Crushing on the Cowboy (Rodeo Dreamers #3) by Sarah M. Anderson

CrushingOnTheCowboyAs The Heartbreak Kid, Mitch Jenner is known as the biggest womanizer of all the rodeo cowboys—but it’s just an act to keep himself safe. In fact, Mitch is so afraid of coming out that he’s opted to stay single—and a virgin. He’s fine with being alone…until he meets the mysterious Paulo.
Paulo Bernardes is here to learn the American style of bull riding well enough to teach it back home in Brazil. A namorado—a boyfriend—will distract him from his goal, but he’s captivated by Mitch, who understands him even when they don’t speak the same language. In return, Paulo wants Mitch to accept himself—and their relationship.
In private, Mitch yields to his attraction to Paulo and is rewarded with a heat and tenderness he comes to crave. But he still fears exposing their relationship. And as they grow closer, Paulo wonders how he’ll live without Mitch once their time together is up—how he’ll pick up the pieces of his heart when it’s time to say goodbye.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1This is the first book by Sarah M. Anderson that I’ve read. Even though there seems to be a little bit of confusion about exactly where this book falls in the Rodeo Dreamers series, I don’t think it makes much difference what order you read the books.

The description pretty much says it all. Mitch uses his womanizing reputation as a cover for his attraction to men. For the most part it works, but Paulo sees what others don’t. Paulo may not have time for a romance, but he can’t seem to resist Mitch and is confused by his need to hide who he really is. Their attraction is heated and the language barrier between them adds to both the mystery and the confusion.

I liked the story for the most part. The natural hesitance jumped to instant heat a lot faster than I expected. This one came in at only about 138 pages, which might have been the problem. I think that if the story was just a little bit longer and gave the characters more to build on I might have enjoyed it even more. *sigh*

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Roped In by Marie Sexton & L.A. Witt

RopedIn_600x900Graham and his roping partner, Jackson, have been friends since they were boys. They’ve ruled the rodeo scene for ten years running, but lately, Graham’s heart isn’t in the game. He’s tired of the bruises, the cowboy mentality, and the animal rights activists who picket every event. He’s also tired of being in love with Jackson, and nothing’s been the same between them since their disastrous drunken encounter the year before.
Then Graham has a run-in with one of the rodeo protesters, and everything changes. Kaz is young, idealistic, and sexy as hell. But he’s also a know-it-all, animal-loving vegan, bent on saving the world one cow at a time. They have next to nothing in common, but Graham can’t stop thinking about what might happen if they can stop butting heads long enough to give it a try. Unfortunately, no matter how attracted Graham is to other men, he always panics and runs when the clothes start to come off. But Kaz has an idea for getting Graham past his nerves and into bed.
All they need is a bit of rope.
(Note: This is a re-edited second edition of a previously published title.)

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1It’s always an added bonus when two authors that you follow collaborate. Even though this is a re-make of a previous title, I missed it the first time around. It’s not the first Sexton/Witt collaboration I’ve read and you’ll be happy to know that it won’t be the last. 😉

I’ve said before that BDSM isn’t my go-to genre, but every once in a while, especially if it’s written by an author (or in this case authors) that I really like, I take a chance. Roped In is one of those books. If you’re like me and not really into anything hard core when it comes to the genre, or if you’re not sure, Roped In is fairly tame. That doesn’t mean that it’s not full of smexiness… far from it.

There’s no reason why a relationship between a rodeo cowboy and an animal rights activist could even be close to compatible. Somehow this writing duo made it work. I loved Kaz’s energy and his compassion. I also loved his ability to keep an open mind when Graham offered to show him that he may be wrong about his opinion on some things. There was a lot to love about Graham too. I loved his willingness to take the time to show Kaz that there were some things he should know before condemning every cowboy. I was also really happy that he gave Kaz a chance to show him a thing or two. 😉 Basically, Roped In was a sweet, unexpected love story that ended a lot sooner than I was ready for. ❤

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Willing Hands (Wild R Farm #5) by Silvia Violet

WillingHandsWill has a temper as wild as the bear he holds inside. Normally he’s an easy-going, caring guy, but if someone crosses him, he uses his claws and shifter strength to set them straight. His temper ruined his chance at the career he wanted, but now he’s working at Wild R Farm, enjoying the camaraderie and longing for more with one special man.

