Title: Always a Cowboy by Linda Lael Miller
The Carsons of Mustang Creek Series Book Two
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
He’s the middle of the three Carson brothers and is as stubborn as they come—and he won’t thank a beautiful stranger for getting in his way!
Drake Carson is the quintessential cowboy. In charge of the family ranch, he knows the realities of this life, its pleasures and heartbreaks. Lately, managing the wild stallions on his property is wearing him down. When an interfering so-called expert arrives and starts offering her opinion, Drake is wary, but he can’t deny the longing—and the challenge—she stirs in him.
Luce Hale is researching how wild horses interact with ranch animals—and with ranchers. The Carson matriarch invites her to stay with the family, which guarantees frequent encounters with Drake, her ruggedly handsome and decidedly unwelcoming son. Luce and Drake are at odds from the very beginning, especially when it comes to the rogue stallion who’s stealing the ranch mares. But when Drake believes Luce is in danger, that changes everything—for both of them.
Always a Cowboy by Linda Lael Miller is a low-key, super sweet romance with just a hint of sass and steam. Although this latest release is the second installment in The Carsons of Mustang Creek series, it can be read as a standalone but I highly recommend the first book in the series as well.
The sparks are definitely flying when Drake Carson stumbles across Lucinda “Luce” Hale observing a wild horse herd on his family’s ranch. Initially, those sparks are fueled by animosity as Drake tries to avoid her while she works on her thesis. Luce is not any happier with Drake since he continually underestimates her ability to take care of herself as she continues gathering information for her paper. Slowly but surely, those sparks turn to passion but will this Wyoming cowboy and California woman figure out a way to make their relationship work?
Drake is a quintessential, hardworking cowboy who has a strong work ethic and old-fashioned swoon worthy manners. He is the epitome of the strong silent type and he tries hard to avoid any type of discussion involving feelings or emotions. Drake has no interest in being a subject for Luce’s thesis but he grudgingly agrees to help as long as she stays out of his way. As their paths continue to cross and he makes sure she is safe while monitoring the herd, he realizes his feelings for Luce are beginning to shift into romantic territory. With an aversion to casual relationships, will Drake give in to his desire?
Luce is quite feisty and she will not let Drake’s objections deter her from taking a few necessary risks in order to complete her thesis. They go toe to toe on a couple of occasions but they manage to figure out a compromise that works for both of them. She is quickly enamored by the laconic cowboy but Luce has her future all planned out so she is reluctant to take their relationship any further than friendship. Finding it virtually impossible to resist the simmering passion between them, Luce and Drake finally share an incredibly romantic night together, but with some very real obstacles to overcome, will their relationship end when Luce completes her research?
Set against the wild and untamed beauty of Wyoming, Always a Cowboy is a light-hearted, angst-free addition to The Carsons of Mustang Creek series. With an endearing cast of characters and a vibrant setting, this heartwarming novel will leave readers smiling from ear to ear from the witty banter between Drake, Luce and the Carson family. I cherished every second of delightfully charming and sighworthy love story and I highly recommend it to old and new fans of Linda Lael Miller.