Thursday, February 25, 2016

Review - - Stone Cold Cowboy

Stone Cold Cowboy:A Montana Men Novel
By Jennifer Ryan
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: February 23, 2016




I discovered Jennifer Ryan about a year ago and she's quickly become one of my favorite contemporary romantic suspense authors. I've enjoyed all of her Montana Men books but Stone Cold Cowboy, the first of the Kendrick brothers' stories, is headed straight for my keeper shelf.

When her mother died, sixteen year old Sadie Higgins put her life on hold to take care of her father, help run the family ranch, and raise her sweet little brother. Several years later, she's still doing the same, working two jobs and trying to keep her drug-addicted, ungrateful brother out of trouble but things are getting worse instead of better. Her father's health is rapidly failing and her brother has signed on with some truly bad dudes. The price of Sadie's loving heart and refusal to give up on her brother just may be her life. Ryan does a superb job of writing the conflict in Sadie's heart. She's more mother than sister to her brother. Sacrifice comes naturally as does the hope and faith that he will come to his senses and finally do the right thing but there may also come the time when she has to let him go. As the oldest of five siblings, I understood in a visceral way, the anguish of the decisions she has to make.

Rory Kendrick is my kind of cowboy - strong, honorable, protective, romantic, and all kinds of sexy. I happily handed him my heart. He has spent years raising his younger brothers with his grandfather's help after his parents' deaths and working himself to the bone keeping their ranch afloat. He's no monk but there hasn't been a lot of time for fun. While he and Sadie have grown up in the same small town they've never met though Rory sure has noticed her. He's always thought he was too old for her (she's six years younger) and even though he carries himself with confidence he hides a vulnerable and wary heart beneath his reserved demeanor.

When a crime on his ranch leads Rory to discover Sadie in unimaginable circumstances it unites the two in a powerful way (and put me firmly in their corner). Her determination to do the right thing leads to more time spent together and gradually, as they come to know one another, their initial connection deepens into a love that will change the course of their lives...if they can manage to stay alive in the face of the deadly group of criminals who have them in their sights.

Suspenseful, emotional, and deeply romantic, Sadie and Rory's journey took me on a roller coaster ride and completely captured my heart. Ryan rounds out the story with a well-formed cast of secondary characters offering comic relief, poignant farewells, a few surprises, and life or death danger. The bad guys are so realistic and fully dimensional that I wanted to indulge in some old fashioned, Wild West justice while Rory's grandfather and brothers, on the other hand, made me want to indulge in some big ole bear hugs. I hope each of the brothers will have his own story because I am not finished with this family!

~PJ

I have a print copy of Stone Cold Cowboy to give to one randomly chosen person who leaves a comment on today's post. (U.S./Canadian addresses only)

Do you like modern-day cowboy heroes?

Are you a romantic suspense fan?

Have you read Jennifer Ryan's books yet?

Who's your favorite cowboy hero? (books or film - modern or historical)





36 comments:

  1. I love Westerns, both historical and contemporary. They have been the majority of what I have been reading lately. I read a lot of Harlequins because my life is a zoo and often I want a good, quick read. The Intrigue line offers many good authors that write suspense in a western setting. I still like to sink my teeth into a good longer book when I can.
    I have not yet read any books by Jennifer Ryan. I have looked at her Montana Men series and been interested. I just visited her site and all the books sound good. I will pick one up soon so I can try the out. It sounds like I will enjoy them.

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    1. I discovered her last February when her first Montana Men book was sent to me for review. I enjoyed it but it was the second book in the trilogy that sealed the deal for me. I love a character-driven story and her complex characters are outstanding.

      I enjoy Harlequins for the same reason, librarypat. It's also why I've been reading so many novellas. :)

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  2. I enjoy western books Jennifer is a new author to me I don't have a favorite every character has their perfections and flaws

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    1. To be honest, I'd have a hard time choosing a favorite too, Natasha. I hope you give Ryan's books a try. She really is very good.

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  3. I have never read this author. Love modern day cowboy books and western historicals as well. Hard time thinking of one. I do like several in LaVyrle Spencer's books (I miss her work). This books sounds v.g. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
    ladbookfan

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  4. I've been reading mostly western romances the past couple of years, historicals and contemporaries, veteran and newer to me authors. My favorite cowboy hero is Wyatt Cooper from Jo Goodman's "To Love a Lawman," although Quill McKenna from "This Gun for Hire" comes in a close second.

