Tuesday, February 9, 2016

My Bookshelf: Kissed by a Cowboy by Debra Clopton

Cassidy was looking for a home and a place to belong…not for a cowboy to steal her heart.
        Having lived through her parents’ endless string of “matrimonial bliss gone wrong,” Cassidy Starr knows when the odds are not in her favor. Divorced and humiliated, her faith on rocky ground, Cassidy is through with love. She’s been bucked off that horse far too many times. Instead, she returns to Wishing Springs, Texas, and the rundown farm she’s inherited from her great aunt Roxie. She’ll reopen the strawberry farm and a bed & breakfast and follow in her aunt’s footsteps, remaining forever-independent, happy…and single.
        Rancher Jarrod Monahan’s hands are full running the ranch, looking after his ailing grandfather, and chasing down a group of rustlers on the loose. He’s pushed his longing for a family to the bottom of his list of priorities. Besides, he was in love once but ran scared and lost his shot at happiness.  But suddenly, the biggest regret of his life has moved in next door with a wounded heart, determined to become a spinster…and that’s a challenge that Jarrod can’t pass up.

        Jarrod sets his mind to breaking down the walls around Cassidy’s stubborn heart. How can he show her that a cowboy’s kiss lasts forever? For the good folks of Wishing Springs, falling in love has never been so much fun to witness.

        Kissed by a Cowboy is the third book in Debra Clopton’s Four of Hearts Ranch Romance series, coming after Betting on Hope and Counting on a Cowboy. Although I wasn’t able to read the second book, I did read Betting on Hope and absolutely loved it. Therefore, I was really excited to read this novel, and was unfortunately a bit disappointed when I realized it wasn’t nearly the same quality of writing that I had enjoyed in the first novel of the series. Now don’t get me wrong, it was a good storyline and an interesting plot in theory, but to me it felt very rushed and fell really flat. I hate to write bad reviews of someone’s novel, but I also don’t want to lie, and I just cannot say that this novel is the same quality as the previous one I have read.
        Cassidy and Jarrod are definitely wonderful characters, although I have to say I like Jarrod a whole lot better. He fights so hard for Cassidy throughout the entire book, and is really super sweet and caring and just wants Cassidy to be happy. Besides that, he is a cowboy, and who can resist cowboys like Jarrod? No one, that who. Cassidy, on the other hand, wasn’t really one of my favorite characters of this book. She seemed a little too hung up on her divorce in my opinion, but what really bothered me was the fact that she continually tells Jarrod that she wants to remain single and doesn’t want another relationship, but she goes back on her word time and again, effectively breaking Jarrod’s heart over and over. Since I like Jarrod so much, I just can’t stand that she does that to him.
        Another thing I wasn’t very fond of when it comes to this novel is the ending. Of course, it was happy, and I do love a happy ending, but Cassidy changed her mind a little too quickly and painlessly for me. All along she fought Jarrod in everything he did, and I just cannot reconcile that image with the ending in my mind. On top of that—though this doesn’t have to do with the ending—many of the scenes in this novel seemed a bit forced and lifeless to me. I hate to say it, but it’s true. And I wish it wasn’t because I absolutely loved the first book of the series.
        All in all, I did like the storyline, and I am still hoping to enjoy more of Debra’s novels in the future, so I will give Kissed by a Cowboy four out of five stars. I did like the idea of the book, and I do typically like Debra’s writing, but it was just a little too cheesy and rushed for me to award it more than that. I am looking forward to actually getting the chance to read the middle book of the series, hopefully it will be more like its predecessor than the novel that comes after it. And I would still recommend this book and the whole series!
        Happy reading!

I received a copy of this book from the Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for only my honest review.

To see where I’m linking up, check out my Where I Party page.

Photo creds go to my fabulous sister Allie, whose blog you can visit here.

All credit for the italicized synopsis goes to Debra Clopton and Thomas Nelson Publishing.

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