Monday, November 4, 2019

SERIES REVIEW - Chestnut Creek by Laura Drake

The award-winning author who "writes real cowboys with heart and soul" (Carolyn Brown, New York Times bestselling author) welcomes you to Unforgiven, New Mexico, a small western town filled with love and second chances! This series by 
Laura Drake terrific for those who enjoy cowboy romances.

Genre:   Romance
Publisher:  Forever
Format:  Kindle
No. of Pages:   337
Date of Publication:  December 4, 2018
My Rating:  4 Stars


This cowboy's got one last chance to prove himself.

Carly Beauchamp has loved cowboy Austin Davis since first grade. Ask anyone in their dusty, backwater New Mexico town of Unforgiven, and they'll say "Carly and Austin" the way some say "big trucks and country boys." But after years of waiting for a wedding ring, Carly's done with being a rodeo widow . . .

Austin never meant to put his career on the circuit before Carly. She's always been his future, his one and only. But now that she's moved on, he's beginning to see where he went wrong, and he'll do anything to win her back. The only thing is, Carly's suddenly acting differently, and she's definitely hiding a secret-one that will test the depth of their love and open up a whole new world of possibilities.


Having received the second story in this series, Home on Chestnut Creek, I went and read this first book in the Chestnut Creek series. So, in this book, we are introduced to the town of Unforgiven, New Mexico. Carly Beauchamp has been in love with Austin Davis since they were small children. However, Austin is a big-time rodeo cowboy and worked on making it big on the circuit.

Carly is really hoping that Austin will leave the rodeo, settle down and realize how much she cares for him. He is drawn to her as well, but there is always one more bull to ride. Although they are both adults, there is a bit of adjusting they both need to do in order to find a way to each other and to have the happiness they so deserve. For this to happen, there is a very important factor concerning Carly that Austin must come to terms with.

This was an enjoyable beginning to a new series by Laura Drake, an author who is new to me. I loved Carly and Austin's story and was glad to soon read the next book.

Genre:   Romance
Publisher:  Forever
Format:  Print ARC
No. of Pages:   624
Date of Publication:  July 2, 2019
My Rating:  4 Stars


From an award-winning author who "writes real cowboys with heart and soul" (Carolyn Brown, New York Times bestselling author) comes an unforgettable western romance about two strangers who learn that home is where the heart is. . .

First rule of life on the run: never get attached. Nevada Sweet knows that better than anyone-it's just too dangerous to stay put. And until now, she's never wanted to. But she gets more than she bargained for when she walks into the Chestnut Creek Café looking for a job. Despite the protective wall she's built, her coworker Joseph has her imagining a life she isn't yet convinced she deserves...

While Unforgiven, New Mexico has always been home, Joseph "Fishing Eagle" King still feels like an outsider-no matter how much he tries to give back to his Navajo community. Beneath Nevada's biting wit, he glimpses a similar vulnerability. Against all odds, Joseph finds himself falling for her, and it's clear she's not as unaffected as she pretends. When her past finally catches up with her, she'll have to decide whether to keep running, or fight for what's hers.

Includes the bonus novel Wild Cowboy Ways by Carolyn Brown!


Nevada Sweet is on the run. She temporarily takes a job at the Chestnut Creek Café and hopes to put a bit of money aside. She will stay in the warm, friendly town only as long as she feels safe. However, she didn't plan on meeting and falling for Joseph "Fishing Eagle" King. There is no way she can afford to be distracted.

Joseph has his own battles. He cannot be attracted to a non-Native American. His family would never accept that, so he tries as hard as he can to avoid his growing feelings for Nevada. They work together, and she lives on his property, but he hopes to keep things business first. There is a bit of mystery along with the conflict in this romance. Nevada has good reasons for running, and when the danger gets close, she feels she has no choice but to run yet again.

This was a very enjoyable story. I loved each of their struggles. Joseph really touched me because his heritage and the respect of his family was paramount. He was also pivotal to Nevada finding home, which is why I personally think the title, Home at Chestnut Creek, is so fitting.

I am not sure if there are more books in this series, but if there are, I certainly look forward to reading more.

Many thanks to Forever for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


Laura has always been a storyteller. It began on her front porch, telling ghost stories to the neighborhood kids. They ran screaming, but kept coming back for more. If she wasn’t telling a story, she had her nose in one, bumping into students in the halls on her way to classes.

Her settings are Western, but Laura grew up in the suburbs outside Detroit. Always tomboy, she’s always loved the outdoors and adventure. In 1980 she and her sister packed everything they owned into their Pintos and moved to California, sight unseen. There Laura met her husband, a motorcycling, bleed-maroon Texas Aggie, and her love affair with the West began.

She rode a hundred thousand miles on the back of his motorcycle, propping a paperback on his back and reading on the boring stretches. But you can’t read all day and after awhile, her brain would empty of the day-to-day thoughts and cast about for something new.

One day, riding into the small town of Kernville, California, a dog ran in front of the bike. After a gut clenching scare, he trotted back the way he came and they rode on. But she started thinking. What if someone came along and hit the dog? And what if a girl riding a motorcycle came along . . .

The idea grew into Laura’s first novel, Her Road Home.

Laura has since learned to ride her own motorcycle, and now owns two; Elvis, a 1985 BMW Mystic, and Sting, a 1999 BMW R1100. She’s in put over a hundred thousand miles of her own, riding the back roads, getting to know the western towns that are her book’s settings.

On an annual pilgrimage to Texas, Laura was introduced to her first rodeo, and loved everything about it. She was even more excited to discover Pro Bull Riding was shown on television every week! She’s since attended any event within driving distance, three PBR National finals and has even attended a bullfighting clinic – as a spectator. Several people in the industry have been gracious in sharing their knowledge with a city girl. Her love of this sport grew into ideas for her PBR inspired series, Sweet on a Cowboy.

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