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The Reluctant Cowgirl (The McCord Sisters, Book 1) Paperback – April 1, 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the McCord Sisters Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Romance author Lynxwiler (Along Came a Cowboy) tries to set up a city girl/country boy attraction of opposites in this tale of aspiring actress Crystal McCord, who flees New York for her parents' ranch in Arkansas after her urban cad of a boyfriend sleeps with her roommate. But since the city girl is from the country, there really isn't much fish-out-of-water tension, nor a lot of any other kind of plot tension. The titular cowgirl isn't sufficiently reluctant around her handsome rancher neighbor Jeremy Buchanan, and a dark plot complication—a missing child—resolves itself rather quickly. Crystal's family history provides another wrinkle, and a smidgen of depth. Clever dialogue flows easily and wittily, almost screenplay-like, the best thing about this romance. Those who like their inspirational romance over easy will be happy to meet the McCord family, with enough siblings and backstories to kick off a series. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Top Pick! This old-fashioned romance set in present-day Arkansas is the first book in Lynxwiler's fantastic new must-read McCord Sisters series.  Crystal and Jeremy begin as friends, and their love develops over time.  Be prepared to drop everything and settle down in a nice cozy place, because you will not want to leave Crystal and Jeremy until their story is told.
(Cheryl Hanson Romantic Times)

Romance author Lynxwiler (Along Came a Cowboy) tries to set up a city girl/country boy attraction of opposites in this tale of aspiring actress Crystal McCord, who flees New York for her parents' ranch in Arkansas after her urban cad of a boyfriend sleeps with her roommate.  But since the city girl is from the country, there really isn't much fish-out-of-water tension, nor a lot of any othe kind of plot tension.  The titular cowgirl isn't sufficiently reluctant around her handsome rancher neighbor Jeremy Buchanan, and a dark plot complication--a missing child--resolves itself rather quickly.  Crystal's family history provides another wrinkle, and a smidgen of depth.  Clever dialogue flows easily and wittily, almost screenplay-like, the best thing about this romance.  Those who like their inspirational romance over easy will be happy to meet the McCord family, with enough siblings and backstories to kick off a series.
(Publisher's Weekly)

The longing Crystal has for home and family comes off the page as clearly as if they were your own. As she battles with her memories and longs for what she lost when she moved away, love unexpectedly creeps into her heart in the form of a neighborly cowboy. Jeremy is the epitome of what makes us all love a cowboy. He’s kindhearted, has a great work ethic, a heart of gold, and a heartache all his own that he bears silently. The twists and turns of the story make it a journey worth taking. This is truly a sweet, heart-warming story that makes you happy to share in the heartache and the joy. Definitely a page turner!

(Donna Bas Novel Editions 2009-03-10)

Heeding Sinatra’s advice, Crystal McCord left Arkansas to make it as an actress in New York City. In spite of good reviews for her acting, the play she is in making a Splash folds as the critics kill it. When she returns to her rent controlled apartment, Crystal finds her boyfriend Brad who missed her performance sleeping with her roommate Sasha. Since her family called for a meeting anyway, the Arkansas traveler decides to go home to her parents’ ranch to heal from the play’s closing and the betrayals.

When neighboring rancher Jeremy Buchanan and Crystal meet, sparks fly. She metaphorically considers him to be her potential leading man in this regional theater, but he has a history with her type. As they fall in love, both have decisions to make and stereotypes to overcome.

How you’re going to keep her down on the ranch after she’s seen New York is the underlying theme in this entertaining contemporary romance in which author Christine Lynxwiler avoids dissing either the location as tastes and desires matter. THE  RELUCTANT COWGIRL is a fun tale due to the misconceptions of the lead couple re the other. With a strong supporting cast, readers will enjoy this light inspirational as the wannabe in the clouds actress and the grounded rancher fall in love. See ALONG CAME A COWBOY for an even deeper Arkansas character study.

(Harriet Klausner The Merry Genre Go Round Reviews 2009-02-24)

What can I say? I've read Ms. Lynxwiler's books before and like them. That is part of the reason I chose this one. And...I like it. Easy enough to say. What did I like about it? Probably a lot of it had to do with the fact that I like just about anything to do with cowboys/cowgirls/country life. I like the friends-turn-boyfriend/girlfriend angle. I like the during-the-hard-times-you-lean-on-God story line. This book had all three. As an added bonus, the heroine has brothers and sisters, and it's book one. And that means...you guessed it...more books! Yay!

This story is about faithfulness, forgiveness, family, and friends. (Did I just alliterate? Comes from living with a former Bible college graduate.) Anyway...Crystal McCord and her twin dreamed of being on Broadway. When her twin is killed in a car wreck their senior year of high school, Crystal goes alone. For almost 7 years she worked hard to make it, but only had supporting roles in off-Broadway productions. Her current play closes at the same time her family needs help on the ranch so she goes back to visit. Her intentions of going right back to The Big Apple change when she is the only one able to stay and help.

