant.”—Fresh Fiction on Up to the Challenge“Talley’s characters are well drawn and complex.”—RT Book Reviews on His Brown-Eyed Girl“[Kim Law] made me fall in love with her fictional characters the minute they were introduced.”—Book Lovin’ Mamas on Sugar Springs
Terri Osburn is the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Anchor Island series. She makes her home along the coast of Virginia with an eye-rolling teenager, three fat tabbies, and a hyper yorkiepoo.Liz Talley is a former English teacher who lives in North Louisiana with her high school sweetheart, two rough and tumble boys, and a gaggle of pets.RITA-nominated and Golden Heart winner Kim Law is a former computer programmer, now spending her days writing happily ever afters. A native of Kentucky, she lives with her husband and a passel of animals in Middle Tennessee.

Tracy’s review of Cowboys for Christmas by Liz Talley, Kim Law & Terri Osburn.

In Love Me, Cowboy, Claire Campbell is a teacher who has lived in Holly Hills all her life. Her father is the Mayor of the town and while she enjoys living there her mother gets harder and harder to live with every year. Claire is helping her mother with refreshments for Claire’s best friends’ bridal shower when she almost literally runs into Tyler – her friend Mary Catherine’s little brother. Only Tyler isn’t so little any longer. He’s a bull riding man and Claire can’t seem to get her eyes off of him. She’s had a crush on him for forever but doesn’t believe that he wants anything to do with her – even after they had a one night stand years earlier. She has self-esteem issues from her mother’s demeaning comments about her weight – even though she’s recently lost 40 pounds.   Little does she know that Tyler has had a crush on her as well and believes he doesn’t have a chance with Claire.

Watching this couple get together was a joy. They were friends who became so much more. The way that Osburn had Tyler – being as manly as he was – having doubts about himself when it had to do with Claire was sweet but not overdone.

In Kiss Me, Cowboy Georgia is a girl who grew up in Holly Hills on “the wrong side of the tracks” so to speak. She couldn’t wait to get out of Holly Hills and make something of herself – which she did. Unfortunately she’s been having a bit of an issue with her Ivy League job lately but that won’t stop her from getting out of Holly Hills as soon as Mary Catherine is married on Christmas Eve. Even if she does love being with her best friends and maybe, just maybe, she doesn’t hate Holly Hills as much as she tells everyone she does. She meets the local vet, Reed, when he helps her out when she runs out of gas. The attraction grows between the two but neither one wants to fall in love – it’s just a short little affair while Georgia’s in town. Only…neither one really believes that. They both fall in love and then decisions need to be made.I have to say that I really didn’t love Georgia all that much in Claire’s story so I wasn’t too excited to read her own romance when it came along. I wanted to get the whole story of all the friends, however, so I dove in. I’m really glad I did because Georgia wasn’t who I thought she was at all. Yes, she’s brash and has a mouth on her but she’s not as tough as she wants everyone to believe. Luckily she let Reed into her life and he managed to bring out the best in her. I really enjoyed this quick but fun love story.

Mary Catherine. Throughout the first two stories we learn that she’s to marry Brad and that neither of her friends think she’s making the right decision about that. MC was once in love with Jax Tipton and MC’s friends want her to re-think the life-long commitment she’s about to make – especially as they believe she’s still in love with Jax. When we get to Marry Me, Cowboy, we get to know the background on MC, Jax and Brad. MC had been dating Brad throughout high school until their senior year. They decided to just be friends as they didn’t want to have any pressure after they graduated. The fact that they could actually move so easily into friendship told me that it was no great love affair. MC then started dating Jax and it was a love for life. They were wonderful together even though everyone looked down their noses at Jax. They planned to get married and were actually eloping when her father and step-mother stopped them. MC realized that they probably were going too fast and thought to slow things down. Unfortunately Jax took that as them breaking it off and MC leaving him. He never spoke to her after that and they each moved on – or so they thought.

Now it’s ten years later and while MC plans on marrying Brad she can’t get her mind off of Jax. When they finally do speak it’s like no time has passed and the love that was there all that time ago never changed. I adored seeing this couple together. It was SO meant to be and I ached for the two of them and their stubbornness. I just wanted MC to tell Brad to go find a woman who really wanted to be a society wife as he certainly didn’t understand her. Needless to say things work out but you’ll have to read the story to find out exactly how. I’ll just say that it’s worth the read. (Can you tell this one was my favorite? I just loved Jax so much.)

