Title: Bad News Cowboy by Maisey Yates
Copper Ridge Series Book Three
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Can the bad boy of Copper Ridge, Oregon, make good—and win the rodeo girl of his dreams?
Kate Garrett keeps life simple—working hard, riding her beloved horses, playing cards with her brothers. Lately, though, she feels a bit restless, especially when family friend Jack Monaghan is around. Sexy and shameless, Jack is the kind of trouble you don’t tangle with unless you want your heart broken. Still, Kate could always use his help in learning how to lasso someone a little less high risk…
Jack can’t pinpoint the moment the Garrett brothers’ little sister suddenly stopped seeming so…little. Now here he is, giving flirting tips to the one woman who needs zero help turning him on. Love’s a game he’s never wanted to play. But he’ll have to hurry up and learn how before the best thing that ever entered his life rides right back out again…
Bad News Cowboy, the latest installment in Maisey Yates’ fantastic Copper Ridge series, is a deliciously sexy friends to lovers romance. This outing pairs the Garrett family’s youngest sister Kate with their bad boy friend Jack Monaghan and the resulting story is a sizzling hot story of love and healing.
Kate was only two years old when her mother abandoned her and her older brothers, Eli and Connor. With their alcoholic father unable to take care of himself let alone his children, the boys stepped in and raised her while at the keeping the family ranch from going under. Another constant in her life is Eli and Connor’s best friend, Jack, but lately, their once easygoing, sibling-like friendship has turned into a source of friction for Kate. She does not understand why Jack suddenly rubs her the wrong way but when he offers to teach her how to flirt, Kate rapidly figures out she is attracted to him. After they share a very steamy and unexpected kiss, Jack is rather disconcerted by his sudden desire for his friends’ little sister. There is absolutely NO way Eli and Connor will approve of Kate dating Jack, but one passionate night turns into a romance both are determined to keep hidden from prying eyes.
Growing up with nothing but male role models, Kate is a bit of a tomboy. She is most comfortable in jeans and boots and she practically breaks out in hives at the thought of wearing a dress. Kate has not been interested in dating but now that her brothers have fallen in love, she has come to realize that everyone else is moving forward while she has become stagnant. Getting a little experience in the romance department is just one of several changes she is planning on making and Jack is the safe choice to help her learn how to interact with men as a woman instead of just one of the guys. He is also the logical person to go to when she needs some assistance making sure she is ready to hit the professional rodeo circuit. Kate is feisty, independent and stubborn, but she feels safe revealing her vulnerabilities to Jack since their backgrounds share many similarities.
Everyone views Jack as a laidback and easygoing man who does not take anything too seriously. He has a well-earned reputation as heartbreaker since he prefers one night stands and he has never been involved in a serious relationship. However, underneath his surface charm and carefree exterior, Jack is a bit damaged and carrying a lot of pain from his dysfunctional childhood. He hides his insecurities behind his cocky attitude and he also harbors a great deal of residual anger toward his absentee father. While Jack eagerly accepts the blame when he does something wrong, he is unwilling to take credit for the good things he does. Kate quickly picks up on this pattern but she is reluctant to push the issue with him and eventually Jack will have to do a little soul searching on his own so he can make peace with his past.
The chemistry between Jack and Kate is off the charts smoking hot and their friendship easily withstands the change in their relationship. They find it easy to confide in each other about their fears and they also have some very serious discussions about their respective childhoods. Kate is surprisingly intuitive despite her age and her perspective helps Jack see himself more clearly. While they are in agreement about indulging in a short term fling, both are very concerned about not letting anyone find out about their romance. However once Jack realizes how deep his feelings for Kate run, he does not hesitate to attempt to move their relationship out into the open. Unfortunately, Jack underestimates Kate’s reaction to going public and he stands to lose everything he holds dear when their romance is revealed.
Bad News Cowboy is another captivating addition to Maisey Yates’ Copper Ridge series. Jack and Kate are wonderfully developed protagonists with believable flaws and realistic problems to overcome. Their relationship is greatly enhanced by their longstanding friendship and their transition from friends to lovers feels natural. Both of the characters grow and evolve throughout the novel and this is, in part, a direct result of their romance. Sweet, steamy and heartfelt, it is an absolutely delightful romance that old and new fans to the series are going to love.