Category Archives: Carolyn Brown

Review: Cowboy Boots for Christmas by Carolyn Brown

cowboy bootsTitle: Cowboy Boots for Christmas by Carolyn Brown
Burnt Boot Series
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

‘Tis the season for…
Feasting
Frolicking
And…Feuding?

All he wants for Christmas is peace and quiet…
After two tours in Afghanistan, retired Army sniper Finn O’Donnell believes his new ranch outside the sleepy little town of Burnt Boot, Texas, is the perfect place for an undisturbed holiday season. But before he can settle in, an old friend shows up looking for protection and a place where nobody knows her name.

But that’s going to take a miracle…
Callie Brewster must relocate to protect her young nephew, Martin, and the only person she trusts is her old Army friend, Finn. Burnt Boot seems like the perfect place to be anonymous, but it turns out a small town with big drama is no place to hide…

The Review:

Cowboy Boots for Christmas is the wonderfully heartwarming first novel in Carolyn Brown’s newest series, Burnt Boot, TX.  It is another highly entertaining story with plenty of sass, a sighworthy romance and just to keep things interesting, a long running feud that pretty much surpasses the one between the infamous Hatfields and McCoys. Throw in a mess of adorable pets, lovable kids and feisty seniors, and you have an unforgettable tale that will leave you grinning from ear to ear at all of their crazy antics.

Although Finn O’Donnell and Callie Brewster were extremely close during their deployment to Afghanistan, they lost touch after they returned stateside. Two years later, they are reunited at Finn’s isolated ranch outside the small town of Burnt Boot, TX when Callie needs a safe place for her and her nephew Martin to hide for a few weeks. Callie and Finn settle right back into their easy friendship and now they are no longer working together, they are free to explore their smoldering attraction to one another.

Their previous acquaintance is the perfect set up for love to flourish between Callie and Finn. Although they were attracted to each other in Afghanistan, their relationship remained platonic and Finn was momentarily distracted by another woman. Callie is surprised to discover that Finn is still single while Finn is pretty shocked that Callie is now the legal guardian of eight year old Martin. Callie is a little dismayed to discover she is still attracted to Finn but with her aversion to all things cowboy, she is not planning to act on her desire. Meanwhile, Finn is left wondering why he never acted on his long ago attraction to Callie and since he remembers she wants nothing to do with ranch life long term, he does not see any reason to act on his passion either.

The relationship between Callie and Finn is slow growing, and their friendship makes their inevitable transition from friends to lovers believable. Their romance is very sweet with plenty of sexual tension. Their lovemaking is deliciously steamy but the scenes are not very explicit. While their romance is mainly conflict free, Callie has some uncertainties to come to terms with before she can fully commit to a future with Finn.

Cowboy Boots for Christmas is another absolutely charming romance by Carolyn Brown. An eclectic but (mostly) lovable cast of characters brings the story vibrantly to life. This engaging novel has a refreshingly unique plot that is sweet, sexy and just plain fun. With the local feud heating up and the unexpected arrival of Finn’s cousin Sawyer, readers are going to be chomping at the bit for the next installment in the Burnt Boot, TX series.

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Filed under Carolyn Brown, Contemporary, Cowboy Boots for Christmas, Rated B, Review, Romance, Sourcebooks Casablanca, TX Series

Review: Long, Hot Texas Summer by Carolyn Brown

long hotTitle: Long, Hot Texas Summer by Carolyn Brown
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 249 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Author

Summary:

A sassy redhead with an axe to grind…

After catching her husband kissing another woman in the barn, Loretta Sullivan Bailey left Lonesome Canyon Ranch and swore she’d never come back. But when her daughter threatens to drop out of college to become a rancher’s wife, Loretta refuses to let her baby make the same mistake she did. She returns to the ranch, determined to get her daughter back in school by the summer’s end…and resolute on ignoring her feelings for her ex-husband.