Overall a great collection of stories that involved hot and wonderful cowboys and the women they were meant to be with. Fun stories that were sexy and moving as well. I also really enjoyed the friendship between the three women and the bond that was created when they were kids. I love reading about friendship that last years and years.

Rating: 3.75/4 out of 5

This title is available from Intermix. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

four-stars


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Guest Review: I Cross My Heart by Vicki Lewis Thompson

Posted December 8, 2013 by Judith in Reviews | 0 Comments

17164215Judith’s review of I Cross My Heart (Sons of Chance #10) by Vicki Lewis Thompson

Self-help guru Bethany Grace has returned home to clean up the now-decrepit family ranch after her father’s death. Rather than just set the whole place ablaze (her first choice), she settles for a nice symbolic little blaze outside…until things get out of hand!

Cowboy Nash Bledsoe is working at the Last Chance Ranch next door when he sees the smoke. Bethany is the last person he expects—or wants—to see. How can he explain that she’s indirectly responsible for ruining his life?

Still, there’s an opportunity for Nash to buy the ranch if he can help restore it, and the two strike a deal. But there’s a whole lot of chemistry in the fine print, and Nash is about to discover that where there’s smoke, there’s fire!

This 10th novel in the Sons of Chance series from Ms Thompson continues the saga of the Chance Family as well as the on-going story of their ranching enterprise and the men and women who are connected in one way or the other.  Bethany Grace is  a published author and a well-known TV personality in the national talk-show venue but she wants her presence in her home town to remain a quiet secret.  Her dad had sunk to the depths of a bottle in his depression over the death of Bethany’s mom, had left their ranch in shambles, and now she didn’t want this family embarrassment to be a blot on her career.  Public media, she knew, was merciless.  Yet when she decided to set her father’s old, broken-down recliner ablaze in her front yard, little did she realize that the smoke would attract the folks at the neighboring Chance ranch.  Sending one of their hands over to check it out may have been one of those life-changing occurrences.  At least, it became the incident that brought Bethany and Nash Bledsoe together.

This is a story about a man who had been screwed, blued, and tatooed by his rich ex-wife, a woman he loved but who had soured and killed their marriage with her attitude of superiority over his humble roots, whose fascination with and hunger for material wealth had superceded her desire to nurture her marriage to a kind and caring man.  Now Nash is starting over.  Because of the pre-nuptial agreement, he came away from the marriage with nothing and sometimes he wasn’t even sure his pride was intact.  But he was working hard and hoping to buy a small ranch for himself.   This is also the story of a woman who wants to help people, whose self-help books found a home in the hearts of millions of readers and viewers, but she was a woman who hadn’t really lived out all she taught.  Her dad and her home town were an embarrassment, she was overwhelmed with getting it all put behind her after his death, and she was fearful that a new career opportunity would be yanked out from under her if she didn’t get shed of all that was her past.

As always, Ms Thompson has delighted her readers with a warm and winsome romance, full of sexual tension and bedroom antics, revisiting old friends and reminding her readers of others in the Chance Family whose stories were featured in previous books in this series.  Nash and Bethany lit up the skies with their passion, but both agreed it was “no strings” and just for the duration of the weeks she was in Parable.  But even here Bethany received another much-needed lesson in the value of friendships, the authenticity of the communal bonds that held a town like Parable together, and the generosity of her neighbors when she was really in need.    It was also a reminder that the road to True Love is never smooth and in the case of Bethany and Nash, it was fraught with boulder-sized potholes.

I hope those who have been following this series will make every effort to read this novel.  I think it’s a really fun story and I enjoyed it a lot.

I give it a rating of 4 out of 5.

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

 

This book is available from Harlequin Blaze.  You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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Guest Review: Turn and Burn by Lorelei James

Posted December 2, 2013 by Judith in Reviews | 0 Comments

15808862Judith’s review of Turn and Burn (Blacktop Cowboys #5) by Lorelei James

Tanna Barker is a world champion barrel racer. But her personal life has been less of a success, and she’s feeling adrift. After her mother’s unexpected death, her father has remarried, and sold the Texas ranch she called home. Now a rodeo injury has left the restless spitfire holed up in Muddy Gap, unsure what her next move should be.

Until she meets her match in a wild, wild cowboy

Veterinarian August Fletcher has always put his job first. He’s never found a woman who could handle his on-the-road lifestyle. But when sassy, sexy Tanna blows into town, he finally finds the woman of his fantasies. And there’s something between them, but she claims she’s been burned by love ’em and leave ’em road dogs before. How can Fletch prove that he’s in it for the long haul, and that their sizzling relationship is better than winning any rodeo medal? It’ll take some sweet persuasion to convince Tanna that Muddy Gap is where she belongs.