No one at the farm knows much about Ryan. He’s done time in prison and he carries scars that tell of something horrible in his past. When he gifts Will with one of his rare smiles, Will decides to do whatever it takes to get him to smile more often. Will is used to being a protector, and even when he learns Ryan’s dark secrets, he refuses to turn away. What he doesn’t realize is that he needs Ryan’s quiet strength as much as Ryan needs someone to show they care. Ryan’s past threatens to send him running, but Will and the rest of the crew of Wild R prove that no matter the danger, they take care of their own.

This one was sweet. Ryan didn’t stand a chance when Will and the other members of the Wild R crew took him under their collective wing. That’s pretty much what I love most about this series.

I’m a big believer in second chances. That’s exactly what Cole offers pretty much everyone who works at the Wild R whether they’re shifter or human. Not one person there, including Cole himself, doesn’t have something in their past that they wish they could change. It didn’t matter that no one really knew Ryan’s story, they just knew he was broken. They saw him for the person he had become, not the person he was. When his story was finally revealed, it broke my heart. Turns out, the only person really judging Ryan was himself.

It wasn’t just Ryan in Willing Hands that had a past to overcome. Will was just as hard on himself as Ryan was. They were a pretty unlikely couple, but it worked. I’m kind of hoping that we get to see more of them so we get to see Ryan come out of his shell with everyone at the Wild R and not just with Will.

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Badlands Bad Boy (Texas Brand #3) by Maggie Shayne

BadlandsBadBoyAlter Ego or Ghostly Warrior?

Wes Brand is the black sheep of the family. But lately, he’s become friends with an old Shaman named Turtle who has hidden reasons for wanting to put Wes in touch with his Comanche roots. He convinces Wes to impersonate legendary warrior, Wolf Shadow, to drive archaeologist Dr. Taylor McCoy away from her dig site. His failing health provides plenty of leverage. But when the beautiful doc finds herself falling for both Wes and his ghostly alter-ego, Wes wonders how he’ll get out of the mess he’s made without ruining the powerful feelings beginning to grow between them.

Yes, some of this one was kinda corny and yes, some of the things that Wes did seemed totally out of character. Even though some of this one was a little far-fetched… at least in the beginning, I still loved Badlands Bad Boy. It’s those darn Brand guys, gals and kids. They pull me in every time. *sigh*

Wes may be the black sheep of the Brand family for obvious reasons, but that’s just the people from the outside looking in. To every one of his brothers and sisters, he’s their brother. He’s spent most of his life avoiding his Comanche roots and now it’s his turn to open the mind of another person trying to do the same thing. His love and respect for Turtle makes him do things that he would never consider.

If not for the magic in this one, I might not have enjoyed it as much. That aspect made this more than a simple love story. As crazy as it sounds, it made it more real. It also took me a while to really like Taylor, but once again, I have the Brands to thank for that. By the end of the story I was kind of hoping that readers would see more of Wes and Taylor because I have a feeling that their story is far from over.

Next up for the Texas Brand is Long Gone Lonesome Blues and I have no doubt that this one is going to be a heart breaker.

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Rocky Mountain Heat (Six Pack Ranch #1) by Vivian Arend

RocyMountainHeatBlake Coleman is old enough to know that acting on impulse causes nothing but a heap of trouble. But when trouble’s a blonde wearing a cowboy hat with slim legs that go on forever, what’s a man to do? Wanting the sweet girl next door is just wrong. Hell, he was the one that taught her to ride a horse and now all he can think about is riding her. The responsible thing to do is keep his hands off.

Jaxi has other plans for his hands, and his heart. She may have considered Blake a big brother once but that was a long time ago. She’s all grown up now and ready to convince him that she’s just what he’s been waiting for. 

Add the complication of two sexy younger brothers who have suddenly noticed Jaxi and things heat up fast. Blake’s gonna have to decide if a little trouble is worth fighting for.

Well, this one was fun. I’ve read several books by Vivian Arend, but none of them were contemporary. I love her Granite Lake Wolves series. It’s full of snarky, alpha characters. The Six Pack Ranch series has some pretty snarky, witty characters too… they just don’t turn into wolves. 🙂

The Coleman’s have known Jaxi since she was a little girl. The problem is, that’s exactly how Blake still sees her. When she comes to stay at the ranch to help out his mom, it’s almost more than he can handle… especially since… well, Jaxi is a handful. So are Blake’s brothers. Turns out that everyone in not only the family, but in the close knit town knows how Blake feels about Jaxi. Watching him finally cave was fun.