A bullheaded but oh so sexy cowboy…

A cowboy from his hat to his boots, ruggedly handsome rancher Jackson Bailey is none too pleased that his feisty—and gorgeous—ex-wife has suddenly shown up seventeen years after their divorce. But despite all their fighting and fussing, the two stubborn former lovers soon discover that old flames burn the hottest. Can they finally put aside their differences and find happiness together…forever?

The Review:

Long, Hot Texas Summer is a very sweet and sassy second chance at love romance by Carolyn Brown. Set in beautiful Palo Duro Canyon, TX, it is a completely charming and captivating love story between a long divorced couple who discover they still have feelings for one another seventeen years after their marriage ended.

Loretta and Jackson Bailey are childhood sweethearts who married young and settled on his family’s ranch to raise their daughter Nona. However, their idyllic marriage ended a few years later after Nona caught Jackson in a compromising situation. Loretta’s plan to never return to Texas comes to an abrupt end when Nona announces she is dropping out of college and staying on the ranch with the cowboy who has stolen her heart. Determined to change her daughter’s mind, Loretta packs her bags and shows up unannounced at the ranch where she is planning to stay until she convinces Nona to change her mind. Loretta’s got her work cut out for her convincing Nona to go back to school, but pretty soon, the biggest problem she’s facing is her unexpected (and unwanted) attraction to Jackson.

Loretta is a feisty woman and given how stubborn she is, it is hard to believe that she walked away from Jackson without a fight. The reasons for her decision are multi-faceted and it takes a lot of introspection before she can figure out the underlying reasons for her long ago choices.

Jackson fully accepts his share of the blame in their break up and until Loretta’s return, he has not delved too deeply into what precipitated his foolish actions so long ago. Like Loretta, it takes a lot of reflection to understand why he so easily let her go.

Jackson enjoys having Loretta back in his life and he gently teases, coaxes and annoys her while trying to tempt her back into his bed. Loretta is surprised by how easily she slips back into the day to day operations on the ranch and pretty soon, her animosity towards Jackson begins to diminish. As Loretta and Jackson work together, they begin to reminisce about the good times they shared, but more importantly, they have a long overdue, honest discussion about what led to their break-up. As they lay the ghosts of their past to rest, Loretta and Jackson decide to explore their passion for one another, but does this mean they have a chance for a future together?

Long, Hot Texas Summer is a warm and inviting story with a fabulous cast of lovable characters and a realistic storyline. The various conflicts are credible and the resolution of the various story arcs is believable and delightfully angst free. Another down-to-earth and fun-filled romance by Carolyn Brown that I highly recommend.

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Filed under Carolyn Brown, Contemporary, Long Hot Texas Summer, Montlake Romance, Rated B+, Review, Romance

Review: How to Marry a Cowboy by Carolyn Brown

marry cowboyTitle: How to Marry a Cowboy by Carolyn Brown
Cowboys and Brides Series Book Four
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

From New York Times and USA Today-bestselling author Carolyn Brown comes a contemporary Western romance filled to the brim with sexy cowboys, gutsy heroines, and genuine down-home Texas twang.

Texas rancher Mason Harper’s daughters want a new mama in the worst way, and when a beautiful woman in a tattered wedding gown appears on their doorstep, the two little girls adopt her-no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Mason isn’t sure about taking in a complete stranger, but Lord knows he needs a nanny, and Annie Rose Boudreau stirs his heart in long-forgotten ways…

Annie Rose is desperate, and when a tall, sexy cowboy offers her a place to stay, she can’t refuse. After all, it’s just for a little while. As she settles in deeper, her heart tells her both Mason and her role as makeshift mama suit her just fine. But will Mason feel the same way once her nightmare past catches up with her?

Fans of Linda Lael Miller and Diana Palmer will thrill to this moving story of a lonely cowboy and his two little girls finding the family of their dreams.

The Review:

How to Marry a Cowboy is another delightfully charming installment in Carolyn Brown’s heartwarming Cowboys and Brides series. In this outing, widower Mason Harper finds love after he hires Annie Rose Boudreaux as his mischievous twins’ nanny.

