Date: August 30th 2016
Genre: Western Contemporary
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Drake Carsonis the quintessential cowboy. In charge of the family ranch, he knows the realities of this life, its pleasures and heartbreaks. Lately, managing the wild stallions on his property is wearing him down. When an interfering so-called expert arrives and starts offering her opinion, Drake is wary, but he can't deny the longing—and the challenge—she stirs in him.
Luce Hale is researching how wild horses interact with ranch animals—and with ranchers. The Carson matriarch invites her to stay with the family, which guarantees frequent encounters with Drake, her ruggedly handsome and decidedly unwelcoming son. Luce and Drake are at odds from the very beginning, especially when it comes to the rogue stallion who's stealing the ranch mares. But when Drake believes Luce is in danger, that changes everything—for both of them.
Always a Cowboy is #2 in Linda Lael Miller's The Carson's of Mustang Creek, and is set within her books that take place in Biss County. I thoroughly enjoyed it, a great addition to the series although there would be no problem picking up this book as a stand alone - the best of both worlds!
What drew me?
- Linda Lael Miller knows her ranch and the animals on it. Right down from the wild stallion and its herd, to the ranch horses, mountain lion and faithful dogs.
- The care of animals - wild and ranch. There is a respect for both and the needs of both. No just shoot on sight because you are a nuisance factor.
- The beautiful Wyoming setting. Perfect for a cowboy type romance.
- A gentle romance story, no big tension or angst. A great stand off at the beginning that was a fun hook though into the book.
- The family that surrounds the main couple. We had met Drake's older brother and his choice of wife - Grace in the first book, and they are still very much about, with a nice little cameo advancement to their story. Then there is his younger brother Mace whose story no doubt will be next, and Blythe his mother. Blythe is terrific, if a little too much "let's get this romance on the road" style. Red a ranch hand and Harry the cook along with Grace's brother round out the strong family atmosphere.
- The sense of community, they are not centre stage but they are there in the background and it was great just having a taste of some previously well loved characters doing what they do well.
While there was a nice rounding off to the book I felt a little more could have been made of the wild stallion and the mountain lion - there was scope to broaden it out a little. But happy reader anyway!