#PubDay Book Review | “Winning the Cowboy’s Heart” (Book Five: Rocky Mountain Cowboys) by Karen Rock I am wicked thrilled to be returning back to the Cade Ranch and re-entering a series which already won over my heart!

Posted Tuesday, 5 February, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 4 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. I am unsure how many books I’ll review for them as most are offered digitally rather than in print but this happily marks one of the blog tours where I could receive a print book for review purposes. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors.

I received a complimentary copy of “Winning the Cowboy’s Heart” direct from the author Karen Rock in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I love reading the Rocky Mountain Cowboys series:

I had planned a special series marathon read for this blog tour – wherein, during #ContemporaryJanuary I wanted to celebrate a family of cowboys who had won over my heart and had become one of my favourite romantic and family dramas in Contemporary Fiction – however, what sidelined that particular goal was an extended recovery from my five week virus (the one I had before, during and after Christmas) whilst I also had three migraines in three weeks – the last of which was from this past Friday til Monday – a four day supernova migraine which rendered me offline, unable to read and which I nearly thought I was going to lose the joy of reading the book for the tour – as these kinds of migraines take the longest to ‘leave’ and have the harder recovery time when it comes to reading & blogging.

Thankfully, I spent Monday resting offline which allowed me to get up with the roosters on Tuesday morning to where I could settle into the fifth novel of this series and feel the pulls of the migraine were no longer with me – they might be hovering in the background but at least I could finally start to read again which was a joy of its own. Its nice to ‘come back’ to a series you love after such an ordeal and for me, the Rocky Mountain Cowboys is a series I fell in love with reading ever since I first started borrowing the books through my library – adding ‘Christmas at Cade Ranch’ to my local library as they accepted my purchase request and having the joy of hosting a few of the blog tours connected to the series which led me to celebrating the fifth release today!

There is a sixth novel on the horizon for this year – coming up later in the Spring which is why I’m going to be rescheduling my re-readings of this series for *March!*, whilst giving me the proper chance to dive into “Bad Boy Rancher” for the first time ahead of seeing “A Rancher to Remember” released!

You might be wondering what draws my eye into this series and to the writer’s style of story-telling if this is the first time you’ve seen one of my posts about the Rocky Mountain Cowboys – one of the best joys for me as a reader, outside of my love of the Cade family and the men of the series is where Ms Rock set the series to reside: deep in the heart of the Rockies! There is something about mountain living and the atmosphere of ranching that uplifts a girl’s soul!

Ms Rock does a great job of taking you into the heart of addiction – first through the opinions of family who feel they are being helpful but in reality their falling a bit short with a few good observations. Secondly, she takes you into an NA meeting to hear the stories of other addicts who are struggling just like Sofia to quash their innermost doubts and to remain above the pains of addiction whilst re-setting their lives free of the substance of their choice. It was in one of those meetings where Sofia felt both ashamed to be present and rather awkwardly at first, comfortable amongst those who she could relate too.

Ms Rock also highlights what it is like to have a controlling personality – someone who is unable to yield or bend – this was spoken about in regards to Sofia’s father but in the present time-line of the series it is mostly directed towards James who has a definitive way of ‘taking over’ and claiming roles he was not meant to lead because doing so would jeopardise another person’s sense of self.

One of my favourite parts of the story is how closely Sofia and Joy (the Cade siblings mother) bonded over being in such close quarters whilst she was recuperating. Joy still had quite a bit of spunk left in her and she had a right to want to keep living her life to the fullest she could. Sofia inspired her in equal measure of Joy inspiring Sofia to take new risks and to keep bettering herself for her future and her son’s (Javi). Javi was an impressionable child but he also understood what was important in his young life. I can see why Sofia stressed about how he might react around James and why being around James for both of them was proving to be a bit too difficult.

One of the beautiful things about this series is how redemption and second chances permeate through the stories. Erstwhile, you are becoming closer in acquaintance with the Cade family themselves – the ranch they live on becomes the anchour to their lives, the place where they gather and they grow; where love nurtures their present and where it breathes hope into the future. Each installment of this series builds on the last story in sequence – thereby, by the time you start at A Cowboy to Keep whilst reading each new story thereafter, you are given a wonderful portrait of a resilient family. A family whose honest about the hardships in life and where good or bad, this is a family who remains evermore true of themselves.