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    1. I've been a Jo Goodman fan since her Dennehy series way back when. She has a new book coming out on May 3rd: The Devil You Know.

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  5. Western historicals are captivating and are my favorite since they are meaningful and provide me with enjoyment. I used to watch Westerns on television everyday since the old Westerns were what grew up with and I thought that the cowboys were real men with strength, principles, and integrity. I miss the men and the Westerns. Wyatt Earp in Tombstone would be my favorite of all. I enjoy romantic suspense greatly. I haven't read Jennifer Ryan's books but look forward to them now.

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    1. Traveler, if you enjoy westerns with honorable men of integrity and strong suspense then I'd definitely recommend Jennifer Ryan's books!

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    2. Traveler, I grew up on TV westerns too and Cheyenne was my favorite--so much so that in recent times I bought episodes from that series even after all this time.

      PJ, I also forgot to mention that I'd heard so much good buzz about Jennifer Ryan's "Her Lucky Cowboy," which is in my reading pile, that I have this new book on my "look for" list. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

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  6. I love romantic suspense books and have not read Ryan's books. Love Lorraine Heath's cowboy heroes.
    Patty B43

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    1. Heath writes some good ones, doesn't she?

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  7. Romantic suspense has always appealed to me for the unique plots and the characters whose lives are in peril. Westerns especially historical are wonderful and enjoyable for me since I started reading about the West and cowboys man years ago and this was unforgettable and treasures. Cowboys heroes are men with backbone and every cowboy out there would be a hero to me.

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  8. I enjoy romantic suspense but I haven't read any of Jennifer's books. I don't read a lot of books with cowboys as heroes, which is odd, since I live in Texas! Thanks for the heads up

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    1. Hope you enjoy them, LSUReader. I really like her writing.

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  9. I've not read her as yet but I do enjoy romantic suspense. Kat Martin has had some good heroes along with Lorraine Heath and Carolyn Brown.

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  10. I love romantic suspense and love Jennifer Ryan. Can't wait to dig into her latest.

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    1. Hope you like it as much as I did, Debbie. It's a wild ride!

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  11. I love romantic suspense and I have not read Jennifer Ryan. Love some Linda Lael Miller.

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  12. I love books about Cowboys!!! They are some of my fav and I enjoy romantic suspense! I have not read this author before but this book looks excellent!

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    1. I highly recommend her books. Thanks for stopping by, Gabrielle!

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  13. Love cowboy stories - I've just finished raeann Blake's newest to her 7 brothers of Elko series - she will make you love her male characters - looking forward to reading Jennifer's cowboy characters

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    1. I haven't read Raeann Blake. Off to check her out. Thanks!

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  14. Love cowboy stories - I've just finished raeann Blake's newest to her 7 brothers of Elko series - she will make you love her male characters - looking forward to reading Jennifer's cowboy characters

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  15. I do enjoy romantic suspense and cowboys. I haven't read any of Jennifer's stories yet. I've been reading and very much enjoying Kat Martin's romantic suspense series The Raines of Wind Canyon (all the titles start with Against The ...). The first book had a contemporary cowboy, the next two were about the other two Raines brothers, and then onto friends who are PI's.

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  16. I have not read any of Jennifer's books & not too many romantic suspense. Great cowboys on the covers! I love a lot of Carolyn Brown's cowboys & Raylen from Darn Good Cowboy Christmas is one of my favorites.

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    1. She does have good covers. :)

      Carolyn Brown is a good author!

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  17. I'm rather smitten with the cover on Midnight Wrangler by Cat Johnson. A cowboy in jeans and hat with his short off can't be beat! I haven't read it or any of the Midnight Cowboys series yet but I like that the men in these stories are older and more experienced.

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  18. I love romantic suspense or just plain suspense. That is mostly what I read.
    Karen T.

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  19. Romantic suspense is one of my "twin" fave genres to read from. The other is historical romance. But every once in awhile I do love a good contemporary romance too. I like contemporary westerns because I grew up on a ranch in SoCal and have always loved a man in jeans with the ol' "cowboy Code" lifestyle, but I'm picky. Jennifer Ryan is one of the few contemporary western authors I do like and my favorite so far was Saved By the Rancher. Thanks for the post! jdh2690@gmail.com

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    1. I just remembered your question, PJ. My favorite cowboy heroes are John Wayne, Tom Selleck, Sam Shepherd. And from time to time I love watching the old reruns of TV Westerns like Big Valley, Bonanza and Gunsmoke.

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