Review: Cowboy Brave by Carolyn Brown

Posted January 8, 2019 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 14 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: Cowboy Brave by Carolyn Brown
Cowboy Brave

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
three-flames

Series: Longhorn Canyon #3
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Western Romance
Published by Forever
Released on January 8, 2019
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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The Delight

Justin has watched first his brother and then his best friend get hitched up and now his brother has a baby on the way.  For the first time, this honky tonk loving cowboy starts to feel that maybe he’s ready to plant some roots and end his tumbleweed ways.  But, is a woman set on city-living his match?  Loved my trip back to Longhorn Ranch and seeing all my favorite ranch folks!

Review

Cowboy Brave is book three in the Longhorn Canyon series and, in a pinch, can get by out of order, but it is best enjoyed following the earlier stories so the references to earlier events and the returning cast of characters make sense.

Cowboy Brave jumps in when Emily Baker contacts Justin about the possibility of the Longhorn hosting five seniors from the home where she’s employed.  The plan is a go and Emily finds herself back on a ranch where she said she’d never be and letting a flirting cowboy turn her head.  She tries to resist the lure of ranch life and Justin’s home and really tries to call a halt to the attraction forming with Justin himself, but by the time the week is over, she is well on her way to a confused, unsettled feeling that only feels better the more time she spends with Justin who point-blank tells her he doesn’t want to change her , he’s not against compromise, he isn’t just flirting, and he wants to explore what they have together.  Can Emily let go of her big secret and her issues and trust Justin with her heart?

Cowboy Brave will probably end up being my least favorite book in the series.  I didn’t hate it and I enjoyed some of it.  I love this series and was eager to see the final Longhorn bachelor get his story.  Justin was just a generous, hardworking good old country boy and I liked him as much as his brother.  I was glad to see him getting his own romance, seeing where things are at with the two previous couples and the whole Longhorn Canyon family.  Justin’s mom was being a pistol most of the time and his dad was a laid back salt of the earth type that were fun when they were in the scenes.

I had a deja vu feeling in that a Maguire brother was wooing a city girl who was also a country girl while a group was staying at the ranch.  That isn’t a complaint, but an observation.  In this case, it was an elderly group calling themselves the Fab Five.  The Fab Five seniors were a hoot- strip poker, skinny dipping, bullriding at the Rusty Spur Honky Tonk, and of course, a bit of matchmaking on the side for a certain young couple.

The reason I could not get into this story was my so-so feelings about the heroine, Emily.  Honestly, I still can’t figure out her issues- or should I say the dept of her issues- even after the story.  Oh, she didn’t get overly angsty, but it was more her reason for being so adamant against ranch life.  I didn’t buy it.  She spends nearly the whole book pretending, lying by omission, getting short and cranky with her family for calling and wanting her to visit (you know, loving her and being concerned when she didn’t call like she promised?).
And why was she this way?  She didn’t want to get stuck with doing the paperwork back home on the family ranch and preferred the active outside jobs.  And, she had the desire to work with people so that leaves out living on a ranch.  She felt her family was pressuring her to conform to their plans for her.  And, they were, but not in a mean way.  Then she didn’t want to date a cowboy because he would be associated with a dreaded ranch and he couldn’t possibly be telling the truth that she’s beautiful to him.  The thing is, five minutes with Justin relieved the reason she was outright lying about who her family was and a few days with him made a liar of her about the other stuff like she hates ranches and cowboys.  It was obvious she loved the life and she really liked Justine.  Justin made it crystal clear that she could do whatever made her happy for work if they were together and that he thought she was the most amazing woman he’d met.  His family and friends corroborate this, but she still doubts it all.
The book is literally her denying the truth and Justin starting to settle down and plan a future that might include Emily.  Not sure how he worked it out since she wasn’t being honest.  And when he calls her on it?  She blows up and says he’s making a mountain out of a molehill as she flies off in a pelter and he ends up mutually apologizing.  I got fed up with it, but I didn’t hate her.  I couldn’t like her or respect her until the end when she finally got her head screwed on straight realizing she’d made a tempest in a pot of tea.

I’m glad to know that Emily’s younger twin brothers are getting the next two books.  The were fun in the scenes they were in.  This might not have been a favorite, but I love the Longhorn Ranch world with Skip and Mavis, Benji, Cade and Retta, Levi and Claire, and Justin.  It’s possible Emily will grow on me now.  I hope the Fab Five make more appearances.

Those who read my reviews know that I will always recommend this author and her books for those who enjoy cowboy romances and a strong down home country feel with an uncomplicated story.

I’m thankful to Forever for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Recommendations

 

 

About Carolyn Brown

Hi! I’m twenty five years old and movie star gorgeous. The camera added thirty plus years and a few wrinkles. Can’t trust those cameras or mirrors either. Along with bathroom scales they are notorious liars! Honestly, I am the mother of three fantastic grown children who’ve made me laugh and given me more story ideas than I could ever write. My husband, Charles, is my strongest supporter and my best friend. He’s even willing to eat fast food and help with the laundry while I finish one more chapter! Life is good and I am blessed!

