#PubDay Double Showcase: Author Interview & Book Review | The Rocky Mountain Cowboys series by Karen Rock feat. “Christmas at Cade Ranch” and the prequel “A Cowboy to Keep”

Posted Tuesday, 7 November, 2017 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I have some wonderfully wicked news to share with you – I have the JOY of welcoming back to my blog, Ms Karen Rock! I originally crossed paths with this lovely author when I participated on the blog tour for ‘A League of Her Own’ – wherein, I found a delightful Romance author who writes the kind of stories I enjoy reading. As you might have seen on previous reviews for Contemporary Roms, I’m quite particular about what I am seeking out a Contemporary Romance – however, Ms Rock is one of the few authors I find myself gravitating towards reading ‘more of’ – the blessing being, this time round, I am *celebrating!* a lovely new series of hers: the Rocky Mountain Cowboys!

Now, I don’t know about you – but there is something wicked brilliant about ‘cowboys’ and in particular, the styling of Contemporary Westerns & Cowboy Fiction stories! I have been reading these stories ever since I first learnt how to ride a horse – there is a special connection between a person and their mount – something which is oft-times explored in these kinds of stories, but more to the point, it’s the setting of the stories themselves which intrigues me the most! Of finding where the skies are heavenly open to stars and where you can ride for ‘days’ and never meet your neighbour which holds quite the appeal to read about! These are the stories where the West is still not quite as tame as you’d believe it to be and where the ranchers and horsemen who make their home out on the range still have quite a bit to share with all of us!

I was definitely attracted to this series taking place on a ranch in Colorado – the setting (the Rocky Mountains) is of keen interest, yet, it’s the ranch itself which held the most curiosity. Mostly, as I find I’m drawn to ranches in film/tv series such as my beloved ‘Heartland’ which I am still itching for Series 10 to be released here in the States! *waves!* to all the Canadians who get to see it as it airs! Happily, I was able to satisfy my curiosity by ILL’ing (inter-library loaning) the prequel to this series through my local library whilst spotlighting the ‘first’ novel which is ‘Christmas at Cade Ranch’.

I also had the delight of being able to read a chapter sampler (which the author provided) whilst composing Questions which will give you a well-rounded ‘introduction’ to the series itself! Therefore, if you haven’t grabbed your favourite ‘cuppa’ you might want to do so before you proceed to read the rest of this post! It’s part conversation, part sneak peek into the heart of a series and one reader’s opinion about the prequel! Isn’t that going to be smashing!?

Let’s get started, shall we?!

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Christmas at Cade Ranch by Karen Rock

The Christmas they never had.

James Cade has one priority: keep the family ranch running smoothly in the wake of his younger brother’s death. With Jesse’s ex, Sofia Gallardo, and her young son, Javi, stranded at Cade Ranch over Christmas, this task just got a lot harder. The longer Sofia and Javi stay, the harder it is to imagine the ranch without them. James couldn’t save his brother from his inner demons, but he can give his nephew a secure future. Maybe more—if he can figure out how to trust Sofia, and stop feeling like he’s betraying Jesse. Because trying to stop thinking about beautiful, determined Sofia is impossible.

Happy Pub Day: 7th November, 2017

Converse via: #Contemporary #Western + #Romance

Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming

Add to Riffle | Add to LibraryThing

The Rocky Mountain Cowboys series:

A Cowboy to Keep (Prequel) (see review below my Q&A)

Christmas at Cade Ranch (Book One)

Falling for a Cowboy (Book Two) (Synopsis)

Bad Boy Rancher (Book Three) (Synopsis)

A Cowboy’s Pride (Book Four)

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I am thankful I had the joy of reading the first three chapters of ‘Christmas at Cade Ranch’ as the author graciously helped me ‘read’ them by sending me a copy I could print out to read as I cannot read stories digitally due to chronic migraines. Chapter samplers which are short or small excerpts are alright – but when it comes to ‘length’ such as this, I have to read everything in print format. The lovely part is getting a ‘first glimpse’ of what awaits me as the series picks up from my readings of the prequel – as this novel alights into the heart of where we find ourselves at Cade Ranch!

