Category Archives: Spikes & Spurs Series

Review: Cowboy Seeks Bride by Carolyn Brown

Title: Cowboy Seeks Bride by Carolyn Brown
Spikes & Spurs Series Book Seven
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Imprint: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

He’s Tough as Nails and Ready to Ride…

Rancher Dewar O’Donnell is just an old-fashioned cowboy at heart, and he can’t wait to reenact the historic Chisholm Trail ride with his buddies. The trial-run cattle drive for a reality TV show sounds like a great time—until H.B. McKay pulls up in her slick red sports car…

She’s Way Out of Her Element…

Haley McKay is a feisty, high-powered businesswoman with the power suit and stiletto heels to prove it. She’s keen to research her company’s hot new idea for a reality TV show—but mount up with a bunch of modern-day cowboys? Are they kidding?

It’s too late to back out now, so Haley sets out to prove that it will take more than snakes, storms, and stampedes to make her back down.

The Review:

Take a step back in time in Carolyn Brown’s Cowboy Seeks Bride as Dewar O’Donnell and Haley McKay fall in love while reenacting a cattle drive on the Chisholm Trail. This fun romance will have you laughing out loud at some of the mishaps that befall them as they travel by horseback from Texas to Kansas. While it is a contemporary novel, the lack of modern conveniences gives the story a old-fashioned vibe that fans of contemporary and historical romances will enjoy.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to like Haley at first. She comes across as rather prissy and I was sure she was going to spend most of the cattle drive complaining. But I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly she adapted to the simpler life and I loved how she rose to the different challenges facing her. Haley is quite feisty and she can definitely hold her own against all the men on the trip with her. She is a little slower to change what she considers the perfect man, but Dewar is a hard man to resist. What I liked best about Haley is how much the cattle drive changed her perceptions of herself and what she is looking for in life.

Dewar is the quintessential cowboy and he loves his life on the ranch. While he is satisfied with his life overall, Dewar is ready to settle down, but he has not found Miss Right just yet. Haley is just his type except for the fact that is a city woman through and through. He is upfront that city life is not for him and with Haley’s adamant insistence that country life is not for her, Dewar is reluctant to act on his attraction for her.

I absolutely loved watching Dewar and Haley fall for one another. Even though they really do not know where their relationship is going, Dewar and Haley spend every free moment they can together after they decide to give in to their desire. The backdrop of the cattle drive adds romance to relationship because seriously, is there anything more romantic than making love under the stars?

What really made the story enjoyable for me is the cattle drive. It is a very unique setting and I really liked the change of pace from complicated every day life. One of Carolyn Brown’s strengths as a writer is her ability to bring the scenery vividly to life and wow, she really outdoes herself in Cowboy Seeks Bride. I could feel the raging thunderstorms and easily visualize the beauty of the moonlit nights. The cattle drive is not always exciting and this is reflected in the day to day monotony. It would be easy to romanticize the experience but Ms. Brown does not downplay the inconveniences and hardships they face along the way. At the end of the trip, each of the cowboys gives their honest opinions of their adventure and I thought their various reactions were realistic.

Cowboy Seeks Bride was a little slow in the beginning, but it picks up speed about a quarter of the way in. The romance between Dewar and Haley is sweet but sexy and their sex scenes are quite steamy. Their transition back to real life is a little bumpy but their conflict is wrapped up fairly quickly. The ending is pure romance and I savored every luscious second of it.

Cowboy Seeks Bride is the seventh (and final) installment in the Spikes and Spurs series but it can easily be read as a standalone story.

Read my reviews of the other books in the series HERE.

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Filed under Carolyn Brown, Contemporary, Cowboy Seeks Bride, Rated B, Review, Romance, Sourcebooks, Sourcebooks Casablanca, Spikes & Spurs Series

Review: Just a Cowboy and His Baby by Carolyn Brown

Title: Just a Cowboy and His Baby by Carolyn Brown
Spikes and Spurs Series Book Six
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Imprint: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B+

Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

She’s Got Her Eyes on the Prize…

Gemma O’Donnell wasn’t the first woman to win the ProRodeo buckle for bronc riding, but she was darn well going to be the second. What she didn’t count on was her main competition sweeping her
off her feet.

