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!


Buy: Mistletoe Cowboy

Dear Santa

Guest Blog by Carolyn Brown, author of Mistletoe Cowboy (Spikes & Spurs)

Hi y’all!

Thank you for inviting me to stop at your site and visit with you about my newest release, Mistletoe Cowboy. Just looking at the cover and reading the copy on the back of the book says that it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, doesn’t it?

Speaking of Christmas…it’s not time to put up the tree just yet even if the stores are already decorated and ready for the holidays. But it’s never too early to think about writing the Dear Santa letter because he does need time to make sure he can deliver the items mentioned in the letter.

So while we’re waiting on Thanksgiving to come and go, we can be working on the letter and trying to stay off that naughty list that he carries around in his hip pocket.

Dear Santa,

First of all I have been a very good girl. Not one time did I drink too much at the Romance Writers of America Conference this past summer. And I did not pout more than five minutes when I didn’t win the RITA on Saturday night…well, maybe fifteen, but no more than that, I promise. I’ve met all my deadlines this year and only cussed a few times when the computer was a real b#$%#ch and decided to reboot right in the middle of a chapter I had not saved.

I’m not asking for one of those fancy new computers that does everything but tell me bedtime stories. Or six extra hours in every day so I can write a few thousand extra words each day. I’ll make do with my trusty old computer and the hours I have if you’ll just keep the coffee pot full and those little chocolate kisses in the candy dish.

What I really, really want is a cowboy Christmas. I deserve it because I wrote Creed and Sage’s story and they got all the glory. Okay, okay, I got my name on the front in great big sparkly gold letters but that was my consolation prize. Creed got top billing with the picture of his sexy self on the front cover and Sage, well, Santa, she stole the show with her sassy attitude and beauty.

Now before you go hum-hawing around and telling me that you can’t possibly build a cowboy Christmas in less than two months, I’ll explain exactly what I mean.

I want a cowboy who wears his jeans just right, sets his hat at just the right angle and his boots are scuffed because he’s a real cowboy and works on the ranch every day. He can even have spurs and I do like a flannel shirt.

He needs to be tall dark and handsome, know how to two-step and it wouldn’t hurt if he could play the guitar and sing.

You can deliver him any time you want so that we can go to the woods and chop down a real Christmas tree, just like Creed and Sage did in Mistletoe Cowboy. That way I can enjoy him all season. Could you please make sure he knows how to cook, too? I’m going to be real busy working on the Christmas book for next year, The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby, and if my Christmas cowboy could make gingerbread and sugar cookies, that would be great.

Whoa! What do you mean you can’t find a cowboy like that? Hey, I know they exist because I just wrote the Spikes & Spurs series and you just go ask Jasmine, Sage, Pearl, Austin and Liz about those cowboys down there on the Texas side of the Red River.

Okay, now that we’ve cleared that up, I expect while you are getting my cowboy Christmas ready, you’d best go on and make up several of them. There’ll be ladies of all ages standing in a mile long line just to get one. Be prepared for lots and lots of cowgirls to sit on your lap at the mall and ask for a cowboy Christmas.

Tell Mrs. Claus hello and that I’m sending her a copy of Mistletoe Cowboy. If you have any questions about how to fix a cowboy Christmas you just ask her about Creed. She’ll fill you in with plenty of details and after she reads it you just might find a cowboy hat and boots under the tree in your size.

Merry Christmas,

Carolyn Brown

So what would you want to incorporate in your Christmas letter if you were asking for a cowboy Christmas? Would you just want the cowboy or does he have to have certain special qualities?

GIVEAWAY: 1 copy of Mistletoe Cowboy. 1 winner, US and Canada only. Enter by leaving a comment! Last day to enter November 16, 2012.

Buy: Mistletoe Cowboy (Spikes & Spurs)

Review: One Hot Cowboy Wedding (Spikes & Spurs, Book 4) by Carolyn Brown

Reviewed by Susan S.

Summary: Spikes & Spurs Series, Book Four

One Problem

If Ace Riley (hero) isn’t married within two years of his grandfather’s death, his distant cousin, Cole, will inherit the Double Deuce.

With a Simple Solution

Marrying his friend, Jasmine King, in a quickie Vegas chapel should ensure Ace’s ownership of the ranch.

Creates the Devil of an Aftermath

As the 5,000th couple to get married at the Cupid’s Wedding Chapel their nuptials were broadcast over national television. Not a good thing if the bride and groom hadn’t told anyone they were getting married. Not friends. Not co-workers. Not even family. So when everyone sees it, guess how their friends take the news? Now imagine how Ace’s parents feel. Well…multiply their shock times three trillion and now you have Kelly (Jasmine’s madder-than-hell mother) King’s reaction. It isn’t pretty! And it’s about to get a whole lot uglier!