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I was truly grateful for the chapter sampler I received because I had wondered what would come next for the Cade siblings – here we find Jewel (the spunky cowgirl heroine of Cade Ranch), Justin (Jesse’s surviving twin) & James are taking over the duties of Cade Ranch – trying to keep the place solvent and everything running as smooth as they can manage, despite the hurdles of trying to sort out how to ‘move forward’ after such an alarmingly tragic loss. You can easily ‘step back’ into the series – as the prequel did such a great job of ‘setting the scale’ of the series by placing you into the heart of what makes the Cade’s such a strong family!

Here — we get the fuller back-story about Jesse – even though his addictive habit did kill him in the end (due to circumstances his brother, had no way of knowing would impact his future) – it wasn’t the addiction which caused his death; it was something related to being addict. Despite this, he left behind a girlfriend and a son; a son whose five years old now – meeting his grandmother, Aunt & Uncles for the very first time. This is where we find James – the reserved & cautious elder brother who wouldn’t trust you if you looked honest – he has find a way to validate your intentions, your heart & your motivations.

In so many ways, James reminded me of Jackson! They two are akin on the ledger of where they are the hardest to convince your on a better path in life – even if your first attempt to ‘make it’ proved to have some obstacles in the road to overcome. Dani & Sofia would love being sister-in-laws because they each had to fight hard for what they were getting out of life – they both made certain choices which affected their futures but what united them, was their hope & belief that second chances are never too late in arriving. Sofia is as jumpy as Dani, too! I don’t blame either of them – the Cade brothers are a wee bit scary due to how they appear to be unbending & unwilling to accept you ‘where you are’. Of course, that’s one fast way to short-change their personalities – but both James & Jackson don’t exactly have the best ‘bedside manner’ so to speak! Their affection might be hard-won but if James is anything like Jackson – his heart will soften long before he allows Sofia & Javi (her son) to exit his life for good!

Seeing this part of the story – how it’s unfolding to bring everything ‘back to centre’ at Cade Ranch – where it all began and where the future shall be written for the siblings – as this is land inherited through past generations – you can gather the fuller depth of where Ms Rock is taking the series! The continuity is wonderful – I feel like this is the best place to re-insert us into the series – it is on the foot-heels of finding out about Jesse from Jackson’s POV whilst opening the door for Sofia to tell her story – what is remarkable is how it feels like both time-lines are running nearly concurrent to each other, rather than having any gaps in the momentum of the ‘next’ section of where we alight into the Cade family’s journey.

I am so very thrilled to say, ahead of reading this sampler, I submitted a purchase request for the novel through my local library! I am hoping they will consider it – as there are a lot of patrons who love Harlequin Heartwarming & other imprints in our system – I notice the books quite a lot of being ‘popular’ ones on our shelves – hence, why I thought it might stand a good chance of finding it’s way into the card catalogue! IF not, I shall ILL this one, too in six months time!

One thing to note – is I agree with the sensitive way in which Ms Rock approaches her harder hitting subjects – in this instance, it’s with addiction & recovery. Previously, it was addressing being involved in a bank robbery (Dani’s story-line) — each time Ms Rock knits us closer to her characters, she does it with compassion and empathy. In many ways, I enjoy this aspect of her writings the most – she puts in a lot of thought & time to get the lives of her characters to not only be realistically pleasing to us, the reader, but to honour the real-life counterparts who might be living a similar life. Even the fragility of Joy, the Cade’s mother – is aptly described – of being stuck ‘betwixt & between’ – of not knowing how to proceed forward after losing one’s son. I could relate to this due to not only my own personal losses but the losses of others, of whom, have felt this muddling ‘inbetween’ feeling wash over them – to where they needed to find something to ‘focus on’ outside of their grief before they realised they could ‘transition’ through their sorrow.

I *devoured!* this sampler – it shall keep me until I can read the novel in full! I’d love to know if my thoughts on this sampler (which was available on the author’s site – hopefully it still will be for the conclusion of this blog tour; it was on the front page?) — or the prequel sparked your interest to seek out either of the stories or both, ahead of the second novel arriving early in the New Year?

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Originally, I was going to use the chapter sampler Ms Rock sent me as a basis for my Questions, however, due to my absence and hiatus in September – as life led me away from my blog and my reading queue – you could say, when I return to work on this Q&A, I had forgotten my original intentions of how I wanted to organise my thoughts for this interview! Therefore, these questions are independent of the sampler whereas my impression on behalf of the sampler itself are running concurrent to our conversation.