There is little doubt in my mind that one of my favorite authors is Lorelei James.  I got started with her, like many of us, with her Rough Rider series so I haven’t taken the opportunity to read very many of her other writing.  I did read most of her single titles and now have read this book from the Blacktop Cowboys novels.  There is also little doubt that lots have been written about the sport of rodeo but where there are lots of people there are lots of stories.

The two main characters in this novel are people of great intellect and are driven by their dreams.  Both are stymied by life’s challenges.  Tanna is a woman who has very specific goals but whose heart and soul have been bruised one too many times.  Add in the fact that the ranch that was the love of her life, her home in every way, is now gone at the behest of a dad who confessed that he wanted nothing more to do with it once he remarried.  He made millions off it and gave little or nothing to his kids, yet Tanna still loves him.  She just has no place to settle now.  The hero, Dr August Fletcher, is a man who loves his community and what he does.  He’s lonely and wants a woman who will love the things he loves and will be his partner in life.  No matter the attraction between him and Tanna, it doesn’t appear she is the woman for him.

As always is the case in Lorelei’s stories, there is a protagonist, if not as a person then as a situation.  It appears that in many ways Tanna and August have the same problem . . . they are both hampered by their inner fears and past hurts.  And in unique James style, those hurts and wounds hand out for everyone to see.   Perhaps that is what draws me to this author’s work.  She never backs away from a situation that offends, is brutal or unpleasant but very much a part of human experience.  And we all know that romantic relationships are so often short circuited by the past hurts and long-term fears we carry inside our subconscious.

This novel is beautifully written with sparkling repartee and witty exchanges.  These rodeo folk are let-it-all-hang-out kind of people and it shows in their actions as well as their conversation with others.  These participants don’t have time for charm;  they get on their animal of choice and simply let go at full speed.  They rarely allow commitments to be established and  once they sleep with someone, they’re off to the next gig.  This as much as anything is the source of Tanna’s disillusionment.

I found this novel entertaining and another enjoyable reading experience.  I got me hungry to read the other Blacktop Cowboy books so I have some reading ahead of me.   And I am happy to conclude that once again a Lorelei James story was just as good or even better than I anticipated.

I give this novel a 4 out of 5

The Series:
Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s book Place 

This title is available from NAL.  You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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Guest Review: Big Sky Summer by Linda Lael Miller

Posted July 30, 2013 by Judith in Reviews | 0 Comments

16160183Judith’s review of Big Sky Summer (Swoon-Worthy Cowboys #4) by Linda Lael Miller

 With his father’s rodeo legacy to continue and a prosperous spread to run, Walker Parrish has no time to dwell on wrecked relationships. But country-western sweetheart Casey Elder is out of the spotlight and back in Parable, Montana. And Walker can’t ignore that his “act now, think later” passion for Casey has had consequences. Two teenage consequences! 

Keeping her children’s paternity under wraps has always been part of Casey’s plan to give them normal, uncomplicated lives. Now the best way to hold her family together seems to be to let Walker be a part of it-as her husband of convenience. Or will some secrets-like Casey’s desire to be the rancher’s wife in every way-unravel, with unforeseen results?

I think the gist of this story is . . . “O what tangled webs we weave when first we practice to deceive.”  So it was with Singer Casey Elder, at home now in the little town in Montana where she delights in raising her two fatherless children and simply having time to herself out of the spotlight.  Her kids are delightful and she is doing a fine job, yet her son keeps asking about their dad to no avail.  Her eldest, her daughter, just has stopped asking, yet there is no doubt that she has a hole in her heart that would be filled perfectly by a dad.  Yet Casey, for all her celebrity status and her performance success, is a woman who is driven by insecurity and whose past with Walker Parrish has seemed to be an embarrassment.  It’s not that he isn’t successful, it’s just that she wants her kids to herself.  Walker knows they are his and he wants Casey to tell them, but now they are teens and she has put off telling them for so long that she is truly fearful–as well she should be!  It’s a situation that has not gotten better with her silence.  What’s going to happen when the kids find out that their honorary “uncle” is really their dad?

