Hi y’all! We’re heading south to Texas for a cowboy-filled romance! I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, so that’s wat I’m doing. The book will be coming out in August, on the 28th to be exact, so I won’t be giving too much away!
Cowboy, Cross My Heart was written by Donna Grant and it’s part of her Heart of Texas series. I reviewed the first book in that series last year: The Christmas Cowboy Hero, which detailed the perilous events which led to Abby and Clayton falling in love. They met because Abby’s younger brother Brice got into trouble. And this new book is about that same brother Brice, a few years down the road. I didn’t even realise this at first, until they went back to the “East Ranch” where Abby and Clayton were waiting. Bonus!
But even before I knew of that connection, I wanted to read this book. The cover is, of course, absolutely swoon-worthy and the blurb is even better:
New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant takes you deep inside the Texas rodeo scene, where danger and desire ride side by side…
Naomi Pierce isn’t the type to let a cowboy sweep her off feet. It’s not her first rodeo, after all. But when she returns to her Texas hometown, she can’t help but be swept up again in the rough-and-tumble world of hard-riding, bronco-busting good-ol’-boys she loved as a girl. She might be here to photograph her Rodeo Queen best friend. But it’s one fine-looking cowboy who really captures her eye…
Brice Harper is all man, all muscle, and all heart. From the moment he rides into the stadium, he can’t help but notice the beautiful stranger with a camera watching him from the stands. It doesn’t take a zoom lens to see the sparks of instant attraction. But things really heat up when he meets Naomi up-close–and he discovers that someone is stalking her friend. Brice wouldn’t be any kind of cowboy if he didn’t offer to help the ladies out. But can the rough rider keep this spirited shutterbug out of danger–without risking his heart?
The book does get a little dark and the mystery is, in my eyes, worse than the cattle-stealing going on in the first book. They also might go a little too fast over how it all ended, but that’s only normal. This is not the genre to study those kinds of underlying emotions and goings-on. Grant needed to get to the happy ending and I’m generally good with how she did it. Yes she went over the bad things fast, but since our main characters weren’t personally involved, that’s also to be understood.
But, enough of that. I loved Brice and Naomi together. They are drawn together from the start, intrigued by each other. There are some difficulties, like Brice’s abandonment issues and the fact that Naomi has a life back in D.C., but it’s clear from the start that these are but minor inconveniences. They fall in love rather quickly, but it’s written very naturally and, therefore, believable. Brice is caring and feels protective towards Naomi who, even though she’s quite independent, is happy to lean on him when she needs it. She fits in with the family nicely and helps Brice understand who he is.
I recommend this for any romance novel fan, but especially for those who love swooning with cowboys, the rodeo and who can appreciate a well-written, believable relationship.