I love how there are connecting stories for certain settings – Cade Ranch was previously explored in a bit of a prequel within the pages of “A Cowboy to Keep”. What initially inspired you to set a series of Romances within the Rocky Mountain range and how did you develop ‘Cade Ranch’?

Ms Rock responds: Hi, Jorie and thanks so much for having me on your blog today! After writing A COWBOY TO KEEP, a western romantic suspense featuring Jack Cade, a rancher turned bounty hunter, I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the rich history and beautiful setting of the dramatic Rocky Mountains. Jack’s quest to avenge his murdered brother, one of his five siblings, gave him a powerful backstory. Since his murdered brother, Jesse, was an opioid addict, I was also drawn to the theme of addiction and loss and how that can affect a family as close as the Cades. They were a broken family after losing a loved one. I wanted to write a series which would allow me to show how love is the path to healing by giving each sibling his or her own happily-ever-after.

What do you think is the main draw of interest for all of us who love reading Cowboy Fiction especially the wholesome Romances where lives intersect with cowboys and ranch life?

Ms Rock responds: I think the main draw of interest in Cowboy fiction, especially in wholesome Romance, is deeper than a black Stetson and Tony Lama boots. Cowboys embody traditional values we all hold dear. They’re trustworthy, loyal, independent, brave, strong, protective, rough and tough with a tender heart, proud, tenacious, honest, hard-working gentleman. When paired with the rugged setting of the west, an unforgettable love story is born.

Cade Ranch seems to be the best place to let the woes of life ebb away and where despite the tribulations afflicting your heart and spirit – it’s a place where you can reset your life if need be. What did you want to develop into the setting and background of this ranch which would give the impression it’s a place perfect for renewing your spirit as much as finding a place to settle into a new beginning? What do you think is most healing about it’s natural setting and being hugged into the mountains directly?

Ms Rock responds: Cade Ranch is nestled at the foot of the Rocky Mountains which stand, as my heroine in CHRISTMAS AT CADE RANCH observes, like sentinels against the rest of the world. This isolated, rugged spot is the perfect place to renew and reset your life as it gives characters time to think, reflect and grow, away from the day-to-day grind of regular life. The natural setting, riding out on the open range, beneath open sky, provides a less complicated life. The breathtaking, majestic beauty of this idyllic spot allows characters the space to examine themselves and their lives to open their hearts to love.

What do you find most refreshing and inspiring about writing Romances which give everyone (single or married) the most uplift to read by watching characters transform their lives through living through their struggles but without losing the hope of what tomorrow could bring?

Ms Rock responds: What’s most refreshing and inspiring about writing romances which uplift readers is hearing that I’ve moved them and given them stories and characters they can relate to in their own lives. While Romance is often a form of escape from life’s struggles, Heartwarming also provides a window into the powerful forces at work when we face our challenges and overcome them to find everlasting happiness and love. Many CHRISTMAS AT CADE RANCH readers have reached out to me to share that my treatment of loss and addiction is authentic and sensitive. I’m planning a discussion group to talk about this growing epidemic in my Rocky Mountain Cowboy’s Discussion Group on Facebook. It’s moving to know that a story I’ve written can touch those going through similar struggles and inspire them to transform their lives or the lives of their loved ones.

Christmas stories are a delight to read, what do you love most about writing them from a writing POV?

Ms Rock responds: Christmas is my favorite holiday! It brings families together and renews our hope and faith. I love writing Christmas romances because it’s about giving, not getting and it’s my chance to give readers a powerful, moving story the embraces the Christmas spirit of love. The icing on the cake is incorporating my favorite parts of the holidays, from decorating Christmas trees, horse drawn sleigh rides, baking Christmas cookies, caroling, wrapping gifts, helping others in the community, and gathering with family and loved ones. CHRISTMAS AT CADE RANCH has been my favorite holiday romance to write because of those tender, magical, joyful moments that only happen during this special time of year.

How did you set the scope for the Rocky Mountain Cowboys series? Is this going to be an ongoing series of connected stories featuring different characters (such as it’s anchoured in setting but not entirely continual) or is it a set fixture of a trilogy or quartet?