Review: Carolyn Brown writes these truly wonderful Western Romances that always leave me feeling like love really can conquer all. When you close the book you feel happy. Let me explain. Picture yourself with ten people you feel completely at ease with. It’s summer time and you’re outside in this big backyard. There’s food, beer, and laughter. And you’re listening to “Home Sweet Home” by The Farm. Now that’s a Brown novel for you!

I loved the scene where everyone’s calling them after the 10 o’clock news. Imagine all those ringtones. Too funny! Then there’s room# 112…steamy. But what I really enjoyed was the way these friends fell in love with each other. When Ace and Jasmine go fishing and he tells her that she’s the only woman that’s ever mattered, well, that’s exactly what romance readers crave.

Updates and Thought Bubbles: If you’re following this series here’s the scoop without the spoilers. Pearl from Red’s Hot Cowboy has one of those life defining moments. And Jasmine’s friend, Lucy, who is also from Red’s Hot Cowboy, goes from a timid battered wife to a gunpowder and lead gal. I simply mean her confidence has grown. Good for her! Another biggie happens to one of the gals’ place of employ, but you’ll have to read the novel to find out the whom, what, and where.

Others in the Series:

What’s Next?

Disclaimer: I received this novel free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

Review-O-Meter [Rating:4]

Buy: One Hot Cowboy Wedding (Spikes & Spurs)

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Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc., Copyright April 2012, Contemporary Western Romance, Mass Market Paperback, Print Pages 355. ISBN# 978-1-4022-5364-5.

A Vegas Wedding of Convenience

Guest blog by Carolyn Brown, author of One Hot Cowboy Wedding

Thank you so much for inviting me back to Love Romance Passion to talk about my new book, One Hot Cowboy Wedding. It’s the fourth book in the Spikes and Spurs series and is Ace and Jasmine’s story.

Best friends for the past year and a half, Jasmine is just trying to help Ace out of a situation that has landed in his lap at the last minute. He has to get married and stay married for a year, according to the will he will lose his ranch. No problem! Jasmine is his friend and she’ll marry him. It can be their little secret and in a year they’ll get a quiet divorce and no one will ever know.

It all works just fine. Right up until they are really married in Vegas and boom! Lights flash and people are everywhere taking pictures. They have won a contest sponsored by the Cupid Wedding Chapel that includes a weekend honeymoon at the Belagio! And it’s broadcast on national television that night. It’s a lot easier to let the cat out of the bag than it is to put the clawing, screaming critter back in the bag.

Both of their mothers start planning a “real” marriage in the state of Texas. It’s going to be a long, long year!

What is a cowgirl to do when she falls in love with her best friend? Well it would have been a helluva lot easier to fall in love with him in a conventional way. As in…he kept coming into her café, Chicken Fried, and having breakfast or lunch or both. As in…they kept visiting over cheeseburgers in the kitchen until one day he bumps into her and they look deeply into each other’s eyes and realize they are more than friends.

Dates, dinners, rodeos, movies, picnics on the Red River…all of those things that cowboys do to court a cowgirl.

That is not the way things went in Jasmine’s relationship with Ace. Suddenly, not only is she thrown into a pretend marriage, but also into a bed with Ace. His brothers moved into the ranch house for the summer while Ace and Jasmine were in Vegas and there’s only one bedroom left…Ace’s! Suddenly, she’s in the middle of wedding preparations with a dress, reception and the whole nine yards. And she’s working full time at her café and trying to fight her feelings for Ace. And just as suddenly she finds herself falling in love with her best friend!

It’s not an easy situation, dear hearts. A cowgirl guards her guy friends and holds them as close to her heart as her gal friends. As a matter of fact, she can tell her “guy person” things that she doesn’t even share with her gal friends.

And now she’s in a whole new place with him. She’s playing at marriage, sharing his bedroom, trying to get through a whole year so they can get a divorce and the thing she misses most is her guy friend, Ace.

An excerpt (hopefully it won’t give too much away):

“Jazzy, you are my best friend. I never thought I’d have a best friend that was a girl, but I’ve told you things and whined on your shoulder about things that even Rye and Wil don’t know. You know my heart and my soul better than anyone. So believe me when I say that last night had nothing to do with our marriage. It had to do with the fact that you are so damned hot that I can’t keep my hands off you. It’s like friend and lover all rolled up into one. I can’t wrap my mind around it so I can’t explain it.”

She understood exactly what he was saying. “But how did this happen, Ace? We went into this knowing it was for a year. That’s all I want. I’m happy running my café and with my life. What happens at the end of a year when we have to end it?”

“We’ll shake hands like Lucy and Luke, sign the papers, and go have dinner to celebrate,” he said.

If that’s all she wanted, then that’s what Ace would give her. He never intended it to be anything more than a paper marriage anyway. But the turmoil deep inside him said that he wanted a lot more than empty vows and a few nights of blazing sex.

Jasmine bit the inside of her lip. She would not cry. It was her day to be the tough one and she would keep the tears at bay, but it had sure enough had been one hell of a day!

