Wednesday, September 5, 2018

4 Wine Glass #Review of Cowboy, Cross My Heart by Donna Grant

37638095Title: Cowboy Cross My Heart
Series: Heart of Texas #2
Author: Donna Grant
Format: Kindle, 304 pages
Published: August 28th 2018 by St. Martin's Press
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Reviewer: Linda
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 4 out of 5 Wine Glasses

New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant takes you deep inside the Texas rodeo scene, where danger and desire ride side by side. . .

Naomi Pierce isn't the type to let a cowboy sweep her off feet. It's not her first rodeo, after all. But when she returns to her Texas hometown, she can't help but be swept up again in the rough-and-tumble world of hard-riding, bronco-busting good-ol'-boys she loved as a girl. She might be here to photograph her Rodeo Queen best friend. But it's one fine-looking cowboy who really captures her eye...

Brice Harper is all man, all muscle, and all heart. From the moment he rides into the stadium, he can't help but notice the beautiful stranger with a camera watching him fromthe stands. It doesn't take a zoom lens to see the sparks of instant attraction. But things really heat up when he meets Naomi up-close--and he discovers that someone is stalking her friend. Brice wouldn't be any kind ofcowboy if he didn't offer to help the ladies out. But can the rough rider keep this spirited shutterbug out of danger--without risking his heart?

Linda's Thoughts:
The second book in the author’s Heart of Texas series is just as engrossing as the first!

Cowboy Cross My Heart by Donna Grant is an addictive piece of romantic suspense. It’s the second installment in the author’s Heart of Texas series, but works perfectly well as a stand alone read if that is your preference. It tells the story of cowboy Brice Harper and photographer Naomi Pierce with a heavy side of danger and suspense.

If you have read The Christmas Cowboy Hero as I did, you will be familiar with some of the cast including this tale’s hero. However, this story takes place a few years after the former book and Brice and his brother, Caleb, are all grown up now. Readers will learn that the brothers have since served in the military and are back home in Texas and at the top of their game in the team roping competition on the rodeo circuit. As a bonus, fans of the series will enjoy catching up with previous favorite characters, including ex-Navy SEAL Clayton East, the first book’s hero, who took Brice and Caleb under his wing when he fell in love with their sister.

The heroine herein is an accomplished former rodeo competitor herself. She was so good that, years after walking away from the sport, she still holds the barrel racing record. But, she left all that behind to move to Washington, D.C. to attend college after losing a dear friend in a tragic accident. She then stayed there to establish her photography business. As this story opens, she’s returned home temporarily to support her best friend who is competing for Rodeo Queen by chronicling her journey in pictures. Naomi certainly doesn’t expect to be swept off her feet by a fine-looking cowboy, nor does she expect to be caught up in a nightmare that threatens both her life and her friend’s. Thank goodness, a gallant knight with spurs is determined to protect her at all costs!

The hero and heroine stole my heart from the beginning. Admittedly, it may have helped that I remembered Brice as the troubled youngster from the first book. It did take me a wee bit to adjust to his new mature persona. But… there’s no question that I liked what he’s evolved into - a lot - as he’s grown into full-blown hot hero material. That becomes evident quickly when he doesn’t hesitate to spring into action to rescue Naomi when she’s attacked by a shadowy figure on the rodeo grounds. Naomi is no wallflower herself as she fights back -  for herself, her friend and for the other vulnerable wanna-be rodeo queens.

Following please find a few of my favorite lines from Cowboy Cross My Heart:

“She was what he’d been craving. Brice deepened the kiss, letting the taste of Naomi fill every fiber of him. His body burned for her, and she fanned those flames by returning his kisses with such fervor that his knees went weak.”

There are a great many things I regret, but being attracted to you isn’t one of them.”

Her beauty might have caught his attention, but it was her strength, steadfastness, heart, and authenticity that kept pulling him back to her. 

Donna is one of my favorite authors. I discovered her with her Dark Kings series and am so glad I did! Not surprisingly, this story is well-plotted and pulls you in from the first. Be aware that this sexy tale is much more than a Texas romance as the mystery and deadly danger elements take center stage and worked well to keep this reader on the edge of her seat through-out! I shouldn’t have been surprised as the first book also included a mystery and some fast-paced action– though I don’t remember it being quite as intense as this one. Honestly, you won’t want to put the book down until you’ve read every word.  I will add that I found it very interesting to read about the behind-the-scenes of rodeos.

Now, I can’t wait to read the next book in this series, My Favorite Cowboy, which is set to be released in Feb 2019! I’m hoping it’s Caleb’s story, but I’m in regardless!

Suggested Reading Order: 
The Christmas Cowboy Hero (Book #1)
Cowboy Cross My Heart (Book #2)
My Favorite Cowboy (Book #3) – coming Feb 2019!

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