Ms Rock responds: The scope of the Rocky Mountain Cowboys series encompasses two families, the Cades and their neighbors, the Lovelands with whom they’ve been feuding for over a hundred and twenty years. It’s an ongoing series of connecting stories featuring different members from each family. The connection running through the stories is the building relationship between the widowed matriarch of the Cade family, Joy Cade, with the widower patriarch of the Loveland family, Boyd Cade. Their adult children absolutely oppose the pair speaking, let alone dating, or worse, getting engaged and eventually married. It’s been fun seeing how Joy and Boyd’s relationship plays out in each book of the series. Another fun connecting factor is the mystery surrounding the origin of the feud which involves, kidnapping, murder, and a priceless jewel theft. One of the books, which I’m writing now, solves this old-time mystery, revealing explosive secrets neither family expected!

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About Karen Rock

Karen Rock is an award-winning YA and adult contemporary romance author. She holds a master’s degree in English and worked as an ELA instructor before becoming a full-time writer. Currently she writes for Harlequin Heartwarming and her first novel for the line, WISH ME TOMORROW, has won the 2014 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the 2014 Golden Quill Contest and a finalist in the Published Maggie Awards. The first novel in her co-authored YA series, CAMP BOYFRIEND, has been a finalist in the Booksellers Best and Golden Leaf awards.

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As a special *bonus!* here is my impression of the ‘prequel’: A Cowboy to Keep

Borrowed Book By: I used the inter-library loan services at my local library to borrow “A Cowboy to Keep” as a way of understanding the foundation for the Rocky Mountain Cowboys series ahead of being able to collect the rest of the series as it publishes and is available in print format to read as this is a Digital First series by the publisher Harlequin Heartwarming (an imprint of Harlequin Books). I was not obliged to post a review and decided to share my thoughts with my readers for my own edification. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).Why I wanted to ILL this Prequel:

When I learnt of the blog tour featuring a new release by Karen Rock, I was immediately keen on participating because I had come across her Romance writings whilst reading “A League of Her Own” which was featured on a blog tour as well!

Ever since our paths first crossed, I have been wanting to read more of her collective works – however, as you might recognise in your own life, what you want to do and what your able to do sometimes work contrary to your motives! Ergo, I haven’t had the proper chance to dig into her website, sort out which series she’s been working on and finding a ‘way’ into reading her stories! Until of course, I saw her on tour with Prism Book Tours – I immediately signed on to host a Guest Feature (this interview!) whilst sorting out where this particular novel fit within the ‘series’ of the Rocky Mountain Cowboys!

Lo and behold – I was in for a special treat, as the ‘prequel’ which kicks off everything is entitled: ‘A Cowboy to Keep’ and it was available to ILL (inter-library) from my local library! #Blessed! I also reached out to the author ahead of my tour stop to see if I was correct in thinking this was the ‘prequel’ as I was growing a bit concerned I had erred in knowing the sequence of the stories – she happily provided me with the sequential list I shared earlier!

The other reason I was keen on reading this novel is because I have a long acquaintance with Harlequin – going as far back as the ‘80s (my childhood) when I first started noticing them. Back then, they were living up to their rep moreso than their ‘heartwarming’ side (such as this imprint!) which is why it was more of a conversation with my Mum about their ‘kind of stories’ than honest readings! Instead, I turnt away from them (hoping they’d temper some of their lines of imprints for all audiences; which thankfully they had!) and sought out more traditional Romances – the novellas I frequently mention (ie. the Victorian or Regency Christmas ones) which led me to knowing one of The Word Wenches (Ms Putney).

Harlequin came back into my life when Mira offered a subscription but soon left my life thereafter, as I couldn’t keep up with the pace of the releases (too much going on personally) – whilst I had regained a bit of hope when they merged / bought out the INSPY series I loved reading with my Mum: Heartsong Presents, only to have this short-lived when the new merger/buyout extinguished this line and kept Love Inspired. Along the way, I’ve been smitten with their other imprints – from the Rom Suspenses to their Medical Dramas (when I was into ‘medical dramas’ as a teen) – one thing I have loved about watching the trends of their publishing record is how they keep re-defining themselves & the genres their authors are writing under – they have the tendency to offer a little bit of ‘something’ per each reader who finds them – which thankfully is a far cry to where they ‘were’ when I first learnt of them in the ‘80s! lol

I’ve had my eye on their Heartwarming line for awhile – and as I move into more stories by their authors, I have a feeling this is one of the imprints I might warm too the most. Aside from the Love Inspired as it’s not quite a compromise from my beloved Heartsong; it’s simply a different spin on Contemporary & Historical INSPY Fiction – which I dearly love to devour!