So Jasmine has fallen for her best friend who is now her legal husband and he doesn’t want to be married to her. Things couldn’t get any worse. Or could they? She’s got a year and it’s up to her what goes on during that year to change the outcome.

And the crazy thing is that Ace feels the same way but he can’t tell her because he’s promised from day one that he’ll only hold her to the marriage license for one year.

What would you do if you fell in love with your best friend? Would you value the friendship more than the possible happy-ever-after? Would you be scared to make a move for fear that it would ruin that friendship?


A marriage made in Vegas…

Hunky cowboy Ace Riley wasn’t planning on settling down, but his family had other plans for him…The only way to save his hide, and his playboy lifestyle, is to discreetly marry his best friend, Jasmine King.

Can’t possibly last…

Fiesty city–girl Jasmine as just helping out her friend—that is, until their first kiss stirs up a whole mess of trouble, and suddenly discretion is thrown to the wind.

One hot cowboy, one riled up woman…

And they’ll be married for a year, like it or not!

Buy: One Hot Cowboy Wedding


Carolyn Brown is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author with more than forty books published, and credits her eclectic family for her humor and writing ideas. She writes bestselling single title cowboy and country music mass market romances. Born in Texas and raised in southern Oklahoma, Carolyn and her husband now make their home in the town of Davis, Oklahoma, where she continues to write more cowboy romances! For more information, please visit

GIVEAWAY: I have 2 copies of One Hot Cowboy Wedding for giveaway. Comment to enter. Open to US and CAN readers. Last day to enter: April 20, 2012.

Review: Darn Good Cowboy Christmas by Carolyn Brown

Reviewed by Susan S.

Carolyn Brown’s Darn Good Cowboy Christmas is a sizzler; like bacon on a burning hot frying pan. A darn good love story for the holiday season!

Spikes & Spurs Romance Series: Book Three

I’m as shocked as the next reader; I made it on Santa’s good list. Can you believe it? Oh. You can’t? Well…I did! And he fixed my busted review-o-meter. Whoo- Whee! I’ve really missed that ticking noise. Let’s have a look-see. Wow! It’s red, it’s steaming, and the pointer’s on the number five.

Summary: Liz Hanson, heroine, is a fortune teller who’s traveled all her life with her carnival family. She loves them very much and enjoys what she does, but has always felt an unrelenting desire to settle down. To own a house, and to just enjoy the stability that others seem to have. Which explains her speedy acceptance to Uncle Haskell’s offer. He’s giving her what she’s always wanted; her own home. Moving into Haskell’s place was an expected event, after all, she agreed to move in. What Hanson didn’t expect, was to run into her childhood crush, Raylen O’Donnell.

Raylen will awaken her womanly desires, and have her wanting to share her stability with him. Her carnival family on the other hand, insists her restless heart needs to travel. Liz is at a crossroads. Stay in Texas, or leave and travel.

Will Liz’s crystal ball foretell misery, or show her a happily-forever-after?

Review: If you’ve read a Carolyn Brown novel, then I’m just preaching to the choir, because you know how wonderful they are. But, if you haven’t, Darn Good Cowboy Christmas is the perfect place to start reading. Don’t fret new readers; Brown’s novels are stand-alones. She does a great job of cluing you in.

I really enjoyed all the heart-to-heart conversations between Liz and Blaze (who’s like a brother to her). During the dialogues I felt I was sitting next to the characters…listening. No, I wasn’t having auditory hallucinations (laughs). I simply meant the author writes them so expertly.

The story itself is touching and heartwarming. It’s about a woman finding the courage to follow her heart and realizing…that happiness means taking chances.

Recommendations: Recommended for all romance readers regardless of favorite subgenres. You’ll really enjoy it if you like the friends to lovers trope, happily-ever-afters, stories about meeting your soul-mate, and novels about rekindled love.

Cameos and Updates Galore: This Christmas is a cameo celebration. I spied with my little eye hunky Slade Luckadeau (hero from One Lucky Cowboy) with his granny Nellie and her sister Ellen. Jane (heroine also from One Lucky Cowboy) gets her fortune told. An update you won’t want to miss!

The author also updates us on Wil and Pearl, as well as Rye (Raylen’s brother). Because this is Raylen’s story his family plays front and center: sisters (Gemma and Colleen), brothers (Dewar and Rye), parents (Cash and Maddie), and his grandparents.

Lucy from Red’s Hot Cowboy also pops into the Chicken Fried Café. She’s been one busy gal!

What’s Next? Book four, One Hot Cowboy Wedding, has a release date of April 2012; it’s the story of Jasmine and Ace. Someone’s going to Vegas, baby! And just you wait until you see the cover for this novel. Beautiful, I tell you. Absolutely. Beautiful!

Review-O-Meter [Rating:5]

Buy: Darn Good Cowboy Christmas, Darn Good Cowboy Christmas (UK)

Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc., Romance, Copyright Oct. 2011, Mass Market Paperback, Print Pages 379. ISBN# 978-1-4022-6157-2.

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