Review: Wicked Cowboy Charm by Carolyn Brown

Review: Wicked Cowboy Charm by Carolyn BrownWicked Cowboy Charm by Carolyn Brown

Series: #4 Lucky Penny Ranch
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Forever on January 31, 2017
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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four-stars      three-flames

Carolyn Brown wrote a fun letter to her readers that appeared in the back of this book.  Apparently, we’ve all been pestering her since book one of the Lucky Penny Ranch series that we love our Deke and wanted his story.  I confess that I was one of those folks doing the pestering.  He appears right away as best friend to the heroine and shirt-tail kin to all of the Logans while becoming close with the new to town and new Lucky Penny owners, the Dawsons.

He’s loyal, hard-working, great looking and a fun-loving type who always seems content to live it up at a bar and take home a pretty woman so by the time Wicked Cowboy Charm came along I was eager to discover just what special woman would turn his head permanently.

The story opens when Josie Dawson comes to town to join her brother in the oil drilling project.  She is thinking Dry Creek is her opportunity to buy a small spread and start raising rodeo stock.  Deke Sullivan the family friend turns her head a bit, but Josie doesn’t see him settling down any time soon even if he adores babies and being around the family, works steady and shares some similar interests in rodeo stock.

Resistance gets tough when the pair of them end up in Montana looking at livestock for sale only to get caught in a blizzard.  Deke’s been attracted in Josie, but just as wary of something permanent with a gal he thinks is going to do her oil job and leave.  However, getting stranded out at a cabin in a blizzard and a long road-trip back home makes them both start thinking about plans and people changing.

I reacted very differently to this one than any of the author’s books since the very first time I picked up one of her books.  I’ve gotten so used to her writing that I wasn’t expecting to not instantly sink into the story and connect with it.  For the longest time I could not figure out why I was still sitting on the outside looking in.  I could not figure out how after this story ended up in Montana I got distracted.  I stayed that way off and on until nearly the point they returned home and from there on, I was fine again.

Because I have never had this problem with the author’s books that I’m well into the double digits on, I was bugged and had to figure it out.  I like the characters, I like them together, I like the country cowboy backdrop, and I liked the plot.  So why the issue?  The only thing I could come up with amused me to death, but I think it is true.

Here it is:  she wrote it too well.

That is to say, she wrote what it would truly be like for a couple in this beginning of an attraction getting stranded on a small ranch spread, in a small cabin without electricity, chores to do, but idle days and then a long weary drive from Montana to Texas in winter weather.  It got tedious because being snowed in or traveling under those circumstances can be that way even when romance is in the air.  So yes, I laugh because I think that was my issue.  Now, I can move on and know why I loved this story, but struggled to stay engaged for some of it.

As to Deke and Josie.  They were a great pairing though I liked that the instant attraction was only the beginning.  I think one of the strengths of this author’s stories is that she really sells the relationship and how it looks on an everyday basis.  Deke’s rep of never dating or being in a relationship really has Josie pausing.  She is barely over her ex cheating on her with one of her childhood friends so she is wary of a guy who gets around.  Deke, himself, only figures out that he’s just been looking hard for the right woman so he’s skittish that Josie might not be around permanently and he doesn’t want to get attached only to see her move on.  They both feel the connection and the rightness of being together, but wonder if this is like an enchantment that will wear off when they get back home.  I liked how there was that extra time in the last quarter of the book back home because I had the same need to see them back in reality and dealing with how they could make it work.

So, I am sad to see this series end, but ecstatic by the news that there will be a spin-off for the Dawson cousins back in Happy, Texas.  The author writes cowboy country romance brilliantly and I can’t praise her books enough.  Those who like their small town cowboy romances really need to give her stuff a go if you haven’t already.

I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met:

Romance Roundabout #22 CR
Literary Pickers #22 Washing machine
Books N Tunes #6 Chris Stapleton ‘Tennessee Whiskey’
New Release #12

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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.
  • I don’t read a ton of cowboy romances but I really should check out Brown! Glad she was able to give you an awesome story for a character everyone loved! That’s always nice 🙂 Great review, Sophia Rose!

    • Her stuff is light and fun with a bit of sizzle. I like it when I want a pick me up. Hope you get the chance, Cyn.

  • I am currently reading this, its getting some use to, I am not feeling completely engaged >.<

    • Seems like you’re experiencing what I did. It’s different from her others.

  • Debbie Haupt

    hmm she’s a new to me author but I gotta say that I love Western romance and your review made me put it on the wish list 🙂

    • I’m a huge fan of her stuff. This one struck me different, but usually I have a good time from cover to cover.

  • I haven’t read her yet. Not feeling totally engaged in a book makes it hard to read, at least for me.

    • Yes, and it makes me feel odd. I knew that I liked the characters and their romance, but couldn’t figure out for the longest time what got me so distracted.

  • I guess if I’m going to have an issue with a book it should be that it was too well written. 🙂 I really haven’t gotten into this genre but I do plan on trying it one day. This author is at the top of my list when I do dive in. 🙂

    • LOL, I know. It took me a while to figure out why I wasn’t all the way into it and then I laughed to realize that I wasn’t feeling the whole snowed in and long winter trip scenario. 🙂

  • Carolyn Brown is an author that I really need to read. Soon. I have several of her books but just haven’t fit them into my reading schedule. I must admit that I think it is funny that you say she wrote the book too well. That isn’t something that I often hear. This sounds like a great romance.

    • Yeah, I racked my brains for what was the issue since I liked everything about the characters, plot, and the author’s writing.
      I think you’ll have a good time with her light and humorous down home style, Carole!

  • Gotta love a charming wicked cowboy! ;D It sounds really good. Glad it’s getting a spin-off.

    • Yes, you really do. Deke’s a charmer. 🙂

  • She wrote it too well…lol. I love a good cowboy story. I really need to pick her up again!

    • Yeah, that took me a couple of days to work out. 😉 But it was bugging me so I was glad when it hit me what the trouble was.

      Fun stories. Hope you get the chance at them soon, Kimberly.

  • RO

    The first time I heard about Carolyn Brown was years ago when I chose her first novel to review, and loved her writing style. Her character development is pretty amazing, and it sounds like she’s done it again with Wicked Cowboy Charm. I’ve never met a real cowboy but she sure makes you want to hook up with one!

    • That is exactly what her books do for me. I want to visit one of her small towns and meet her cowboys and gals. 🙂

  • This is why there are times that I don’t want to read books in series. They ends! After the time you spent loving the characters they just end. But nah, I’m just being dramatic haha. This series really sounds good Sopia Rose, so glad you enjoyed this one.

    • Not too dramatic. I feel the same sadness when a series I love ends.

  • Oh interesting that that was the issue! I was going oh no you love her (I love her) what happened?!! I’m glad it was fun overall for you even with the rocky start. I really do need to read this series of hers.

    • I know, what a goof. LOL I really wasn’t feeling being trapped in the cabin and then the long winter road trip. But I did love the story.