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To give you an inkling why I like how Ms Rock composes her stories, this was what I had to say about the first story I read by her:

Rock infuses her Contemporary Romance with a quick off-set of narrative and dialogue, which keeps you positioned in the moment whether your with the players or Heather. She has infused just enough baseball terminology to rope in the fans who understand the logistics of the game but hasn’t overloaded it to where a regular Sox girl like me cannot follow the patterns of what is technically being described. Similar to writing, where grammar would always trip me up a bit, when it came to sports, I played intuitively whilst learning the basics of the games themselves. I could change how I threw a ball if I were pitching based on where it had to go over the base, but as far as the technique I used specifically to switch-up a pitch? I have no clue! I think it goes back to knowing if you play by reading music or by ear – somewhere in that thread of thought I am halfway between two disciplines!

Rock keeps your interest in the story by giving her characters a humble center and a flawed personality where they admit what they consider are their strengths as much as their weaknesses. It is a lighter read than most I typically share as I have focused on a lot of harder hitting stories this past year, but what I appreciated is how encompassing A League of Her Own became through Heather’s pursuit to prove her worth to her father.

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Now, then! If you love to read serial fiction as much as I do by the order of the series, let me give you a snapshot of what you can find within the Rocky Mountain Cowboys series by sharing my ‘introduction’ through the lens of “A Cowboy to Keep” – which is happily currently available in both ebook & print!

A Cowboy to Keep (Rocky Mountain Cowboys prequel) by Karen Rock

Synopsis for “A Cowboy to Keep”

Dani Crawford has a secret… and if bounty hunter Jackson Cade finds out, he could ruin everything. The scarred yet handsome cowboy has tracked a dangerous criminal to the dude ranch Dani manages, and to get rid of Jack she’ll have to help him catch his man. But the closer they get to cornering their quarry the more Dani wants Jack to stay. Spending time with him is making her long for things she can never have thanks to a past mistake. And if the truth comes out she may be spending her future behind bars rather than safe in her cowboy’s arms…

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On setting and locale for the Rocky Mountain Cowboy series:

I personally *love!* the letters & notes oft found in Harlequin releases – other publishers include these too, some a way to acknowledge the readers or those who have helped them with their continuing journey as an author; others like the ones in Harlequin give you a bit of insight into the story itself or the setting. In this instance, it’s an introduction to the setting (the front range of the Southern Rockies) and the locale Mountain Sky Ranch which serves as a ‘dude ranch’ where everyday people can rope, ride & feel like cowboys & cowgirls whilst on holiday.

What I thought was so keen about this series is how it harkens back to yesteryear – where the open range and ranches were relying on the law – through bounty hunters, lawmen and the courage of the ranchers themselves to seek justice when needed. The West has a lot of History in this regard and to even get a slice of it within a Contemporary Western playing homage felt ‘right’ to me! I was most encouraged to see how Ms Rock would shape the series whilst owning to the heart of what implores us about the life of living in the West nestled against the Rocky Mountains! Part of the allure for me to read Westerns (both Historical & Contemporary) has been the appeal of the mountains which in of themselves are part of the character and charm which define the Western culture and influences the topography of the settings.

My Review of A Cowboy to Keep:

The interesting thing about seeking retaliation and vengeance is how it works against your own soul moreso than it rights the wrongs of the past. As we step into Jackson Cade’s life, we find a hardened man whose past the point of accepting what happened to his brother and is still bent on punishing those who were responsible for enabling his brother’s deadly habit. Rather than seeing the situation on the surface for what it was – his heart had bled black and turnt into a chiseled focus of unrelenting anger towards anyone who could even be remotely connected to the trade which took his brother’s life. On one hand, you have empathy for him and on the other, you wish he could let go of the ‘hate’ and the desperate need to ‘punish’ opting instead for something in the ‘middle’ between the two extremes.

