Review: Mistletoe Cowboy by Carolyn Brown

MistletoeCowboyCVR.inddReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Elizabeth “Sage” Presley is driving in her van on a very nasty night. But she needs to get home, storm or not. Creed Riley bought a ranch in the middle of winter. Seems like a strange time of year to buy a ranch. Then he finds out that he has a couple of house guests. One happens to be a dog they name Noel. It’s a beautiful name for a dog that appears around Christmas.

I find it interesting that Carolyn has given Sage and Creed some things in common. But it does raise the question; will this bring them together or pull them apart? Will the holiday work some magic on the couple?

Sage is an artist and Carolyn had me wishing that she had some illustrations in this book. I would have loved to have seen some of Sage’s work. I will just have to use Carolyn’s words to paint the pictures in my mind.

There are several things in Carolyn’s book that I can connect with. One thing is that Sage’s grandmother, Ada, plays my favorite card game. It was a game that my grandparents taught me and it brings back great memories. If you like to play cards, you may have played it or like to learn.

Music plays a part in this book. I hope you will put on some holiday music as you read. If you are a country fan, there is some great country Christmas tunes out there. One song that you may wish to listen to is “Mary Did You Know”. My favorite rendition of this tune was by Kenny Rogers and Wynonna Judd. Another song that you may want to listen to is “On This Winter’s Night” by Lady Antebellum..

If you are looking for any holiday themed romance books, I hope you will add this to your list. It’s a very sweet story with some scenes that will heat things up. If you love animals, you will even get that fix here. If you have your own animals, and they love to cuddle with you, what better way then while you are reading Carolyn’s book. Happy Holidays!

[Rating:4.5]

Buy: Mistletoe Cowboy

Review: Courting a Cowboy by Patricia McLinn

Courting a CowboyReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Sophie Vandercook works as an instructor at Mrs. Forestell’s Academy. She tells friends about having an absent husband and plans to convince them by trip to Wyoming. She’s actually using the trip to go visit her brother.

Nate Abbott has been corresponding with Sophie. But when she walks into the store he’s in, he doesn’t recognize her. Then eventually the light bulb clicks on for us, as we read their interaction. But something is amiss. The ranch hands will have you chuckling. They remind me of the male version of the ladies of River City from “The Music Man”.

The ranch hands think of Sophie as part of their family. How the ranch hands feel about Sophie is like how the lost boys felt about Wendy. And yet everything they know about Sophie, up until now, was based on letters that they received. But Sophie doesn’t realize what a flim-flam her brother was. The ranch hands respect her and don’t want to let her know the truth.

Nate seems to be a man that keeps his feelings close to the chest – makes me wonder if it was because of a woman. Sophie is as stubborn as they come. It will be interesting to see who wins this war.

I love the character named Doughy. I grew up watch Bonanza and thinking that Doughy would fit right in. He would be just like Hop Sing. My family watched the show religiously and I could picture Doughy cooking up a storm for the Cartwright family.

I love how Patricia describes the surrounding landscape. She’s like an artist putting bold colors on a canvas – but her canvas is paper. She also has a way with words. Sophie, at times, uses some pretty big words. I have to wonder if Patricia had to keep a dictionary or thesaurus handy. It also has me wondering if Sophie uses the big words so that people won’t get too close. I also get the impression that Patricia knows quite a bit about ranch life.

I fell in love with everyone at the OS. Sophie has a couple of women that she writes to at the Academy where she works. I wonder if Patricia will continue the adventures of the OS and have the story revolve around Alice. It will be interesting to see if she gets her own story.

[Rating:4.5]

Buy: Courting a Cowboy

Review: Catch Me a Cowboy by Katie Lane

Catch Me a CowboyReviewed by Mailani

A woman whose lost it all and doesn’t even know it until it’s too late… that’s Shirlene Dalton. Growing up was rough on her, but she and her brother made it to the top of their little town in Bramble, Texas. Shirlene, who’s widowed by her lucrative older husband, losses a great deal of her fortune through a mismanagement of her funds. A Texas damsel in distress, she works at covering up her financial problems from the town and family. She’ll do anything to appear
unscathed by her loss, even moving back into an old unused trailer, a childhood home, after losing her substantial house to foreclosure.

Upon moving into the trailer, she finds out she’s not the only tenet… but one of four others. A teenager with a chip on her shoulder, a little preteen salesman, and a screaming baby… whatever is she to do? She makes a deal with the children, that she wont turn them in… in the processes of helping them, finds out what’s she’s been missing in her
posh life… motherhood.

Through all this growth, you’d be shocked to find out that she just so happens to be living next to a crude sexy cowboy, whom she just can’t get enough of. His boyish good guy ways, strike a cord in her heart… until she finds out who this man truly happens to be, and why he’s come to her town. The man she falls in love with came to destroy her town and all in his path… including her. The Banker… a man whom plans revenge on Bramble to right a curse that’s affected his family for generations.

All in all, I felt like the romance wasn’t a great build up; the infatuation was a little too immediate; but the description of the banker will live forever in my good old Texas boy fantasies. Swoon.

