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Dec 20

Cowboy Up by Harper Sloan Review

4.5 SMOOCHES!

   

SYNOPSIS:

New York Times bestselling author Harper Sloan returns with the third in her sultry, Western-set Coming Home series, in which the eldest Davis sibling Clay may have finally met his match—but will he be able to give up the solitary, quiet life he’s built in the name of love?

As the eldest of the Davis clan, Clayton has always tried to lead by example. Along with taking his job as head of the family business seriously, he is also determined to keep his brother and sister in line. Clay is known for being serious, silent, and stoic—completely in control of his life. And with the way he grew up, coupled with a disastrous end to the last relationship he was in, he’s just fine with his quiet, solitary life.

What he hadn’t counted on was Caroline Michaels. She’s the proverbial woman next door—the town next door, that is. Caroline hasn’t lived an easy life, but after escaping from an abusive relationship, she’s finally living for herself and no one else. The last thing the quirky, shy bookstore owner expected was a steamy one-night stand with Clay Davis.

When Caroline and Clay meet, the connection is instant, both falling into one heated night of passion before parting ways—both driven by their own reasons to deny what they clearly wish didn’t have to end. It isn’t until Caroline falls on hard times and Clay comes back into the picture that they realize just how impossible it will be to stay away from each other.

Will Clay be able to give up his rootless existence in favor of finally settling down? And, more important, will Caroline want him to?

 

REVIEW:

I’m a huge fan of Harper Sloan’s Corps Security and Hope Town series which both feature alpha, military heroes and intense, suspenseful plots. So, when she announced the Coming Home series, I was excited to see what she’d do with cowboys, and Sloan delivered in this series with heartwarming, sexy stories rich with emotion and plenty of small town, down-home-everyone-in-your-business drama. Cowboy Up is the third book in the Coming Home series, and my favorite of the three books.

I’ve been looking forward to Clay’s story since the series launched. More of a parent than just an older brother to his siblings, Maverick and Quinn, Clay was the stable, guiding force in their lives after their mother abandoned the family leaving them with a harsh, angry, indifferent father. His focus was on them and the family ranch. Clay’s history with his ex-girlfriend was tumultuous and left him, understandably, with an inability to trust easily. He’s convinced himself that a relationship isn’t for him, that he’ll never marry or become a father, but lately, since both of his siblings have found love, married and are expecting their own children, he’s become lonely.

Caroline left Pine Oak behind the day she graduated high school, taking off with her boyfriend to escape a stifling, overbearing and verbally abusive mother, and in the process, she wound up leaving a very bad situation for what became a nightmarish one. Five years later, she’s returned to the area after escaping that abusive relationship, and she’s living her dream of owning her own bookstore. She meets Clay, and they share a sexy night together that neither was able to forget, and it’s a few months later before they run into each other again. Clay and Caroline had explosive chemistry from the very start, something that didn’t dim in the months that they were apart. That initial meeting was what it took for them both to realize what they were missing. In each other, Clay found a woman worthy of his trust and his love, and Caroline found a man with whom she felt safe and loved.

Sloan penned a warm, sweet and sexy love story in Cowboy Up that was uplifting and hopeful. This book was something markedly different from her previous works, and it was precisely those differences that kept me rooted in place and devouring this story. Readers should be excited about this side to Harper’s writing and the possibilities of where this author will go next. Cowboy Up by Harper Sloan gets 4.5 smooches from me.

~ Danielle Palumbo

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