Meanwhile, Dani has her own demons to sort – as she’s newly minted as the manager of the Mountain Sky Ranch with a past which could kill the prospects she’s fought hard to secure in the present. Hers is a past which could place her in a position where Jackson might have to intercede – either for her or against her, depending on the facts of her back-story. The interesting bit about how they ‘met’ at the Ranch is how she tried to drum up enough courage to appear ‘tough as nails’ against an unknown intruder (as Jackson was scouting the Ranch for another bounty he was called in to collect) but when it boiled down to her against him, it wasn’t hard to see how easily he overtook her raw courage. She didn’t have it in her to do what she threatened and he knew it; without tipping his hand about ‘why’ and ‘how’. Bounty hunters have to have quickfire accuracy in assessing their foes – without working up a psych profile, their lives would surely be shorter! These are two people who have secrets upon lies – either the ones they hide behind to ‘live’ or the ones they tell themselves in order to ‘function’.

Put in the position to introduce Jackson to the rest of the employees at the Ranch, Dani had her own fit of nerves to contend with whilst sorting out how she would entertain a ‘bounty hunter’ during his stay to find the man (or men) he sought. For her part, she played into being the ‘boss’ of the Ranch – trying to show Jackson she was not as weak as he might perceive and that she had a thing or two to surprise him with as well. The bad thing for her is how in-tune he was to people’s character traits and how innate his instinct was for ferreting out untruths – he wasn’t quite picking up the radar regarding her past, but he was inches away from getting to the source of his unease whilst he was around her. Contrary to his issues, Dani was more confident in projecting what she had secured for her future – her work ethic notwithstanding, her present was hard-won through the toils it took to undo her past.

The area of the mountains they were riding in whilst on horse-back is the stuff of envy for any horse girl because they were right in the thick of the wild country – where the mountains were endless, the skies were enriched by the crispness of the climate and there were no trails except the ones you choose to carve for yourself as you rode. The horses could feel the vibe, too, as there is a certain freedom attached to riding on a ranch whose acres are half of 1,000!

The worst thing to be left with when your alone are your thoughts – such as how Dani is finding she’s not nearly as strong as she first perceived she had become ever since Jackson took up residence on the Ranch. It’s hard to shake the restlessness you feel being around someone you know could alter the course of your life – which is why Dani is betwixt and between knowing how she could proceed. She has as job to do – that’s true – but at what cost to herself and to those she’s considered her friends? As you watch her counter-weigh her own mistakes against the (supposed) mistakes of those she knows under her employ, you start to see her wrestling with her own guilt and the line of conscience recrimination which is overtaking her mind and heart.

One cheeky way of getting two disagreeable people to be on equal ground is to put them in a neutral situation where they either have to work together or they have to suffer a bit until they can depart. On this level, the ‘closet scene’ was a favourite of mine as it turnt the tables on both Dani & Jackson! Neither of them were fully prepared for what would happen if they were suddenly ‘shoved against each other’ and had to keep as quiet as church mice if the didn’t want to spoilt their ‘undercover work’! Ha! The whole time they were in the closet, I kept thinking to myself – the close quarters gets them both ‘out of their heads’ for once and they are simply relating to each other on common ground: man to woman!

As the investigation shifted to her friends, Dani was walking a tightrope between what she knew was ‘right’ and what she feared was ‘wrong’ – she couldn’t wrestle with her own thoughts and find an unbiased view of the choices her best friend Tanya was making now. It was almost as if she had a second chance to view how her own choices would look to others – to see what they saw from the outside, rather than how she had seen it all from her perspective. Somewhere along the way, she had hoped by keeping her head down and doing good – she’d not only turn her life around for the positive but she could outrun the dangers of having her past catch up to her in the present. Only time would tell if she was right thinking this was even possible.

Jackson on the other hand hasn’t softened in his reproach to self-condemn himself due to events out of his control. His mind was a hive of self-reproachment and self-loathing to the degree where he felt he could no longer celebrate his own family’s milestone achievements on their own Ranch. His distance from his family was total – he simply removed himself and never looked back. The hard part is sensing his distrust in believing he could be forgiven but at the same time, worrying about how much he was losing by never seeing the truth out of the lies he’s believed about himself. Because that’s what they are – he couldn’t have effectively done anything to save his brother; the situations did not yield to a resolution he could have lived with and by trying to ‘punish’ those who caused the pain his brother felt was not going to resolve anything; at least not through this pattern of approach.

