Monday, July 6, 2020

Review - Cowboy Strong

Title:  Cowboy Strong

Author:  Carolyn Brown
Series:  Longhorn Canyon #7
Genre:   Romance
Publisher:   Forever
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:  400
Date of Publication:  June 30, 2020
My Rating:  5 Stars


A rugged Texas cowboy and the girl next door find a fake engagement feeling all too real in this heartwarming romance from a USA Today bestseller.

Alana Carey can out-rope, out-ride, and challenge even the best Texas cowboy. But she does have one soft spot -- and his name is Paxton Callahan. With Pax back in town, Alana's old feelings have returned with a vengeance. But she barely has time to process her attraction for the hunky cowboy before her father falls ill. All he wants is for her to marry and settle down before he passes away, and Alana isn't about to break a dying man's heart.

Paxton Callahan has been in love with Alana since...forever. Now that he's living right next door, the electricity between them is about to set the whole Texas panhandle on fire. When Alana presents him with a crazy proposal -- to pretend to be her fiancé so her father can die in peace -- Paxton can't refuse. But as the faux-wedding day draws near, Alana and Paxton must decide whether to come clean about their charade or finally admit their love is the real deal.

Includes the bonus novella Sunrise Ranch for the first time in print!


Alana Carey is one of the strongest western heroines I have had the pleasure of reading. With her father being terminally ill, Alana's ranch responsibilities increase exponentially. There is a distraction, however. A huge one. Cowboy Paxton Callahan is back in town and Alana is all but overwhelmed with feelings for him she thought long buried. While talking to her father, with her love and respect for him shining through, she tell him something that will make him happy and the rest of his time peaceful. She tells him she is engaged to Pax, long-time family friend, and someone Alana knows her father would approve of.

There is one problem, however, the two are not engaged. As a matter of fact, they are not even a couple! Yet, Alana knows her father wants her to be happy and so she tells him this untruth. Here is the rub, Pax has been in love with Alana since they were kids. With their attraction sizzling to a boiling point, he has no problem going along with Alana's lie. He loves her father, and when he finds out that it is his dying wish to see Alana married, what else could Pax do?

The pair have to appear convincingly. Well, with the arc of attraction that flows freely between them, that certainly won't be a problem. So, a fake romance, engagement and soon-to-be wedding is all ahead of the couple. 

While I loved watching Alana and Pax dance around their feelings for one another, I was so very moved by the fact that I knew Alana's father Matt would die at some point in this story. For that to happen Ms. Brown had to delicately balance both romance and tragedy. As much as I have enjoyed this series over the past couple of years, that made this book hold so much more for me. How I loved Matt, and of course, Alana and Pax. Along with Alana knowing she would lose her dad, there were other sensitive things about her, really making her a wonderful character.

While I am not certain as if there will be more stories in this Longhorn Canyon series, I will certainly grab as many of Ms. Brown's novels I can as I truly enjoy her writing style as well as the way she portrays her characters. 

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

Review links:
Cowboy Bold
Cowboy Honor
Cowboy Brave
Cowboy Rebel

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Carolyn Brown was born in Texas and raised in southern Oklahoma. These days she and her husband make their home in Davis, Oklahoma, a small town of less than three thousand people where everyone knows everyone, knows what they are doing and with whom, and read the weekly newspaper to see who got caught.

A plaque hangs on her office wall that says I know the voices are not real but they have such great ideas. That is her motto and muse as she goes through the days with quirky characters in her head, telling their stories, one by one, and loving her job.

She has been married almost half a century to a retired English teacher that she calls Mr. B and he does not read her books before they are published because she cannot afford a divorce. They have three grown children.—and enough grandchildren to keep them busy and young.

When Carolyn is not writing she likes to sit in the back yard and watch the two tom cats protect the yard from all kinds of wicked varmints like crickets, other cats, spiders and blue jays.

web | facebook | twitter