Everything comes full circle in the Rocky Mountain Cowboys series – you get to see where loose ends knit back together and the one beautiful thing about this series is you get to have continual updates about all the characters you’ve loved reading about in prior installments! If you take the title of this one for a second to ruminate – you’ll find the word “pride” speaks volumes towards understanding where this story was leading you to venture. It isn’t just the pride of the current cowboys in the Cade-Loveland families but of all the cowboys within their mutual lineages who led to the current heroes of the series.

One of the things I admire most about how Ms Rock writes her stories is the continuity aspects of her series – where you can move from one installment to another in a seamless transition. I’ve started reading this series from the prequel into the first and second novels – before arriving into the fourth ahead of the third. I almost thought that was a mistake on my part, as I wasn’t sure if this fourth installment would pick up directly out of the third or return to an earlier conflict. The beauty of reading this series slightly out of sequence is how compelling it was for the feud to take precedent and thereby allowing me to continue the continuity I have been appreciating by reading this fourth novel.

The feud itself was established in the earlier stories – setting down the foundation of how both families are at war with each other – not just over the water rights (though those are a valid reason for the ill will between them) but it goes back to a matter of principle and honour. Of the circumstances relating to the original feud’s origins and how unsettling it is for the details which have remained behind paint a rather dark portrait of their ancestor’s lives.

Through all of this, Ms Rock has rooted us into the Cade and Loveland families – showing us how human each of the families are and how vulnerable the members of their families are to the adversities of life. In many ways, both the Cades and Lovelands have each endured a lot of obstacles and have made their own sacrifices over the years – over and beyond the feud which has always stood between them. Ms Rock makes this a living reality for us as readers – as you don’t have to get too far into the stories to feel the tension coming the Cades or the Lovelands – their natural reactions to each other is out of spite and anger; fuelling the feud and deepening the chasm between them.

-quoted from my reviews of “Christmas at Cade Ranch”,
“Falling for a Cowboy” and “A Cowboy’s Pride”

As you can see – I am truly emotionally attached to this beautifully lovely series and I am honoured I get to be on the blog tour to welcome in the fifth installment of a series which gives me so much love & joy to be reading!

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#PubDay Book Review | “Winning the Cowboy’s Heart” (Book Five: Rocky Mountain Cowboys) by Karen Rock I am wicked thrilled to be returning back to the Cade Ranch and re-entering a series which already won over my heart!Winning the Cowboy's Heart
by Karen Rock
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

Jewel Cade wants two things --

One is Heath Loveland

The Rocky Mountain cowgirl has her heart set on becoming range boss of the Cade ranch. But first she has to accompany the son of her family’s longtime enemy—and her off-limits secret crush—on a cattle drive across Colorado. Discovering Heath shares her attraction only makes for a rockier road. Because Jewel has a sneaking suspicion that if she drops her guard, the cowboy might ride off with her heart.

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Ranches & Cowboys, Romance Fiction, Western Fiction

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1335510532

Also by this author: A League of Her Own, Author Interview (Christmas at Cade Ranch) Karen Rock, A Cowboy's Pride (Spotlight w/ Notes), A Cowboy's Pride, Christmas at Cade Ranch, A Rancher to Remember

Also in this series: Author Interview (Christmas at Cade Ranch) Karen Rock, A Cowboy's Pride (Spotlight w/ Notes), A Cowboy's Pride, A Rancher to Remember

Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 5th February, 2019

Format: Mass Market Paperback

Pages: 379

Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming

Converse via: #Contemporary #Western + #Romance

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The Rocky Mountain Cowboys series:

A Cowboy to Keep (Prequel) (see also Review)

Christmas at Cade Ranch (Book One) (*reviewed)

Falling for a Cowboy (Book Two) (*reviewed)

Bad Boy Rancher (Book Three)

A Cowboy’s Pride (Book Four) (see also Review)

Winning the Cowboy’s Heart (Book Five)

Forthcoming release: A Rancher to Remember (Book Six) April 2019!

(*) Christmas at Cade Ranch and Falling for a Cowboy
were reviewed in-line with A Cowboy’s Pride

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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My Review of winning the cowboy’s heart:

We’re immediately drawn into Heath’s life as a musician – the pull of the music itself and the connection he can ascertain with those in the audience who truly see him as he’s playing is what draws him forward in a performance – not surprising then, that the one who was drawing his eye the most was Jewel Cade! She’s the spunky sister of the Cade brothers this series is centred round – the resilient family and the one of whom until recently, were the living nemesis of the Loveland family. Heath being a Loveland lad and Jewel being the sole sister of the Cade’s – you can imagine how sometimes the two families sometimes had more than a few reasons to bicker, argue and disagree! When it came to Jewel though – her brothers were not just her protectors, they quite literally guarded her from anyone they felt wasn’t good enough for their sister. As all brothers do but for Jewel that would lead into a few complications!

