Friday, December 15, 2017

Cowboy Up (Coming Home, #3) by Harper Sloan

Title: Cowboy Up (The Coming Home Series Book 3)
Classification: Erotic Adult Fiction
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: The Coming Home Series (Book 3)
Format: Paperback; 384 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books (December 19, 2017)
ISBN-10: 150115527X
ISBN-13: 978-1501155277
Author's Website:
Notes: I received an eBook loan from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Caroline Michaels has been a good girl all her life--following the rules, doing what she should, and staying out of trouble. For one night she decides to let her hair down, be reckless and wild, and have a one night stand. It's been five years since her last and only relationship ended and she feels it's time to get back in the saddle.

Clay Davis doesn't do relationships. His emotional baggage is so extensive that he doesn't believe he has what it takes to give his heart to someone. He doesn't have aspirations of being a father or husband and believes he is satisfied with just running his ranch. One night with the right woman, however, will change everything...

“So what’s a good girl like you doin’ in a place like this?”

“Maybe I’m sick of being a good girl,” I mumble, wishing I could see his eyes.

He continues to study me and I shift in my seat. Good heavens, what kind of pull does this stranger have over me? I can’t even look away, not that I want to, so I study him just as fiercely—even if I can’t see his face, I can still see him. And what a mighty fine sight he is.

Dressed in the typical uniform of most cowboys around here, he’s got his well-built frame in a navy-blue button-down shirt, tucked into jeans that I’m sure mold to his amazing-looking body perfectly when he’s standing. Even in the dim light, I can see the dirty boots propped up on the step under the bar that keeps short legs like mine from dangling in the air. His hand wrapped around the tumbler is tanned, making me think he must work outside, but it’s the long fingers that hold my focus as he uses them to slowly spin his glass against the bar top.

“Want to?”

Pulling my eyes from the strangely erotic sight of his hand, I look toward his shadowed face.

“Want to what?”

“Be bad, sugar.”
This was the third story in Harper Sloan's Coming Home series. It can be read as a standalone, but you may wish to read 'Lost Rider' and 'Kiss My Boots' first. It will give you a view into the Davis family dynamics and history--and believe me, the history isn't pretty. This is the story I've been most looking forward to. Clay has intrigued me from the first book, and I believe this one is the best of the bunch.

Caroline Michaels couldn't get out of Pine Oak and away from her mother fast enough. So when her high school boyfriend asked her to go away with him, she left. Unfortunately, he didn't turn out to be her prince charming she'd hoped for. If anything, he turned out to be the complete opposite, and it scarred her so deep she's hasn't attempted another relationship of any kind in five years. She's a shy, introverted book nerd who can handle fictional people better than she can deal with real ones. Hence, the name of her store, The Sequel, is more than a cute name based off the next book in a continuing story line, it's symbolic of her closing one chapter of her life and stating a totally new one.

Clay Davis is the strong, silent type and the glue behind his family. At a young age the Davis clan's mother abandoned them to an abusive father which left each of the three siblings with emotional scars. Clay, being the oldest, did the best he could to look out for his younger siblings, but he, being a kid himself, could only do so much. While Maverick took the brunt of the beatings, being physically unable to protect his younger brother took it's toll on Clay. He's got issues which make him believe a romantic relationship would be next to impossible.

This trio of siblings went through a lot and I kind of wish the author would have had them seek the counsel of a psychiatrist because what happened to them can really mess with a person's head. Many author's decide not to take this path and while some may think it would ruin the 'magic' of a romance, I beg to differ. I think it would enhanced it by showing real commitment. Let me explain why I feel this way.

I was once engaged in a conversation with an individual who confided in me that he was worried about not being able to let his job go when he came home from work. He was in the military and I thought he was insinuating he couldn't mentally let it go. I advised him to go to the gym and work all the stress from his job out before he came home and then leave it all at the door. I later found out he was physically abusing his wife and it put a totally different spin on things. Now, I'm no psychiatrist but every so often, for reasons unknown to me, people will just open up and confide in me. While I believe the desire not to do something is noble, sometimes it's just not enough. If a person is worried about something, especially where abuse is concerned, sometimes it's best to be proactive just to make sure. Not everyone who has been abused will turn around and do the same, but if it's something they're worried about or if they're afraid they'll be emotionally neglectful or absent as a spouse or parent, then they should go ahead and seek counselling. There they can teach a person coping mechanisms, identify any issues, offer suggestions, and truly help. Going to a psychiatrist is not something to be ashamed of, and in doing so shows an individual is willing to go the extra mile to make things work. It's something I'd like to see addressed more in books and I apologize for putting my soap box stand on the subject in the middle of this review.

Overall, I gave this one 4 1/2 out of 5 roses. I loved how each of the stories in this series was better than the last. I loved the chemistry between Clay and Caroline. The steam factor of this one was totally off the charts. The scene where these two meet was utter genius. They say like attracts like and these two appeared to be made for each other. Caroline seemed to bring out Clay's protective nature while he seemed to be able to take away all her fears and insecurities about jumping into another relationship. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a SHOWER rating--a cold shower is necessary (need I say more?). Some books should come with a warning - make sure your significant other is handy or your shower is in working order. lol

Order of the Coming Home series:

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