Reading has been a passion since I was five years old and figured out those were words on book pages. As soon as my chubby little fingers found they could put words on a Big Chief tablet with a fat pencil, I was on my way. Writing joined reading in my list of passions. I will read anything from the back of the Cheerio’s box to Faulkner and love every bit of it. In addition to reading I enjoy cooking, my family and the ocean. I love the Florida beaches. Listening to the ocean waves puts my writing brain into high gear.

I love writing romance because it’s about emotions and relationships. Human nature hasn’t changed a bit since Eve coveted the fruit in the Garden of Eden. Settings change. Plots change. Names change. Times change. But love is love and men and women have been falling in and out of it forever. Romance is about emotions: love, hate, anger, laughter… all of it. If I can make you laugh until your sides ache or grab a tissue then I’ve touched your emotions and accomplished what every writer sets out to do.

I got serious about writing when my third child was born and had her days and nights mixed up. I had to stay up all night anyway and it was very quiet so I invested in a spiral back notebook and sharpened a few pencils. The story that emerged has never sold but it’s brought in enough rejection slips to put the Redwood Forest on the endangered list. In 1997 Kensington bought two books for their Precious Gems line. Two years and six books later the line died with only four of those books seeing publication. But by then Avalon had bought a book and another, and another. Ten years later the list has grown to thirty nine. Last year Sourcebooks bought the Lucky Series which is in the bookstores now. They’ve also bought The Honky Tonk Series which will debut with I LOVE THIS BAR in June and will be followed by HELL, YEAH, MY GIVE A DAMN’S BUSTED, and HONKY TONK CHRISTMAS.

Folks ask me where I get my ideas. Three kids, fifteen grandchildren, two great grandchildren. Note: I was a very young grandmother! Life is a zoo around here when they all come home. In one Sunday afternoon there’s enough ideas to keep me writing for years and years. Seriously, ideas pop up at the craziest times. When one sinks its roots into my mind, I have no choice but to write the story. And while I’m writing the characters peek over my shoulder and make sure I’m telling it right and not exaggerating too much. Pesky little devils, they are!

I have a wonderful agent, Erin Niumata, who continues to work magic and sell my work. I’m very lucky to have her and my editors who continue to believe in me.

Happy reading!

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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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herding catsSophia RoseDebbie HauptCarole @ Carole's Random Life in BooksLover Of Romance Recent comment authors
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Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)
Guest

Hmmm, it’s difficult to really get into a story if one can’t honestly empathise with the characters. Emily doesn’t sound convincing to me

Sophia Rose
Guest

I couldn’t figure her out and this wasn’t the sort of book that mystery surrounding a character is a good thing. Oh well, onward…

Carole rae
Guest

I think I read another review about this…I can’t remember….but I am curious! I like the writer!

Sophia Rose
Guest

I wouldn’t be surprised. This series is popular as is the author. I’m a fan. LOL

Rachel @Waves of Fiction
Guest

This is another one I passed on requesting and I’m glad I did, because I can tell Emily would’ve frustrated me. The Fab Five ladies sound like a lot of fun, though!

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yeah, good call, there. It wasn’t a bad book and was overall fun, but the heroine just danced on my nerves. I could not figure out what the big deal was. She had enough sass to stand up and tell people what she did and didn’t want to do when it came to Justin and her family weren’t mean so why didn’t she just clear the air years before? Like I said, couldn’t figure her out.
It will be fun to get her brothers and those seniors in the next books. 🙂

Lover Of Romance
Guest

Sorry to hear that this book was such a disappointment for you darling. I can see why you would struggle with the heroine though.

Sophia Rose
Guest

I think if I could have got what all the fuss was about then I’d have done better, but I just couldn’t see how telling your family nope on the paperwork and having a sit down about expectations (particularly that family who loved her) was so impossible. Oh well, the twins are next and that ought to be fun. 🙂

Carole @ Carole's Random Life in Books
Guest

I have so many of her books and haven’t read a single one. I am going to start reading some of them this year. Sorry that you had a few issues with the heroine in this one.

Sophia Rose
Guest

LOL! I just might have a collection of several author’s books that I haven’t read yet. 🙂

Debbie Haupt
Guest

I have heard so many bloggers complain about heroines Sophia Rose. Ugh too bad we can’t change them around to fit what we think they should be. Thanks for the review

Sophia Rose
Guest

LOL, true! I think if I really understood what the big deal was then I might have shrugged and let it slide, but I really didn’t get what had her all fussed up. I do appreciate that she made me feel at least. 🙂

herding cats
Guest

I’d totally missed this one’s release and was kicking myself over it but now don’t feel so bad. I have a hard time with heroines like that, too.

Sophia Rose
Guest

It is not a total toss out, but yes, also able to be skipped because not much really happens that you need for the next books. She was so resistant and secretive that I guess I needed a much better reason for all that. I think the moment that just finished my last bit of patience was her reaction when he caught her out in a lie. She lashed out and did a blame shift. That was it. Done. Anyway. Her brothers were hilarious so I’m glad we’re getting their stories next now that they are moving to be next… Read more »