He’ll Do Whatever It Takes To Win…

Trace Coleman isn’t really after a title—he needs the cash prize to buy his dream ranch. But one sexy, determined cowgirl keeps getting in his way. In his effort to take her out of the running, he risks losing both the title—and his heart.

They’re Both in For a Little Surprise…

Everybody’s world is turned upside down when a pint-sized bundle of joy gets dropped right into Trace’s lap…and suddenly all the stakes are higher.

The Review:

Things are heating up for Gemma O’Donnell and Trace Coleman both in and out of the rodeo arena in Just a Cowboy and His Baby. This sweet yet sexy romance is a delightful addition to Carolyn Brown’s Spikes and Spurs series and it definitely ranks up there as one of my personal favorites of this fabulous series.

Gemma O’Donnell and Trace Coleman have their sights set on winning the million dollar prize for saddle bronc riding in Las Vegas. Gemma is stiff competition for all of the competitors in this male dominated sport, but Trace is the man she needs to beat. She is instantly attracted to him but she is not going to let this sexy and flirtatious cowboy distract her from her goal. With their paths frequently crossing, they become traveling partners with benefits. The closer they get to Vegas, the stronger their feelings for one another become. Their relationship might be strong enough to survive their fierce rivalry in the arena, but will an unexpected complication tear this couple apart?

Gemma is a strong, sassy character that I absolutely loved. She knows what she wants and she does not hesitate to go after it. She is Trace’s match both in the arena and the bedroom. Gemma speaks her mind and I like that she calls Trace out when he needs it. One of the things I like most about her is how her idea of home evolved throughout the novel. She thoroughly gained my respect by her calm reaction and easy acceptance when confronted by Trace’s past.

Trace is the absolutely perfect man for Gemma. Sensitive, caring and determined to live life on his own terms, he is a quintessential cowboy through and through. He is also stubborn and pigheaded, but Gemma can definitely hold her own against him. Trace might be ill-equipped to deal with the bombshell dropped on him, but he really shows his true character by rising to the challenge. And he scored major points by expressing appreciation for Gemma’s reaction and help when his past comes back to bite him on the butt.

I thought I knew exactly how Just a Cowboy and His Baby was going to play out, but Ms. Brown just flat out surprised me. There is nothing stereotypical about this engaging story. Gemma competing as a saddle bronc rider is very unique and I especially enjoyed the fact that most of book takes place on the rodeo circuit. The dialogue between Trace and Gemma is fun and laced with humor. There is little conflict between them and their romance grows over several months. Their sex scenes are very sensual and the chemistry between them is positively smoldering.

Once again, Carolyn Brown has written a fast paced and appealing romance that fans of the Spikes and Spurs series are going to love. There are references to characters from earlier books, but Just a Cowboy and His Baby can be read as a standalone novel. The first three books in this series have been languishing in my TBR pile, but I am definitely planning on reading them as soon as I can!

Read my other reviews of the Spikes and Spurs series HERE.

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Filed under Carolyn Brown, Contemporary, Just a Cowboy and His Baby, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Sourcebook Casablanca, Sourcebooks, Spikes & Spurs Series

Review: Mistletoe Cowboy by Carolyn Brown

Title: Mistletoe Cowboy by Carolyn Brown
Spikes & Spurs Series Book Five
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Imprint: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: C+

Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

Commitment! It made Sage run the other way. It made Creed shudder. But Sage’s granny, the Widow Presley, was determined to get her granddaughter a cowboy for Christmas. And who better than Creed, the man interested in purchasing the widow’s Rockin’ C Ranch?

The fact that a three-day blizzard was blowing in just made things all the better. A person can’t run from commitment when they’re snowed in, now can they?

The Review:

A scheming grandma comes up the perfect plan to bring together her beloved granddaughter and a sexy cowboy in this latest installment of Carolyn Brown’s Spikes & Spurs series. Mistletoe Cowboy is an enchanting Christmas romance about two commitment phobes who fall in love when they are snowed in together during a blizzard.