The back and forth banter between the brothers and the rest of the family made me definitely want to get to know this crew better. Oh, and Blake wasn’t the only brother having romance problems in Rocky Mountain Heat. Let’s just say things got pretty interesting… I can’t wait to see where this series goes. Speaking of which, the next book in the series is Rocky Mountain Haven.

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My Cowboy Homecoming (The Cowboys #3) by Z.A. Maxfield

MyCowboyHomecomingLove can heal the deepest wounds…

A sense of duty brings a soldier home…but a passionate cowboy makes him want to stay.

After his brother’s tragic death, Tripp has to leave the army and return to New Mexico to take care of his mother while his father is in prison for arson. Seeking work at the J-Bar Ranch, Tripp is immediately drawn to injured cowboy Lucho Reyes, whose foot was accidentally crushed by a rescue horse. But will the sins of the father interfere with the desires of the son? Tripp’s father may be responsible for the death of Lucho’s grandfather. Now Tripp must balance caring for his mother, repairing his father’s damages, and trying to win the heart of a man who has every reason to hate him and his family.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Well, I honestly had every intention of reading the first book (My Cowboy Heart) in The Cowboys series after I read My Heartache Cowboy, but then I saw My Cowboy Homecoming… and well… you see where this is going, right?

I mentioned in my review of My Heartache Cowboy that I had a hard time connecting with the characters. The good news is that I didn’t have any issues at all connecting with Tripp and Lucho. I was curious about how Z.A. Maxfield was going to get these two together at all, much less give them a HEA. It wasn’t easy and it definitely wasn’t instant. Tripp had a lot to prove, but he was determined.

There were a lot of twists and turns in My Cowboy Homecoming. Tripp’s father still had a hold on his mother that was frightening and needed to be broken. While trying to bring his mother out of her fantasy world, he had to prove to everyone that the sins of the father don’t always define the son. In the process he also had to figure out who he was. The J-Bar Ranch turned out to be the perfect place to start.

Hopefully I’ll get a chance to pick up My Cowboy Heart before the next book in this series, My Cowboy Promises, is released in June.

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Drawing the Devil by Jon Keys

DrawingTheDevilA heart can live a lifetime in eight seconds.

Ever since his father caught him with another boy and threw him out at the tender age of sixteen, Dustin Lewis has been fighting his way up the national bull-riding rankings. He’s on the brink of qualifying for the National Finals when he draws Diablo, a notoriously rank bull—and the ride goes bad.

When bullfighter Shane Rees frees Dustin from the rigging of the same bull that nearly destroyed his face, he comes dangerously close to dropping his guard. Shane knows the potential consequences of being gay in a sport loaded with testosterone-overdosed cowboys, and the resulting scars of mind and body have left him with little self-worth.

Their near-death-by-bull first meeting sparks an attraction that awakens every last one of their personal demons. Yet as the National Finals draws closer, so do they. But they’ll have to overcome emotional highs, near-tragic lows, and bone-crushing danger before love can bust out of the chute.

Warning: Contains man-on-man boot knocking, rawhide and raw emotions, badass cowboys and even badder-ass bulls. This ain’t your old man’s rodeo.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I liked this one, but there was just something…. well, hard to connect with. I think it might have been because there just wasn’t enough time for everything that happened. Shane doesn’t have enough trust and Dustin has zero patience and …. yeah a lot happens.

Even though I don’t think that the story was long enough, I still liked what was there. There was tension, more than a little bit of a spark and danger that involved more than a badass bull. I loved Shane’s family and when Shane and Dustin shut out the rest of the world, I loved them too.

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Embracing Need (Wild R Farm #3) by Silvia Violet

EmbracingNeedHorse shifter, Tristan Hayes, doesn’t believe in relationships. He believes in hot, sweaty one-night stands that leave him aching for days.

Private investigator, Wesley James, is looking for someone to settle down with, but it’s never occurred to him that someone could be a man.

Tristan loves a good game, so he flirts with Wes, never thinking anything serious will come of his attraction. Wes fends him off, but after three months of cat and mouse, both men are worn out from fighting what they feel.

