A Cowboy To Keep by Barbara Ankrum
Series: Canadays of Montana #1
Published by Tule Publishing on September 12, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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On the run from her past, photographer Ali Thibeaux arrives undercover in Marietta to find her biological half-sister. Plan A: Meet Olivia, photograph her wedding, and disappear before endangering anyone. Plan B: All hell breaks loose.
Reclusive rancher Adam Wolfe’s only plan when he hires Ali to manage his dysfunctional household is to go on hiding from the world. But his scars don’t seem to matter to the beauty who unexpectedly turns his house into a home and heals the rift between him and the teenaged niece he’s taken in. Still, he suspects there’s more to Ali than meets the eye and he’s determined to uncover what she’s hiding from him before it’s too late.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
I spent two years of high school in Texas which meant I formed a healthy admiration of cowboys fairly young. Especially working cowboys since hard-earned muscles, a shit-eating grin along with a cocky attitude and a cowboy hat will do it for me every freaking time. In desperate need of a change of pace, I came across an arc for A Cowboy To Keep on Netgalley and jumped on it while smiling a shit-eating grin of my own.
This was a kinder and gentler book than I expected with nary a cocky cowboy in sight. For a brief moment, I thought Adam was going to be an alpha-hole, but he wasn’t that at all. He was completely broken with scars showing inside and out. When his recently orphaned 14-year-old niece came to live with him overwhelmed and clueless was added to all that brokenness.
Ali has lots of issues. She came to town to connect with a sister who doesn’t know she exists even if it’s just to observe her from afar. Also, she’s on the run from a bad guy with an ax to grind. She’s low on cash and running out of options when fate finds her on Adam’s doorstep at the most opportune of times. He has something she wants back and she could help with his niece so they strike a deal. Ali just hopes her secrets don’t catch up with her before she can complete her goals.
I wasn’t getting the true cowboy vibe from Adam. I finally figured out he wasn’t originally one which explained a lot. This story was sweet from start to finish which I enjoyed despite it not being what I thought it would be. Everything about the book was slower moving than my usual reads, but this left time for emotions to shine through. Especially when it came to helping Adam’s niece heal from the loss of her parents.
The chemistry between Adam and Ali was there, but it wasn’t explosive. More like it slowly expanded as the story went on. Even the sex scenes were slow, sweet, gentle and full of emotion.
There was a suspense aspect that played a huge part in the story just because it was looming over things. I felt a bit cheated when it wrapped up so easily plus I wanted to know more about the PI that was following Ali. He had issues of his own and I thought we’d see that play out.
All in all an enjoyable read best saved for when you are in a mood for a soft and sweet story with a bit of suspense. I’m now on the lookout for a hot, cocky alpha-hole cowboy. Suggestions would be appreciated.
Rating: 3.5 Surprisingly Gentle Stars
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