Sage Presley and Creed Riley are likable characters who may start off on the wrong foot but quickly realize they are attracted to one another. Both are carrying emotional baggage and neither is interested in a relationship. Their back and forth bickering is delightful and their heart to heart discussions are quite touching. And their sex scenes are soo sexy!

While Mistletoe Cowboy is well-written, it is a slow moving story. I like Sage and Creed as individuals but I really never connected with them as a couple. I absolutely loved the descriptions of Sage’s creative process and I could easily visualize her paintings. Creed is a typical well-mannered cowboy and I was really rooting for him to buy the Rockin’ C Ranch.

But what I enjoyed the most about Mistletoe Cowboy is Sage’s grandma, Ada and her Aunt Essie. Their scenes together are a perfect combination of humor and love between two sisters. Ada’s conflicting emotions about her desire to live with Essie and her reluctance to leave Sage just about broke my heart. But I loved the compromise she came up with and her negotiations with Essie just cracked me up!

But what I found most striking about Mistletoe Cowboy is the setting. I live close to the Canyon and Carolyn Brown does a wonderful job of bringing this amazing place vibrantly to life.

Mistletoe Cowboy is a light-hearted holiday novel that fans of contemporary Westerns will enjoy. Even though it is part of the Spikes & Spurs series, it can be read as a standalone story.

Read my reviews of the other books in the Spikes & Spurs series HERE.

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Filed under Carolyn Brown, Contemporary, Mistletoe Cowboy, Rated C+, Review, Romance, Sourcebooks, Sourcebooks Casablanca, Spikes & Spurs Series

One Hot Cowboy Wedding by Carolyn Brown

Title: One Hot Cowboy Wedding by Carolyn Brown
Spikes and Spurs Book 4
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Imprint: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B+

Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

A marriage made in Vegas…

Hunky cowboy Ace Riley wasn’t planning on settling down, but his family had other plans for him…The only way to save his hide, and his playboy lifestyle, is to discreetly marry his best friend, Jasmine King.

Can’t possibily last…

Fiesty city–girl Jasmine as just helping out her friend—that is, until their first kiss stirs up a whole mess of trouble, and suddenly discretion is thrown to the wind.

One hot cowboy, one riled up woman…
And they’ll be married for a year, like it or not!

The Review:

Buckle up, lovers of cowboy romances, you are in for a wild and wicked ride with Carolyn Brown’s latest installment in her Spikes and Spurs series, One Hot Cowboy Wedding.

Good friends Jasmine “Jazzy” King and Ace Riley discover pretty quickly that what happens in Vegas doesn’t necessarily stay in Vegas. When their plans to keep their in name only marriage a secret go up in a flurry of unexpected publicity, they are forced to live in close quarters for a year. With their mutual desire for one another burning out of control, both are left wondering if their friendship will survive their marriage.

While the marriage of convenience and friends to lovers plot device is nothing new, Carolyn Brown keeps One Hot Cowboy Wedding delightfully fresh and unique. Jazzy and Ace are beautifully developed characters that are immensely appealing. Jazzy is energetic and strong-willed and she is absolutely perfect for the charming and oh so very sexy Ace. The sexual chemistry between them is scorching hot and their sex scenes, while understated, are incredibly romantic and playful.

There is a little conflict in the story as both Jazzy and Ace struggle with their emerging feelings for one another. There is also an interesting subplot between Jazzy and her mother that is easy to relate to. As the fourth novel in the Spikes and Spurs series, readers get the opportunity to catch up with characters from past novels.

One Hot Cowboy Wedding is a charming novel that is heartwarming and deliciously romantic. Engaging characters and a captivating storyline keep this fabulous story moving at a brisk pace. Carolyn Brown’s writing style has a such a down home country feel that is so realistic you will feel like you are right in the heart of Texas. Definitely a recommended read for fans of contemporary cowboy romances.

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Filed under Carolyn Brown, Contemporary, One Hot Cowboy Wedding, Rated B+, Romance, Sourcebooks, Sourcebooks Casablanca, Spikes & Spurs Series