As we progress through how Jackson and Dani continue to intercede on each others’ behalf, we start to see how the seeds of their romance were firmly planted in their hearts. They each had a toll to weigh against the yearnings of their hearts but it’s how Rock shows their individual growth towards a resolution the reader rallies behind to see happen is what makes the story hold it’s salt against the ‘dangers’ lurking in the shadows. You truly want all the soul wrestling on both their parts to be for ‘something’ and as the concluding chapters show – redemption might take awhile to receive, but it’s the journey towards it that is somethings more important than how it arrives!

There were some intense moments where you weren’t sure if Jackson or Dani were going to get out of this alive – where the job of being a bounty hunter was shown exactly how dangerous of a livelihood this is to maintain countered against the will of a woman’s heart to do what is right even if she knows she might be jeopardising her future. You grieve for them both – for the past they both cannot accept without further anguish and for the futures they both are seeking which they never felt either of them deserved! There is a lovely ‘twist’ in the ending – one even I hadn’t thought of as I thought for sure this was going to play out differently – my gratitude to Ms Rock for keeping me on my toes straight til the ‘end’ as it was the sweetest reward!

On the Contemporary Western Romance styling of Ms Rock:

You’ll notice a thread of interest in the Romances I love to read – they are supporting what I call ‘relationship-based romance’ wherein the heart of the relationship and what curates a connection amongst those who are dating strengthens the appeal of reading the stories themselves. Reading Romances like I do, I get caught up in the lives people are living – some make hard choices which I cannot always relate too but are right for them, therein, each time we read, we’re not only ‘time travelling through our own living histories or the historic past’ we’re stepping into different pairs of shoes of people who are living wholly unique lives whilst attempting to pursue a relationship where both parties are standing on equal ground. Romances are a lift of joy to read – even if the circumstances turn dramatic or suspenseful – if at the heart of them, there is hope for the couple at hand, odds are I am a ready fan of how the stories are being written – across publishers and imprints.

This is one reason, Ms Rock stood out to me – as she’s one of the Harlequin authors I genuinely enjoy to read – she has a way of capturing what I love about the essence of a Contemporary Romance but with the ease of knowing I won’t be flinching for word usage or language issues. Sometimes it’s nice to have a reprieve in that regard!

She dives straight into the heart of what is affecting the well-being of her characters – from the psychological groundwork to the soul wrestling angst of trying to own up to your own mistakes whilst sorting out how to live at the same time. She’s tackled hard issues affecting her characters lives but does it in a humbling and honest way – seeking to share the truth of their choices whilst countered by the truth of the circumstances which has led them to this conclusion on where they individually stand.

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This author interview is courtesy of: Prism Book Tours

Prism Book Tours

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Christmas at Cade Ranch blog tour via Prism Book ToursClick through via the badge to find out what else awaits you!

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This marks my 2nd reading of Ms Rock’s novels – I am so very eager to read ‘Christmas at Cade Ranch’, I even suggested this to my library to add to their card catalogue! I am wholly enthused by the collective works of this author – looking forward to continuing to seek out her novels and share my thoughts as I read them! Therefore, if this is your first introduction to her novels, please know I originally read another Contemporary of hers: ‘A League of Her Own’.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Similar to blog tours where I feature book reviews, as I choose to highlight an author via a Guest Post, Q&A, Interview, etc., I do not receive compensation for featuring supplemental content on my blog. I provide the questions for interviews and topics for the guest posts; wherein I receive the responses back from publicists and authors directly. I am naturally curious about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of stories and the writers who pen them; I have a heap of joy bringing this content to my readers.
Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

{SOURCES: Cover art of “A Cowboy to Keep” and “Christmas at Cade Ranch” as well as the synopsis for “A Cowboy to Keep”, the author’s photo and biography were provided by the author Karen Rock and are used with permission. The Prism Book Tours badge were all provided by Prism Book Tours and used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Book Review Banner using Unsplash.com (Creative Commons Zero) Photography by Frank McKenna, Conversations with the Bookish banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2017.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

“I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen.” – self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Tuesday, 7 November, 2017 by jorielov in 21st Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Christmas Romance &/or Holiday Story, Contemporary Romance, Crime Fiction, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Farm and Ranching on the Frontier, Indie Author, Library Find, Life Shift, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Modern Day, Prism Book Tours, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Specialised Crime Investigator, Suspense, West Coast USA, Western Fiction, Western Romance

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