Review: Born to Be a Cowboy by R.C. Ryan

Posted December 16, 2019 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 20 Comments

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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Born to Be a Cowboy by R.C. Ryan
Born to Be a Cowboy

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Series: Montana Strong #3
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense, Western Romance
Published by Forever
Released on November 26, 2019
Pages: 464
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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The Delight

One-time hellion turned ranch town lawyer and a woman in distress find themselves on a harrowing adventure when he takes her case.  First time with the author and the series, but won’t be my last.


Born to Be a Cowboy is the third, and I think, final book in the Montana Strong series.  Finn is the last of three brothers adopted by Mac Monroe and, though standalone, this one wrapped up a few series threads, too.  So, you can read it standalone, but there are some series mini-spoilers as well.

Finn Monroe grew up tough and mean until he and his older brothers landed with Mac Monroe on his ranch after the ran away from the last intolerable foster care situation.  Mac’s big heart and patience won them over and, now, as an adult, Finn is a successful lawyer of their local community following in the footsteps of his mentor, Mac’s friend.  One day, a distressed woman enters his office asking him to take her case when the police can’t help and her private investigator met with an accident.  Her aunt who raised her has gone missing after quickly falling for one of her ranch hands, getting married, and now he is directing affairs from a distance.  Finn is skeptical about her claims that something isn’t right when it might just be a case of sour grapes that someone else has replaced her with her aunt.  But, his instinct tells him to believe her.  His brothers and family tease that it doesn’t hurt that she’s gorgeous.

Jessie barely hires Finn to help find her aunt when she wakes to her motel burning down around her and he has moved her out to the family ranch and she’s re-settled in the midst of the warm-hearted, generous Monroes.  Their unique family not by blood by choice resonates with her since that is what she had with her aunt.  She has been living happily as an accountant away from the ranch, but always saw her Aunt Nola’s ranch as home.  Now, Nola is missing and odd things are happening quickly not the least are the fatal accidents and near misses to anyone looking into the matter.  Finn is determined to stand by her and get to the bottom of things.  He’s attractive and protective, responsible, and has definitely lived down his past.  She’s falling hard.  Now if they can only survive to find her aunt.

I adore cowboy romance and small town modern westerns.  But, pair that with a strong suspense element, and I couldn’t be happier.  Even though this is book three and my first time with the author, I settled right in and enjoyed this one thoroughly.  I have no idea if the previous two stories about Finn’s older brothers, Ben and Sam, have suspense elements, but I want to go back for them anyway.  I loved the emphasis on this family of Mac and his three old friends on the ranch adopting and making a family with these three hellion boys who are now good men and finding love.

There was almost an even split between the romance and suspense elements though both developed  at an even pace along with the intro to the setting and characters which made it a good standalone even if it also wrapped up the story of the three brothers and Mac, too, in the end.

There was a strong emphasis on Finn and his brothers having a rough past and turning out good that came up often, but it was swift and not dwelt on so didn’t get annoying.  The characters were developed, but the story also didn’t delve deeply there focusing more on Jessie’s case, the family life, and the romance.  I liked that all the elements were in balance and the pace felt right as everything moved forward.  Jessie pulled a stupid near the end heightening the danger for both of them, but it also made sense the way she had been strung so tight all along about her aunt.

As to the romance, it came along out of initial attraction to them working together and then finally giving in to wanting to be together even if they were lawyer and client.  If I had a niggle, it was toward the end.  After all that came before it, this late inning barrier pops up on Jessie’s end and would have stayed up if family hadn’t intervened.  It was one of those things that a person does impulsively and on reflection during calmer times, regrets, but they won’t take the step to fix either.  This pair were good together all along and made sense as a couple.

All in all, it was a straight-forward, heartwarming story of family, suspense, and slightly spice romance that I settled into easily.  I can definitely recommend it to those looking for a good cowboy romance and love a suspense element as well.

My thanks to Forever for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met

New Release #183
COYER Winter Friends #4

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Angie Elle
2 years ago

So glad to see you enjoyed this one, Sophia. I had been eyeing this one but didn’t request as I wasn’t sure I’d be able to review it in a timely fashion. And then the publisher accidentally sent it to me. LOL KISMET!

Great review. 🙂

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Angie Elle

Oh to have time for every book that catches the eye. 🙂 Haha, neat how it worked out anyway. I’ll look forward to your thoughts on it when you get the chance, Angie.

2 years ago

It’s great to see that it’s a good conclusion with this one!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Melliane

Very satisfying, Melliane! 🙂

Jen T
2 years ago

Wow! This sounds like a winner for you. I wouldn’t have even guessed about the suspense piece of it based on the cover. Also, is it just me, or are there a lot of foster/adopted brothers in cowboy books?

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Jen T

LOL, no, it looks like the usual cowboy romance. Fortunately, I’d read the blurb so I knew to expect the suspense.
Well, that I couldn’t say. This was my first set of them. 🙂 But, I haven’t gotten around to as many series yet.

Jenea's Book Obsession

I could use a small town cowboy romance! And this one sounds like a good one too.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

It sure hit the spot for me. 🙂

2 years ago

I like that the suspense and romance were evenly balanced.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Nadene

That’s how I like them, too.

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

Oh yes, romance, small-town and suspense..hello there!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Gotcha! 🙂 I found it catnip, too.

Mary Kirkland
2 years ago

I really like the sound of this one especially with the mystery of all the dangerous incidents that keep happening.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

It catches the fancy, doesn’t it, Mary? 🙂

Crystal @ Lost in Storyland

I love small town stories, and I like how this book also has cowboy and suspense elements. This sounds like a great book! 🙂

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

It’s great to get it all in one story. 🙂

Carole Rae
2 years ago

Gotta love the reformed hellions 😉 Good find!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

Oh yeah, he and his brothers were the best when they were together with their adopted dad. 🙂

Anne - Books of My Heart

I think this series sounds pretty good. Thanks for sharing you review! I love the idea of romantic suspense aspects too!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Yeah, it was a great surprise pick up for me. 🙂