[Rating:3.5]

Buy: Catch Me a Cowboy (Deep in the Heart of Texas)

[phpbay]catch cowboy katie lane, 10, “”, “”[/phpbay]

Review: Losses and Gains (Cowboy Fever, Book 2) by Karen Wiesner

Losses and Gains Karen WiesnerReviewed by Sandra Scholes

The loss in this novel is what Lance Olsen, Triple Aces Ranch co-owner feels when his wife, Colleen and son are killed in a fire. Four years have passed, and not without him thinking about her, and how he will cope with her absence. He puts all his attention into his ranch, not thinking about women – his grief is too great for that, and his heart broken after what happened.

The gains are yet to be imagined for when Colleen’s sister, Janaya returns to the ranch, she doesn’t expect his reaction to her homecoming would be a bad one where he shouts at her and accuses her of being selfish. She hasn’t had the best of lives, been to the two funerals of her sister and her son, Gavin but once all the hard feelings have blown over, she finds she has fallen in love with Lance, and thinks as he has closed off his heart to other women, there will be no chance of him ever falling for her.

Janaya makes a living from appearing in radio commercials even though she could pay her months rent from the check she had got for it. She has dreams to become a successful Country and Western singer, but the gigs she got were hardly what she would call successful, as her time in bars would barely make others listen to her if it weren’t for the drinks and other entertainment around. Janaya wants to have the life Colleen and Lance had, and the idea of settling down with a husband and children suits her just fine, but for the fact she has no man to call her own and a series of jobs that won’t buy her a big enough house for a family.

Going back to Lance seems the most sensible idea, but the reception she gets isn’t one of love or caring – it’s of years of pent up frustration, anger, and sadness at what happened to Lance four years ago.

The reader will get to know a lot about Janaya and her life, and how it had disappointed her so much. She knows with the right contacts she could have been a star, but she more than knows that life isn’t paved out like that, and sometimes God or fate has a different role for her. I found this to be a love story that grows out of desperation, and hurt from a great loss. Lance has to leave the hurt inside him, and let love grow instead; maybe get rid of some of the frost off his heart for a change. Janaya acts as his hope later, and readers can gain a lot from reading it.

[Rating:4]

Buy: Losses And Gains [Cowboy Fever Series Book 2]

Review + Giveaway: Big Sky Country (Parable, Book 1) by Linda Lael Miller

big sky countryHero: Divorced Sheriff Slade Barlow’s father is the richest rancher in Parable, Montana, but illegitimate Slade was never acknowledged… until his passing. Slade is claimed for the first time in John Carmody’s will and given half of the Whisper Creek Ranch. Hutch, his half-brother and the legitimate heir, is not thrilled. He is not inclined to share – the ranch or the girl.

Heroine: Joslyn Kirk used to live as a spoiled popular rich girl, until her stepfather cheated many in town of their life savings. After his death in prison, Joslyn returns to Parable hoping to make amends for his actions. She sells her software company and quietly pays back those who were defrauded. Her return to town is not an easy one, many are suspicious of her.

Romance is complicated by life – Joslyn is Hutch’s high school sweetheart and Slade’s teenage stepdaughter, Shae, wants to come live with him.

Review: Two feuding cowboys? I’m in! The competitive give and take, back and forth, between Hutch and Slade really make the book. Nicer still is the positive turn to the rivalry later in the story.

I never really understood why Joslyn wouldn’t continue making computer software as she could always start another business for it. It seemed strange to waste her college education by switching over to work as a receptionist in a small town real estate agency.

I love Slade – strong, quiet, muscles, gentleman, dreamer, a good stepfather, a hot lover, a sense of humor, plus he’s a sheriff!

[Rating:3.75]

Buy: Big Sky Country

Excerpt from Linda Lael Miller’s Big Sky Country:

John Carmody had never once acknowledged him, in all Slade’s thirty-five years of life, and it wasn’t likely that he’d had a deathbed change of heart and altered his will to include the product of his long-ago affair with Callie.

No, Slade thought, Carmody hadn’t had a heart, not where he and his mother were concerned, anyway. He’d never so much as spoken to Slade in all those years; looked right through him, when they did come into contact, as if he was invisible. If that stiff-necked son of a bitch had instructed Maggie to make sure Slade was there for the reading of the will, it was probably so he’d know what he was missing out on, when all that land and money went to Hutch.

You can stick it all where the sun never shines, old man. Slade thought angrily. He’d never expected—or wanted—to inherit a damn thing from John Carmody—bad enough that he’d gotten the bastard’s looks, his dark hair, lean and muscular build, and blue eyes—and it galled him that Maggie, his mother’s friend, would be a party to wasting his time like this.

Buy: Big Sky Country

Follow along on the blog tour: http://booktrib.com/blog-tour-big-sky-country-by-nyt-bestselling-author-linda-lael-miller/.

GIVEAWAY: I have 1 print copy of Big Sky Country up for grabs. Open to readers living within US or Canada. Enter by leaving a comment. Last day to enter is June 8, 2012. Good luck!