Annie Rose is a down to earth, no nonsense woman. She has been in hiding from her abusive ex when she winds up on Mason’s front porch and despite a few suspicions on both sides, she agrees to stay on as the girls’ nanny. Although Annie Rose still has a few residual trust issues when it comes to men, her instincts are telling her Mason is a good man. There is an instant connection between Annie Rose, Lily and Gabby and she is a calming influence on the rambunctious little girls.

Mason has been raising Gabby and Lily on his own ever since his wife unexpectedly passed away eight years earlier. Although he has casually dated over the years, no one has really captured his attention, but that changes pretty quickly once Annie Rose enters the picture. He is instantly attracted to her but he has to come to terms with the uncomfortable feeling he is betraying his deceased wife by pursuing a relationship with Annie Rose.

Lily and Gabby are precocious yet lovable young hellions that pretty much steal every scene they are in. They are sometimes not too happy with Annie Rose’s efforts to keep them out of trouble, but they are pretty determined to keep her on the ranch.  They also try their hand at a little matchmaking between their nanny and their father (even though it really isn’t necessary).

Annie Rose and Mason’s friendship slowly turns to love and some of their sweetest scenes are on the front porch swing where they discuss their day with one another. Their relationship is mostly conflict free with only a few a tense moments when unresolved issues from their pasts briefly come between them.

How to Marry a Cowboy is a gentle love story that is humorous, romantic and just plain fun. It is the perfect conclusion to Carolyn Brown’s Cowboys and Brides series and I am very eager to dive into her next series!

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Filed under Carolyn Brown, Contemporary, Cowboys and Brides Series, How to Marry a Cowboy, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Sourcebooks Casablanca

Review: The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off by Carolyn Brown

chiliTitle: The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off by Carolyn Brown
Cadillac, Texas Series Book Two
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Imprint: Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction, Romance
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

More Than the Chili’s Heating Up Cadillac, Texas

Carlene Lovelle, co-owner of Bless My Bloomers lingerie shop, found a pair of fancy red-silk panties in her husband’s briefcase, and all hell is breaking loose. She custom-made those fancy bloomers herself—and she remembers the bimbo who bought them. If her husband had a lick of sense, he’d known there are no secrets in a town like Cadillac.

Carlene’s cohorts—and their mamas—plan to exact revenge on Lenny Joe where it’ll hurt the most: break his ten-year winning streak at the prestigious Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off. Never before has a woman dared to compete. But the ladies of Bless My Bloomers are cooking up a storm…and it seems the whole town is taking sides in the showdown.

Welcome to Cadillac, Texas, where the chili is hot, the gossip is hotter, and friends stick by each other, no matter what the challenge.

The Review:

Carolyn Brown’s The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off is another delightful fun-filled adventure in her Cadillac, Texas series. In this outing, a pair of red panties sets the small town on its ear when Carlene Lovelle, her cousins and their mamas decide to exact their revenge on Carlene’s cheating soon-to-ex husband by claiming this year’s Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off trophy. Hilarity ensues, rumors are flying and sides are chosen, but through it all, family and friends provide Carlene with plenty of support as she picks up the pieces of her life.

Alma Grace and Patrice know something is wrong when they arrive at work before their cousin Carlene. Both are flabbergasted at Carlene’s news that her husband Lenny has been cheating on her for months and she is planning to divorce him. Patrice is staunchly loyal and offers encouragement but both are stunned (and annoyed) when Alma Grace tries to convince Carlene to give Lenny the benefit of the doubt and save her marriage. Of course the girls’ mamas, Gigi, Tansy and Sugar are on hand to lend moral support, but things really heat up when Carlene’s horrid mother-in-law stirs up trouble with Carlene’s Aunt Sugar. The women are soon immersed in their quest for the perfect chili recipe but there is plenty of time for romances to unexpectedly bloom for two of the cousins.

