Saturday, August 2, 2014

Review: The Reluctant Cowgirl by Christine Lynxwiler

Book Cover and Synopsis:
Elyse McCord always plays it safe -- a fact she blames on being the biological daughter of a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde. Even in the security of her adoptive family, the McCords, the timid dog whisperer keeps her guard up with strangers. But when she discovers a dog being horribly mistreated, she Elyse transforms into a mighty warrior and charger into a perilous situation, not only risking her life, but also her heart.

Reporter Andrew Stone has been fearless since the day his wife was shot and killed three years ago. He has one mission-use his Texas Ranger upbringing to find her murderer and clear his own name of any involvement. When he sees a beautiful brunette in the hands of a pistol-wielding maniac, he's forced to abandon his covert surveillance and go to the rescue. The danger surrounding Andrew doesn't scare him at all, but the awakening of his dormant heart terrifies him.

When painful pasts collide, the explosion is deafening. Can Andrew and Elyse pick up the pieces and go forward together? Or will they forever live with haunting memories, unable to forgive, unable to love?

My source for book: Personal Library
My Thoughts:
This is ultimately a story of following your heart, even if it might mean taking a path you never before imagined. Though this storyline seems common on the outside, there's something about this one that makes it feel fresh and very uncommon. The change in Crystal as the story progresses is very visible as she slowly comes to grips with her past while drawing strength from her family, their ranch, and a certain neighboring cowboy.

Jeremy's ordeal with his missing daughter was heartbreaking, and it honestly caught me off guard because I initially didn't expect such a dramatic storyline...but it was great. It felt very real and kept me riveted while wondering what would happen; I really had no idea how things might turn out. I liked how Crystal pushed Jeremy to try different approaches, basically breathing new life into what seemed like a hopeless situation. Two heads are better than one, and that was certainly the case here as they worked together to find Jeremy's long-lost young daughter.

As for the ending: it's a good one, and I was ultimately happy with the way all the different situations were wrapped up. But if you want more, it's worth noting that Crystal and Jeremy's story is taken even further in the second book of the McCord series, titled "Cowgirl At Heart". (They are large supporting characters and some sections are even written from Crystal's perspective.)

I can easily and highly recommend "The Reluctant Cowgirl" to fans of the genre. I really enjoyed it and I'm not ashamed to say that it kept me up past an ideal bedtime several times! Strangely enough, it sat unread on my shelf for several years and now I can't believe I put it off for so long. It's simply too good to sit unread!

My Rating: 5 stars

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