Today I am part of the blog tour for A Cowboy To Keep by Karen Rock. This tour is organized by Prism Book Tours. I share my review, some teaser images and there’s a giveaway.
Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Can’t stop running from the past
Dani Crawford has a secret…and if bounty hunter Jackson Cade finds out, he could ruin everything. The scarred yet handsome cowboy has tracked a dangerous criminal to the dude ranch Dani manages, and to get rid of Jack she’ll have to help him catch his man. But the closer they get to cornering their quarry the more Dani wants Jack to stay. Spending time with him is making her long for things she can never have thanks to a past mistake. And if the truth comes out she may be spending her future behind bars rather than safe in her cowboy’s arms…
I received a free copy from Prism Book Tours and the author and voluntarily reviewed it
This was such a good book! It kept my attention the whole time and even though I had high expectations for this book it was even better than expected. In fact I think this might be my favorite read by this author so far! Karen Rock is one of my favorite romance authors, so I always know when I pick up one of her books it will be a good one. A Cowboy to keep was her first book in the romantic suspense genre and I can only say that I hope she will write more in this genre as the subtle suspense really added something to the story. And the ranch setting surrounded by nature made for a lovely place to visit through this book.
This book had it all, an intriguing plot line, a bit of mystery and suspense, great characters and a wonderful slow building romance. I loved the setting on the ranch with the horses and nature all around. I also liked how different and similar to the two main character were. Dani has a secrets, something she’s being running from and hiding for a long time and now bounty hunter Jack has arrived at the ranch and she is afraid he will discover it. She wants him gone as soon as possible. Jack has become a bounty hunter after an incident in his past and his job brings him to the ranch Dani works on. But they also have things in common, like how they both have something in the past that they want to fix somehow, even though they both go about it in a different way.
From the first page I knew this was going to be a good read and the suspense elements really added something. It kept me wondering who was telling the truth or not, who was involved and who not. And the two main characters both are so interesting and likeable to read about. They both have their secrets and we learn more and more about them as the story progresses. I liked that they weren’t perfect and had made mistakes and still struggled with the consequences of those. It made them feel real. There are also some great side characters, there were side character were I never was sure of their motivations, but also some characters I immediately liked. My favorite side characters probably were Nan and the the horse Milly.
The romance is this slow building romance where the characters get to know each other and while there is something between them from the first moment they meet, it takes time to grow into something more. It was great to see them grow closer and also how they changed slowly over the course of the story. Dani made Jack realize he didn’t need to hide and he slowly become more open and started interacting with people more. There are quite some scenes later on where these changes are obvious.
These two were so good for each other and I kept hoping they would find a way to be together. i really could feel the romance and how much they cared about each other. I also loved the scenes where Jack was working with Milly, a the horse on the ranch who had gotten and scare and now no longer allowed humans close. And there is this scene where they are in a cave and Jack tells Dani his past and why he became a bounty hunter and it was just so sweet and touching. I also liked how they had some difficult to overcome, but there was no unnecessary drama and the troubles and the characters their reactions all felt realistic.
To summarize: If you’re looking for a great slow building romance with a well done, but subtle suspense element I would definitely recommend this book. There was so much I enjoyed about this from the realistic and interesting main character to the wonderful setting, the suspense element which kept me on my toes and wondering about people their motivations and some side characters that made the story complete. The romance feels real and these two were so great together. This might be my favorite book by this author yet and if I am correct this is the first book in a new series!
About the author
In a quest to provide her ELA students with quality reading material, educator Karen Rock read everything out there and couldn’t wait to add her voice to the genre. In addition to her work as a Young Adult romance novelist, she’s now an author for Harlequin’s Heartwarming line and thrilled to pen stories that moms can share with their teenage daughters. She’s loved Harlequin books since she spent summers going through her grandmother’s Presents books that she passed along in paper grocery bags each year. As half of the writing duo J.K. Rock, Karen also pens young adult romance. When she’s not busy writing, Karen enjoys scouring estate sales for vintage books, cooking her grandmother’s family recipes, reinventing her gardens to suit her moods and occasionally rescuing local wildlife from neighborhood cats. She lives in the Adirondack Mountain region with her husband, her very appreciated beta-reader daughter, and two Cavalier King cocker spaniels, who have yet to understand the concept of “fetch” though they know a lot about love. For more information about Karen’s upcoming books, check out her website.
– 1 winner will win the Prize Pack shown below: 7 Paperbacks & a $50 Amazon Gift Card (US only)
– 1 winner will their choice of an ebook of one of Karen’s backlisted titles (open internationally)
– Ends February 14th