Alma Grace, Patrice and Carlene are as close as sisters but the three women are completely different from one another. Alma Grace is deeply religious and super involved in church activities. Using scripture to prove her point, she prays for Carlene to forgive Lenny and honor her wedding vows. Patrice is a fun-loving party girl who lives her life exactly like she wants and could care less about what people think of her. Carlene’s struggles with her body image are resurrected when she discovers Lenny’s infidelities and she is the most affected by the strife with her cousins.

The town is scandalized by the upcoming divorce and the rumor mill is working overtime with all of the shenanigans going on. Gossip spreads faster than wildfire and longtime feuds heat up as everyone takes sides in the upcoming chili cook off battle. Cheating husband Lenny’s fall from grace is long overdue and the final revenge for his misdeeds comes from a surprising source.

The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off is a lively and zany addition to the Cadillac, Texas series. The characters are vibrant and engaging, the story is endearingly off beat and full of down home folksy charm. A wonderfully heartwarming and highly entertaining novel that old and new fans of Carolyn Brown are going to love.

Although The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off is the second novel in the Cadillac, Texas series, it can be read as a standalone story. Read my review of the first installment HERE.

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Filed under Cadillac TX Series, Carolyn Brown, Contemporary, Rated B, Review, Romance, Sourcebooks Landmark, The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off

Review: The Cowboy’s Mail Order Bride by Carolyn Brown

mail-orderTitle: The Cowboy’s Mail Order Bride by Carolyn Brown
Cowboys & Brides Series Book Three
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

She’s Got Sass…

Emily Cooper promised her dying grandfather that she’d deliver a long-lost letter to a woman he once planned to wed. Little does adventurous Emily know that this simple task will propel her to places she never could have imagined…with a cowboy who’s straight out of her dreams…

He’s Got Mail…

When sexy rancher Greg Adams discovers his grandmother Clarice has installed Emily on their ranch as her assistant, he decides to humor the two ladies. He figures Emily will move on soon enough. In the meantime, he intends to keep a close eye on her—he doesn’t quite buy her story of his grandmother as a mail-order bride.

A lost letter meant a lost love for Clarice, but two generations later, maybe it’s not too late for that letter to work its magic.

The Review:

The Cowboy’s Mail Order Bride is a sweet but spicy addition to the Cowboys & Brides series. With her trademark wit and delightfully appealing characters, Carolyn Brown’s latest release is sure to be a hit with fans of contemporary Western romances.

To fulfill her grandfather’s dying request, Emily Cooper plans on delivering a long lost letter to ranch owner Clarice (Barton) Adams then heading off on her month long vacation. But Emily is charmed by both Clarice and her good friend Dotty, so she winds up agreeing to stay on at the ranch as Clarice’s assistant and part-time ranch hand instead. What Emily doesn’t bargain on is Clarice’s super sexy grandson Greg and their very unexpected, but deliciously hot, attraction to each other.

Emily and Greg are perfect for one another. They both adore their grandparents to distraction but they really bond over their mutual love of ranching. Greg is impressed by Emily’s strong work ethic and her easygoing acceptance of Clarice’s (and her cohorts) shenanigans. Emily is intrigued by Greg before she even meets him and she is utterly charmed by his relationship with Clarice. Their friendship blooms almost right from the start and love quickly follows.

Clarice, Dotty and two of their other good friends, Madge and Rose, have been doing a little scheming behind Greg’s back to help him meet that special someone. Their well intentioned (but way of their depth) matchmaking provides some of the funniest moments in the novel. Poor Greg doesn’t have a clue what’s in store for him, but Emily handles all of their meddling with good humor.

As always, Carolyn Brown delivers an angst-free but romantic story with quirky but lovable characters. The Cowboy’s Mail Order Bride is another slightly wacky but fun-filled novel that is full of down home country charm, authentic Texas dialect and witty banter. Although it is the third installment in the Cowboys & Brides series, it can be read as a standalone.

Read my review of the other novels in the series HERE.

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Filed under Carolyn Brown, Contemporary, Cowboys and Brides Series, Rated B, Review, Romance, Sourcebooks, Sourcebooks Casablanca, The Cowboy's Mail Order Bride