- File Size: 2719 KB
- Print Length: 248 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1516104498
- Publisher: Lyrical Caress (October 17, 2017)
- Publication Date: October 17, 2017
- Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01MS0VHYH
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #144,091 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Cowgirl, Unexpectedly (Lazy S Ranch) Kindle Edition
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The advance copy I read of this book is my first by this author and I’m head over heels after reading it. OMGee, there’s so much to love about this book! At one point Mac purchases a horse who’s been neglected and is headed to the slaughter house, almost an equine version of Mac’s struggles and suffering, and there’s such fantastic symbolism and a glorious instant bond between the two. It also makes for an anxious, exciting scene when the mare gives birth. The foal, born during a thunderstorm, is fittingly named Boomer.
Mac and Hank are such great characters, and their relationship is a delight to behold and experience. After the author has spent the first half of the book stringing the sexual tension so tightly it’s ready to snap, in one paragraph she paints a beautiful, poetic picture that fills the heart to bursting, and in the next she had me laughing out loud. This back and forth, up and down workout of the heart and emotions is just one of the things that makes this such a terrific read! Mac is much stronger than she realizes and a lot less broken than she thinks, and Hank is the perfect man for her. Somehow knowing when to push and when to hold on loosely, he loves every fascinating aspect of Mac, flaws and all, and is strong and secure enough to appreciate and embrace her every facet. Something about Hank quiets Mac's inner demons and lessens the lure of the open road, and for the first time since her discharge, Hank has Mac wanting to put down roots, with him.
Not only is there a unique premise with a female war veteran with PTSD, the storyline is engaging and captivating, and you’ll find just the right mix of mystery, danger, angst, love and romance. There are also a few secondary stories to keep things interesting – Hank’s relationship with his seventeen year old daughter and her nascent romance with a ranch hand, the stoic ranch foreman’s family problems, Mac’s Marine friend Boomer whom she calls for help, and the return of someone who throws everyone into an emotional turmoil. The characters are so lively, colorful and authentic, and the setting so detailed and realistic that I felt like I spent real time in this fictional place and was sad to leave it. Ms. Tharp is definitely an author to watch, and she goes on my list of must reads. In an indie literary world of overdone tropes, this book is truly a breath of fresh air. Don’t miss this unique, heartwarming, phenomenal book!
Mackenzie (Mac) Parish has been back in the states for a year after returning from her deployment to Iraq. She is an ex-Marine and still suffers from a bullet wound to her left shoulder. But most of Mac’s scars are where you can’t see them, on the inside, in her heart and soul. Since her return she has been on the back of her Harley. The road calls to her, quiets her demons. But she is out of money, barely able to scrape together enough coins to pay for her last cup of coffee. She needs to earn some money so she can get back on the road. So she applies for a job as a hand on the Lazy S Ranch. She may have fibbed a little bit when they asked her if she could ride a horse. But when they asked her if she could shoot, she had no problem with that answer.
Hank Nash was a champion bull rider until a serious injury ended his career. He is now working for his ex-inlaws on their ranch, the Lazy S. He is trying to re-establish a relationship with his seventeen year old daughter who lives on the ranch with her grandparents but things aren’t going very well. On top of that, they have had a string of bad luck with vandalism.
The relationship between Hank and Mac is rocky in the beginning but Hank has a way of calming Mac’s demons, of making her feel things she thought were long dead inside of her. She also seems to click right from the beginning with his daughter. She finds a feeling of family, of belonging on the ranch. She’s not afraid of hard work and throws herself into the job. But the vandalism escalates quickly into something more. Both the animals and the people are at risk. But with no idea who would want to hurt these kind people, how do they determine who is behind the acts?
“This was not the quiet, little back mountain job I’d thought I was signing up for. Unfortunately, the more I was getting to know the people at the ranch, the more difficulty I was having minding my own business.”
Hank seems to understand Mac like no one else. He really sees her for herself, both the bad and the good. This tough cowboy had such a soft side and one look with those eyes of his had Mac questioning everything. For the first time in a year, the road’s call had quieted. She started wondering if she could make herself a home here, a home with Hank. But she still had demons to conquer. She didn’t feel like she could be good for them. She didn’t trust herself most of the time.
“Even if you had never served and sacrificed for our country, even if you were the girl next door or anyone else for that matter, what you’ve shown me this week, your tenacity, strength, fortitude, smarts…stubbornness…and your heart, make you the most amazing person I have ever met.”
This book was just incredible. Not only was I moved by Mac’s story and her heart, Hank had me melted into a puddle of goo. This book was so sweet and sexy but also, there is plenty of suspense as this group of ranch owners and ranch hands all band together to protect their home against unknown enemies. When it’s all over, the question is, will Mac finally be able to leave the past behind her and accept the life Hank can offer her, or will the road’s call to her be too strong to deny?
“With Hank beside me, I was no longer alone, and the relief overwhelmed me, knowing I wasn’t worthy of a man like him.”
Don’t miss this amazing book. I definitely need to see what else this author has written. Her books are the sort that stay with you forever. I can honestly say that I won’t be forgetting either Mac or Hank anytime soon. Thank you, Vicki, for this amazing book.
Hank, a retired rodeo star, is back working at the Lazy S ranch. The ranch owner is Hank's ex father-in-law. Hank's daughter lives on the ranch under the care of her grandparents. Hank is struggling to rebuild a relationship with his daughter.
Hank and Mac are thrown together; they bunk together and work together. They learn about each other and the demons that haunt them both. But they learn to respect and love each other despite all their flaws. Hank understands Mac like no one else has before. He helps her feel loved and helps to quiet the demons that have been raging inside her.
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