Crystal has to face that maybe her dream isn't what she thought it was. When she re-discovers the faithfulness of God, she is able to recognize that fact.

Neighbor Jeremy Buchanan has his own troubles, but sacrifices his time to help out, also. His ex-wife has taken their daughter and he can't find her. When his situation looks like it is taking a turn for the worse, he has to learn about trust and forgiveness.

Crystal and Jeremy become friends and she helps him look for his daughter. Things seem to be going well, until Crystal has a call to try out for a part, a lead part, on Broadway. Will she stay or go? I can't tell you, you have to read for yourself. :) I will tell you this: I look forward to reading the rest of this series.

(Jen T Many Blessings Equals Busy Life Blog 2009-03-10)

Overall, The Reluctant Cowgirl is a very humorous and heartwarming story of love, loss, redemption, and how God's always waiting for his lost children to come home.  Lynxwiler definitely ended this mesmerizing story much too quickly.
(Kelsey Shade CBA Retailers and Resources 2009-04-01)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 285 pages
  • Publisher: Barbour Books; English Language edition (April 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160260150X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602601505
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,853,995 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a new - to me - author. Looking forward to reading more of her books.

Crystal is trying to live a dream. Unfortunately, the dream of making it on Broadway was her twin sisters dream. Because the twin sister died in a car accident seven years earlier, Chrystal felt she had to follow the dream ... and at the same time run away from the memories and hurt caused from missing her sister.

Jeremy was a cowboy searching for his kidnaped six year old daughter. To try and keep his mind off of his daughter, he agreed to help his neighbors with their ranch.

When Jeremy and Chrystal end up helping out on her parents ranch, they discover what real dreams are made of, as well as the meaning of true love.

Looking froward to reading book two in the series, Cowgirl At Heart, and discovering what comes next for Jeremy and Chrystal, as well as Crystals sister, Elyse.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was great, I had read Book 2 and was glad to fill in the beginning of the stories. I did have to look through Book 2 again to catch up on the characters from Book 1. I am looking forward to reading Book 3.
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Format: Paperback
This is a beautiful story about love, lost loves, and relationships with those who truly matter. Crystal has lost her sister, Jeremy has lost his daughter, and they have both seemed to have lost a sense of themselves in the process.

This amazing book is jam packed with drama, love, mystery and suspense, and humbling thoughts of a lost sheep coming back to the fold. I found myself tearing up multiple times while reading this book. I strongly identified with Crystal and some of the struggles that she was facing. She had a dream (but was it really her's?!?) to live out and was sidetracked into greater things along the way. That seems to be the story of my life but so far it's all turned out better than I could have anticipated.

This book is not for those who have a tendency to cry at the drop of the hat, however, I recommend that everyone read this! I had a hard time putting it down and enjoyed it cover to cover. I did get a little feared that the ending may not have been how I wanted it, but you'll just have to read the book to find out what does happen.

Highly recommended read! :)
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Format: Kindle Edition
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!
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Format: Paperback
The Reluctant Cowgirl is a story about following one's dreams as well as romance. Basically the cowgirl leaves home at 18 pursuing a career on Broadway and returns seven years later to help take care of her family's ranch. This is a Christian Romance that isn't completely like a fairy tale as most. My favorite part was when the little girl directed her dad and Crystal acting out "Sleeping Beauty" in the barn. Although the ending is predictable, I liked it because there is enough tension and reality to keep things interesting. The Reluctant Cowgirl addresses grieving, letting go of the past, making tough choices, love of family, and God's love.
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THE RELUCTANT COWGIRL is a fish out of water story, but the fish doesn't know it yet.

Crystal McCord's life goal is Broadway. Or so you think. What you really find out is that she is pursuing the dream of her sister, tragically killed after her high school graduation. Crystal, twin to Cami, fled her small hometown, running from the tragedy that has changed her life forever. She is determined to see Cami's dream come true - to star on Broadway. But, it takes a trip home, and the interest of a cowboy dealing with his own heartbreak for Crystal to realize the life of a cowgirl is all she ever wanted.

Jeremy Buchanan refuses to give up on finding his little girl. After a disastrous relationship and marriage, his wife takes off with his daughter, leaving him to wonder where she is and will he ever see his little Beka again. With a singular goal in life, he doesn't have time for outside distractions. That is, until Crystal McCord comes home to help her parents with the family ranch. Recognizing the wounded person that Crystal is, he finds that he relates to her because of the common thread they share - loss.

Crystal and Jeremy refuse to acknowledge their feelings for each other. Falling for each other was not part of either one of their plans, and only adds another level of complication to their life's goal. They must choose to be happy, but neither feel they deserve it.

I enjoyed THE RELUCTANT COWGIRL. Like I've mentioned in past reviews, I am a sucker for anything set in the west. Give me a cowboy, open land, and a budding romance and I am hooked. THE RELUCTANT COWGIRL has all three and an engaging story as well. THE RELUCTANT COWGIRL may be predictable, but when a storyline keeps me interested until the end, I don't mind at all.
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