Review: How to Marry a Cowboy by Carolyn Brown #KeeperRomance

Review: How to Marry a Cowboy by Carolyn Brown #KeeperRomance
How to Marry a Cowboy

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Series: #4 Cowboys & Brides
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Western Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Released on July 1, 2014
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

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And it finally comes down to the last story of the Cowboys & Brides series with Mason Harper, the widowed rancher with twin hellcat nine year old daughters. I have been so curious to see what woman would be put with this needing man and his family. Like the others, the author paired up a couple who worked well and were exactly what the other needed. The story was full of laughter, wit, heart-touching moments, food, family and Texas ranch living.

One morning, Mason Harper’s girls find the unexpected on their front porch swing and instantly decide that the sleeping lady in the soiled bridal gown is their birthday present from their daddy who went out and got them a new mama just like they’ve always wanted. No matter what anyone said, they liked this one and they were keeping her.

For the lady in question, she thinks she must have hit her head in that car crash harder than she thought when the twin girls go on and on about her being their mama and marrying their daddy. Annie Rose slept too long on that porch swing and was caught fair before she could continue making her escape from the abusive man who might be following. The rancher with the calm assessing green eyes who calmed his girls and wanted the doctor to look after Annie Rose sent a spark of attraction through her that worried her because she was determined never to fall so fast for a man again after the last bad experience left her on the run for life. She was so terrified of her abusive ex-boyfriend who promised to never let her go that she ran her car into a tree before it slid into a pond. Her nursing experience told her she had a concussion. As she assessed the situation, she learned that Mason Harper needed a new nanny for his girls and he was willing to let her stay a few days until the replacement arrived both to appease the girls and because he really needed someone with them while he was out working the ranch. She’d play it cool and get back on the road as soon as possible though a part of her really wanted to stay with these folks.

Mason knew he was crazy to let a stranger into his home, but there was something about her that he wasn’t ready to see leave. She came clean that night about her past and how she ended up on his porch and the detective said her story checked out. This was good because for the first time his girls liked their new nanny who they were persuaded was a hybrid mama-nanny and they were blossoming under Annie Rose’s care as was he. Others were more skeptical of Annie Rose’s presence, but he didn’t care other than she made him feel guilt about betraying his wife. She was nothing like his dead wife in appearance, but she was the first woman to really attract him, who truly cared for his girls, who loved ranch life, and was beautiful inside and out. He struggled hard against the guilt, but he was determined that he would keep her around. He had his work cut out for him too because Annie Rose still cringed and flinched if he moved wrong after enduring her last relationship and some of those closest to him thought she wasn’t genuine and had ulterior motives for coming to the ranch. He would just have to show Annie Rose ‘How to Marry a Cowboy’.

The plot on this one doesn’t involve any brilliant fast-paced action. The conflicts are nearly angst-less and easily solved making this a relaxing feel-good read. It’s just a gentle love story between two hurting, lonely people involving a pair of feisty, determined girls, goats, a cat, a porch swing, home-made how to manuals, and life in a small Texas ranching community. I love the down home feel and laughed at the twins’ antics. The romance begins with instantaneous attraction, but the daily contact of sharing a home and life have it progressing rapidly. There is a lot of sweetness involved, but these two get up to some spicy loving too.

I enjoyed the brief cameos and scenes with the couples and people from the past books. I closed the book with a feeling of loss not wanting to leave this small Texas community, but I was glad when the author’s note at the end indicated that there would be a new series taking up the stories of four more cowboys two of which were minor characters in an earlier book. I did want to point out that the Cowboys & Brides series is rather versatile and can be read in order or each book as a standalone if the reader happens to grab one out of order.

All in all, I enjoyed this book particularly because it was a matter of falling in love with family and not just a couple isolated in their romance. The scenes are bucolic and slow, yet they sparkled too. Those who enjoy easy-going, humorous, slightly spicy Contemporary Romance set in Texas ranch country should definitely give this one a try.

My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

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.


    1. Cool! This was the best of the four in some ways b/c of the girls I think. I just love the down-home light and gentle feel of these between other reads.

  1. Sounds like a great ending. This is the type of contemporary romance series that I like where it’s not just about the characters but the people who helped make them THEM if you know what I mean.

    1. Me too! I don’t get to as many as I would like, but the ones I’ve read have been good. Cowboys are like natural heroes it seems with the whole rugged, hardworking, strong thing going for them.