I received this book for free from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Copper Ridge #1
Published by Harlequin, HQN on March 31, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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A onetime bad girl comes home to small-town Oregon in the first in a sexy, heartfelt new series from USA TODAY bestselling author Maisey Yates.
Sadie Miller isn't expecting any welcome-home parades on her return to Copper Ridge. Least of all from part-time rancher, full-time lawman Eli Garrett. The straitlaced, impossibly hot deputy sheriff glares at her as if she's the same teenage hoodlum who fled town ten years ago. But running from her demons has brought Sadie full circle, ready to make a commitment at last. Not to a man, but to a bed-and-breakfast. On Garrett land. Okay, so her plan has a tiny flaw…
Eli works too hard to let a blonde ball of trouble mess up his town. But keeping an eye on Sadie makes it tough to keep his hands off her. And if she's so wrong for him, why does being with her feel so right?
I’d known Maisey Yates’ name from having read a few of her books for Harlequin Presents, so when I learned she was starting a new small town romance series, I was definitely interested to see how it would stand up against the other books I’d read by her. I’d expected a sweet read, and I got it. What I hadn’t expected was how steamy this writer could get when unleashed—and that’s definitely all to the good.
What you get here is an opposites attract romance that has the main character and love interest falling in love in the midst of hard-headed denial. In fact, their stubbornness and tendency to walk around each other with emotional blinders on is part of what makes Part Time Cowboy such a fun read. Because if ever there was a couple dragged kicking and screaming into love, I’d say that Sadie and Eli were it.
Eli is Mr. Always-in-Control, and it’s not just because he’s a cop. A chaotic upbringing has him seeking order in everything, to the point where he is scrupulously neat and never steps a foot out of line. He’s spent his life cleaning up after people, and he has neither the time or the inclination to pursue messy romantic engagements. His roots are in his ranch and in the family he struggles to keep together—his little sister Kate and his grief-stricken alcoholic brother Connor.
Which means that Sadie is completely Ms. Wrong for her. Barring the fact that he once arrested her when she was a teenager the crisis therapist turned B and B owner who has somehow moved into a house on his family’s ranch isn’t known for putting down roots. In fact, she has a habit of picking up and running, and she’s all about no-strings-attached living. Except that she’s had a bit of a crisis herself, in the sense that she is having a go at making a home for herself and facing her demons. One of those demons just happens to be Eli. Which means her attraction to him makes absolutely no sense.
If you’re a fan of verbal sniping, a ton of sexual innuendo, and hot, hot sex scenes, this is definitely worth a read because the chemistry between Sadie and Eli is pretty darned steamy, and there’s just a whole lot of fun and levity in their banter and dealings with each other that’ll balance out the seriousness of their emotional baggage. These aren’t two tortured souls wallowing in the angst of their mutually messed up lives. They’re two people trying to make something of themselves despite the crappy cards they were dealt in the family department. And I’ll admit to being heartily sick of the whole angsty misunderstood trope at the moment, and this may have given me a deeper appreciation of the light yet skillful characterization Yates achieves in this book.
Beyond that, the town of Copper Ridge came alive for me, even though I reckon I can count the hours I’ve spent in small American towns on the fingers of one hand. But there’s a kind of old-school charm about the town, and honestly, I wasn’t a two paragraphs into the book when Miranda Lambert started playing in my head.
I haven’t been happy with any of the contemporary romances I’ve been reading lately, but this book was a breath of fresh (country) air for me. Yates has a talent for writing the feels—even managing to insert a bit of humor into the admittedly steamy sex scenes! I was definitely happy with this read, and the little preview of Brokedown Cowboy (Copper Ridge #2), which will be out on May 26, that I found at the end of the book was sufficient to put it on my TBR list.
Get the chance to win the grand prize in this blog tour giveaway: an ebook copy of Shoulda Been a Cowboy (Copper Ridge 0.5) plus an Amazon gift card worth $25!