Review: Hang Tough by Lorelei James

Title: Hang Tough by Lorelei James
Blacktop Cowboys Series Book Eight
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


In the new Blacktop Cowboys® novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Wrapped and Strapped, one woman learns that when it comes to cowboys, looks can be deceiving…

When Tobin Hale stepped in to stop Garnet Evans’s son from railroading her out of her own home, he knew moving in with his favorite Mud Lily could be seen as strange. But nothing prepared him for the arrival of Garnet’s fiery, beautiful granddaughter, Jade—or her assumption that he’s up to no good…

While Tobin might be the hottest man Jade Evans has ever seen, his physical attributes won’t distract her from protecting her grandma from his sweet-talking ways. But the stubborn cowboy digs in his boot heels and refuses to leave. Stuck in close quarters together, Jade learns Tobin is the real deal—a hardworking, fiercely loyal man and she’s the one in danger of losing her heart.

And just when he was prepared to leave Muddy Gap behind, Tobin may have found the kind of woman worth sticking around for…


Hang Tough by is a sweet, steamy and humorous addition to Lorelei James’ marvelous Blacktop Cowboy series.  Although it is the eighth book in the series, it can easily be read as a standalone, but I highly recommend the previous novels as well.

Tobin Hale is a genuinely nice, thoughtful and considerate man but he is ready to move on from Muddy Gap in hopes of finding a career that utilizes his degrees. The charming cowboy is also hoping a new beginning will jump-start his lackluster love life since he cannot seem to make a connection with any of the ladies in town.  Just as he hands in his notice at the Split Rock Ranch and Resort, his vivacious friend and neighbor, octogenarian Garnet Evans, finds out her son is planning to move her into a retirement home.  Tobin temporarily moves in with Miz G to ensure she is not forced out of her home, but he is taken off guard by the arrival of Garnet’s granddaughter, Jade.  Certain that Tobin is planning to fleece her grandmother, Jade arrives at Garnet’s in full protective mode.  The sparks are soon flying between the city girl and the cowboy but will Tobin and Jade’s preconceived opinions about each other prevent them from acting on their attraction?

After watching his friends find love, Tobin is frustrated by always finding himself friend zoned by the women who catch his eye.  With a very limited dating pool available in the small town of Muddy Gap, he is certain that moving is the answer to his problem.  This decision is made much easier since he is also ready for a career change too. But there is no way Tobin is going to allow the dynamic Miz G to be forced out of her home, so he pushes back his departure date in order to watch out for her.  He is absolutely furious when Jade shows up at her grandmother’s ranch since he is extremely suspicious of her motives since this is the first time she has visited Miz G.

Jade is determined to save her grandmother from the unscrupulous cowboy living with her and she arrives in town with both guns blazing.  Although normally shy around handsome men, she does not hesitate to give Tobin a piece of her mind and their interactions are so antagonistic that Miz G orders them to stay away from one another.  Jade is rather antsy since her grandmother has a busy social calendar which leaves Jade with a little too much free time on her hands.  When her path keeps crossing with Tobin, she starts to wonder if she might have misjudged him but at the same time, Jade is not sure she can fully trust him.

The relationship between Jade and Tobin is certainly rocky in the beginning but since they are living under the same room, there is ample opportunity for them to get to know each other.  Tobin is open and honest about his distant relationship with his brothers and father.  Jade is equally forthcoming about her dissatisfaction with her struggle to find a job in her career field and her struggles with anxiety. Underlying all of their conversations is a sizzling hot sexual tension that eventually becomes impossible to resist.  Trying to keep their unexpected romance a secret from Jade’s grandmother presents some fairly frustrating moments for them but this extended foreplay just makes their desire for each other burn hotter.  With very little angst or drama, Jade and Tobin begin to fall for each other but how will Miz G react to the news they are now a couple?

Hang Tough is a captivating romance that old and new fans of Lorelei James’ Blacktop Cowboys series are going to love. Tobin and Jade are well-developed and appealing characters who are tailor-made for one another.  Their relationship is a wonderful blend of tender conversations and scorching hot sex scenes. The antics of Miz G and her group of friends are outrageous and laugh out loud funny. It is an all around fabulous, fun and sexy novel that readers of contemporary western romances are sure to enjoy.

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1 Comment

Filed under Berkley, Blacktop Cowboys Series, Contemporary, Hang Tough, Lorelei James, Rated B+, Review, Romance

One Response to Review: Hang Tough by Lorelei James

  1. Timitra

    I enjoyed this one as well…Thanks for sharing your thoughts Kathy