This story, like many other Miller tales, is based in the family and community dynamic.  Reading stories filled with people that have become familiar is part of their charm and their on-going attraction to many of us.  Her stories are also filled with the messiness of life, the push/pull that seems to dog the steps of all human beings and the kinds of difficult situations that bite all of us in the butt when we aren’t forthright and honest up front.  That is perhaps the real lesson in this novel.  No matter how reluctant Casey may be, no matter how successful, no matter how laid back Walker may think and exist, lying by omission is never acceptable, any more than an intentional lie.  So Casey comes to find out, and the fall-out, the consequence of her choices are the substance of this story.  I never enjoy seeing kids hurt by the unwise decisions of parent who should know better.  Perhaps I feel so strongly about this story because of my own father’s experience of being adopted by his aunt and uncle as a baby but who always knew who his parents were, who had a close relationship with his biological dad and all his many siblings.  Being honest and upfront from the get-go really never hurts in the long haul.

This is a fine story in a very good series.  Many of the characters are familiar and it is like visiting old friends.  Yet there is a sense of freshness about each of these novels, a quality that really good writers seem capable of giving their stand alone series novels.  This book is no exception.  It is also not a disappointment, and while there are those who have criticized writers like Ms Miller for writing a lot of books within a specific genre, I applaud a good writer for staying with what she knows and loves.  Believe me:  I’ll keep on reading them.

I give this book a rating of 4 out of 5.

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

 

This book is available from Harlequin HQN.  You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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Guest Review: Tempted By A Cowboy by Vicki Lewis Thompson

Posted July 19, 2013 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Tempted By A Cowboy by Vicki Lewis ThompsonReviewer: Rowena
Tempted By a Cowboy (The Perfect Man #2) by Vicki Lewis Thompson
Series: The Perfect Man #2
Publisher: Intermix
Publication Date: June 18th 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Westerns
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The sisters of Gamma Delta Rho just can’t agree whether the perfect man is rich or rugged. But can a cowboy ever prove he’s worth his weight in gold?

Billionaire Astrid Lindberg may have grown up with a silver spoon in her mouth, but she’s determined to have a career as a vet and she feels most at home in a barn surrounded by her beloved horses. Though her parents expect her to settle down with someone refined and rich, Astrid can’t keep her thoughts off of the handsome and hardworking rancher Fletcher Grayson. Too bad he’s one of her clients and thus strictly off limits.

Then, Astrid is involved in an accident after helping one of Fletcher’s horses in the early morning hours, and Fletch comes to her rescue. In the aftermath, the two find their sizzling attraction outweighing common sense and overriding their professional relationship. But Astrid is keeping a secret that is a ticking time bomb with the power to destroy their newfound passion…

This new novella is a part of a series featuring the romantic experiences of sorority sisters, all of whom come from vastly different walks of life and yet whose bond of friendship is stronger than many biological siblings.  This short novel features a woman whose delight is in being a small town vet, one who can simply live as herself and not as a billionaire heiress.  She loves being liked for who she is, appreciated for the expertise she displays in caring for animals, and for her genuine spirit of wanting to be a part of this really nice community.  She is also very aware of the ethics of being involved romantically with one of her clients and it is a tribute to the stalwart nature of her character that no  matter how tempted she may be by the gorgeous body and upstanding character of Fletcher Grayson, she is still determined to be a professional of the highest standing in her field of expertise.

But the human heart has a way of undercutting even the highest of ideals and the heat between these two characters is evident right from the first.  It only gets hotter.  But inbetween Astrid and Fletcher sits those billions, money she doesn’t mind having, but bank accounts she absolutely doesn’t want to determine the way people judge her or look at her.  Her greatest fear is losing the high regard Fletch has for her, possibly losing the love of the one man who has become almost emotionally indispensible to her.  It’s a crisis of rather grand proportion and thus this is not a novella that is comfortable or sickeningly sweet.  It is a story that, in spite of the money involved, is one where two people may well lose out, big time.  So throughout the story there is this tension between what Astrid really wants to see happen in her life and what she fears may happen when Fletch finds out about all that money.

As always, Ms Thompson has given readers a delightful story that is filled with emotion and the energy that comes when real-life people engage in what we call relationship.  It is also about the pressures of real life, although I doubt that many of us know vets who are billionaires.  Nevertheless, it is about the desires and hopes of a young woman who may have been born with a platinum spoon in her mouth but carries within her the same hopes and dreams for being accepted for herself and not for anything external.  I was sorry that the story wasn’t longer–I think these two people are really fine people and I would have liked to see their story teased out a bit more.  But suffice it to say, it is always a pleasure to read one of Ms Thompson’s stories and I have every expectation that all her fans will be pleased.  It’s a fun series.  I think it deserves to be read and enjoyed.

I give it a rating of 4 out of 5.

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place

This book is available from InterMix. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.

four-stars


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