When a young woman from Tristan’s herd goes missing, he asks for Wes’s help. Tristan keeps up his flirtatious façade until Wes calls his bluff, taking him out for dinner and dancing. As they search for the missing shifter, Tristan struggles to believe Wes could care for the man Tristan hides beneath his abrasive exterior.

I love these Wild R Farm boys and Tristan is one of my favorites. 😉 The attraction between Tristan and Wes was pretty comical when it seemed to be one-sided. Once Wes started returning the attraction, everything changed.

One thing I noticed in Embracing Need was that Tristan seemed to be ‘toned down’ a little. It wasn’t a drastic change and it may have been just me. It also may have been because readers were allowed to be inside his head. Regardless, I still loved him.

I also enjoyed getting to know Wes better. He was the perfect balance for Tristan. Once he stopped fighting the attraction, it was obvious that they were great for each other.

One of my favorite parts of this series is the sense of family that surrounds Wild R Farm. I love the interaction between the previous characters and the current characters. Family isn’t always blood, everyone deserves a second chance and once you’re a part of this unconventional family, there is always someone who has your back. Yeah, I love these guys. 😉

I’m currently playing catch-up with this series and can’t wait to get to the next book. I won’t be skipping Taming Tristan, the novella that falls between Embracing Need and Willing Hands. Who could resist spending more time with Tristan and Wes?

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If Wishes Were Horses by Silvia Violet

WishesWereHorsesKenneth Carver had everything growing up except warmth and acceptance. When protecting his family’s name became more than he could bear, he came out as gay, sold his company, and bought a horse ranch.

Andrew Wofford’s last undercover assignment nearly cost him his sanity. Now he has another chance of catching the drug runner who killed one of his informants and then escaped, but gruesome flashbacks threaten his ability to function in the field.

Andy’s latest investigation sends him to Ken’s ranch where he poses as a ranch hand. Ken is a prime suspect, but Andy refuses to believe Ken is guilty, in part because Andy is falling for him. Ken knows Andy isn’t who he seems, but he can’t bring himself to push the man away. When Ken hears rumors that someone is using his land to move drugs out of the city, he worries that it’s Andy. Neither man can trust the other even though that’s exactly what their hearts tell them to do.

I have to admit that I wasn’t sure about this one to begin with. Ken and Andy spent most of the book not trusting each other. It’s hard to build a relationship with a lack of trust. The thing that kept me hanging on in this story was he fact that even though they weren’t sure about each other, they had that ‘gut’ feeling that they were right.

Ken didn’t have it easy growing up. The perfect example that money isn’t everything. Andy had it a little bit easier, but mentally and emotionally he was a mess. These were definitely two men who needed each other. They just had a hard time admitting it.

The suspense in this one was perfect. The romance was heated and the supporting characters were great. If not for the fact that Ken and Andy wasted a lot of time hiding the truth from each other, it would have been perfect. I loved these two guys together and I can’t wait to see if the story continues from here. There are definitely a few characters that I would like to see more of.

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Watching Fireflies (Love Bug #1) by Jaycee Ford

WatchingFirefliesJordan Hawthorne thought she had it all until a surprise for her fiancé turns into losing everything that she ever wanted. She flees her home in Charlotte, North Carolina to take a new job in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and make a new start where her ex-fiancé can’t find her. Jordan is just beginning to adjust to her new life in the middle of nowhere when a small town cowboy walks in and disrupts it all.

Tom McCloud never had time for a serious commitment, always too busy with running his grandparents’ farm. Everything changes when he stumbles upon a broken-hearted city girl and a steamy buzz ignites between them. But what happens when the city girl can’t stay hidden in the country for long?

Watching Fireflies was a quick read that was kinda sweet, kinda corny and kinda fun with a not so nice stalker thrown into the mix.

I liked the story and the characters were good too, but both the main characters did some things during the course of the story that just made me shake my head. I’m not going to tell you what they did, just because I don’t believe in giving anything away. And maybe hind sight is 20/20, but some of the things that these two took for granted and didn’t think about made some of the scenarios a little over the top.

Other than that, the story was sweet, the romance was hot and steamy and the characters (when they weren’t doing really, really stupid things) were pretty likable. Since Watching Fireflies is the first book in the Love Bug series, I’m willing to give the next books the benefit of the doubt and continue reading. Dragonfly Awakening is the next book in the series and even though the time frame probably coincides with the story line in Watching Fireflies, it should prove to be an interesting read.

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