REVIEW: Texas Cowboy Sweetheart by Rebecca Crowley

Must read

B Reviews / Book Reviews / / / / / / / / No Comments

The land they love might tear them apart…

Josie Star knew one day she’d step into her father’s boots and take over the Lone Star Ranch, but she hadn’t expected it to happen so soon. When her father collapses, she trades her corporate desk for a dusty tractor to shoulder the legacy of generations of Jewish Texans. She’s ready to take her place in the Lone Star’s history – with a little help from Easton McKinney. The ranch foreman is her lifelong best friend – and a man for whom her feelings once ran much deeper.

The Lone Star gave Easton the stable home his upbringing lacked, but when Josie returns, the dirt beneath his boots crumbles. She broke his heart when she left – and now she’s his boss. He’ll help her find her feet, but he won’t abandon his dream of running his own ranch. Maybe her homecoming is the kickstart he needs to finally move on from the Lone Star – and from her.

When Josie uncovers troubling family secrets, she needs Easton more than ever. But can he stay knowing she’s forever out of reach?

Dear Ms. Crowley,

Hurrah that there’s more to this book than beef prices and drought. Yes, there’s a lot about the Star family ranch and how important this is to both main characters but it’s more focused on people working out their issues instead of fighting the elements.

Josie Star has always known that when her father was ready to put down the reins – so to speak – she would be the one picking them up. Still when the unexpected phone call arrives, she does feel a bit of bitterness and regret that she can’t have a few years to enjoy the corporate executive position that all her sacrifices and hard work earned her. Arriving home, she begins the chore of fitting back in and jump-starting the plans she has for the ranch.

Easton McKinney practically grew up on the Star Ranch. His teen parents never married, his grandparents weren’t thrilled to be raising him but Mike Star accepted him, trained him, and eventually made him a foreman. Ranching, with all its challenges, runs in Easton’s blood. When Josie returns, Easton swallows his (small amount of) resentment that he won’t be allowed to run the place. When his mother, who has moved on with a new husband and children, questions what Easton really wants in life, he has to admit to his long held dream of owning his own land and running it himself.

Then there’s the Star sisters’ stunning discovery that what they’ve believed about their parents’ marriage might not be the whole truth, younger sister Amy’s attempts to matchmake Josie and Easton (with other people) and Josie and Easton’s slow realization that what they feel for each other might be more than friendship. A whole lot is going on down in Texas.

Josie and Easton have more in common than just loving ranching. Both have grown up feeling, at least somewhat, pushed away. Josie’s distant father was emotionally stuck grieving the early death of his wife plus running the ranch so didn’t have much time for four daughters while Easton has never felt truly accepted into his mother’s life or new family. While Josie has turned this into a tough shell and the determination not to need anyone, Easton has developed the habit of trying to ride to the rescue of damsels in distress (as Josie calls them) whom he can help. Neither is married so it’s not working to get them life partners. Their actions make sense given how their characters’ backgrounds are written.

Josie decided early on to push herself to be the best, head out to college, then work her way up the corporate ladder. She’s got plans for the ranch but needs to stop seeking her father’s approval of them. Easton has sort of drifted into where he is and what he’s doing. When his mother sighs in frustration at his lack of planning, he decides that at age thirty, if he’s ever going to get what he wants, he needs to do more than just wish for it. But both love ranching, even the dirty stuff, and they’re both smart though Easton might need reminding that just because he doesn’t have a fancy degree in econ-ag as does Josie, that doesn’t mean he’s dumb. Kudos for competence from both of them.

One thing I really like is that neither person has been pining for the other since their teen years. There was no relationship between them to have a break-up from and they enjoy an easy, comfortable friendship. So of course when both decide they want to be in relationships, they double date and spend those dates showing the world that they ought to be together. The last date (when they’re already a little mad at each other) is hilarious as grievances pour out before their stunned dates. A hot kiss in an alley behind the bar follows that but it’s the horseback trip in a thunderstorm (to round up loose cows) that leaves them taking shelter in an old barn which dropkicks the hotter sex.

Things get a touch repetitive as Easton gets a new job and they mentally dither about their feelings. He wants Josie to ask him to stay while she feels that doing anything that might thwart his dreams is selfish of her. Rinse, repeat, and nope the other still isn’t reading your mind.

The book touched lightly on how unreligious the sisters are but the stuff they found out about their mother’s family promises that this, plus some past anti-Semitism, will be delved into in the coming books. So there’s some cattle, some sisterly quarrels, Family Secrets, and a nice “friends to lovers” plot without anyone leaping off ledges of angst and drama. B


AmazonBNKoboBook DepositoryGoogle



Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 25 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there’s no TSTL characters and is currently reading more fantasy and SciFi.

More articles

Latest article