The interesting bit to Jewel though is she had a harder edge to her than most girls; she didn’t suffer fools and she didn’t give any of the Loveland boys an inch, Heath included. For her, it was part of the pride of being a Cade and also, trying to constantly prove herself amongst the boys. I always felt whilst reading the series there was more to Jewel than what she presented; a hidden part to not only her personality but what really made her feel the way she does and explain why she acts the way she prefers as its not the best way to charm a cowboy like Heath!

Jewel was an interesting woman – she loved ranching and she loved her cattle. She reminded me a lot of Temple Grandin in how she wanted to put the lives of the cattle ahead of the goals of the ranch when it came to profit, efficiency and loss. She had a keen mind about what was best for the cattle and how to give the cattle a less stressful existence even if her brother James didn’t give her half the credit she deserved on that score. Jewel was attempting to change the processes of how they ranched but also, to improve the lives of the cattle she loved to take care of as a rancher. Her heart was wedded to the land and to the animals she was in charge of protecting – the fact she never saw herself with a life off the ranch itself was a bit stressing but when you get to know more about Jewel it does make sense. She hasn’t had the easiest life in regards to standing out from the boys and sometimes, what drives you to prove your self-worth is what is worth fighting for the most.

The hardest part of the series is the love between Joy and the Loveland’s father – mostly because Joy is a Cade and that causes a riff of its own to come between both families. Their love is a beautiful romance separated through time and their reunited love was a beautiful component of the series but what makes it so difficult to observe is how sometimes love isn’t enough to soothe the ills of the past. Theirs is a romance that is strong between them but in regards to how their children feel about each other? That’s a work-in-progress at best and a disaster at the worst. Joy has such a caring heart and a mothering nature inside her to where she loves nurturing those round her but I sometimes worry if her intentions are misunderstood by the quick to judge Loveland’s who might not recognise the beauty of what she has to give them.

You do have to laugh – mostly as why would James and Heath think they need or should try to control Jewel? She might have an edgy personality but she knows her salt about cattle and ranching; to the point where you would think they’d drop their cavalier attitudes and take stock of what she has to say! Yet, it’s realistic to life – where girls have to work harder to prove themselves when their striving to work in a male dominated field. The only difference here is the fact she grew up on Cade Ranch and you’d think having that kind of background would have given her an inside edge on being trusted with the job she desires most but apparently it worked against her instead.

Interestingly enough, Jewel wasn’t the only girl in the story whose trying to prove herself to her family – Heath’s long-term high school sweetheart (of whom expects him to marry her) has her own issues with her father. I wasn’t a bit surprised – mostly, as it goes back to the old school way of thinking that a daughter can’t rise in the family business as readily as a son. It’s backwards for today’s standards but you can see why some families might still adhere to that kind of thinking – which of course, puts Jewel and Kelsey at a disadvantage.

I think the hardest part for anyone is owning their own truth – for Heath that meant being more vocal about how important music is to his soul and his heart. Music wasn’t just something he did on the side whilst he was ranching full-time and counter to that, Jewel had more to give running a ranch than she did on the sidelines where others were in charge. They each had something unique inside them that drove them forward – yet, how to gain the confidence to believe in their self-worth without the recognition they both sought from others? They were both between a rock and a hard place – Heath had his family’s adversities to consider and Jewel didn’t want to buck tradition too hard within her own family. You could see how this was leading into a bit of a showdown – of will, of tradition but mostly, what was more important in the end? I felt both Heath and Jewel didn’t just have something to prove they had something to resolve about how they each saw themselves. They were putting a lot of weight on other people’s opinions and impressions but all of us find out eventually, its how we view ourselves that counts the most.

Of all the characters, the one I felt had a harder road was Kelsey – she was in that sweet spot between realising her high school boyfriend had grown apart from her and holding onto the hope he would move back towards a path they could walk together. Not everyone finds the future they are expecting out of high school but I think for these two – the harder truth was what kept them dating for ten years rather than what led them to getting married.

I was thankful Rock placed Sierra and Jewel together on the flower committee – it gave them each a chance to break down the barriers between their families. Each of them grew up similarly – loads of brothers, the only girl amongst the guys and a hard-won attitude for standing out. Sierra also had the chance to show Jewel the softer side of her personality which I appreciated as despite the fact Jewel has a sensitive side she hides from others, its sometimes hard to know where she stands on a lot of things as she likes to keep things private. Sierra gave her a friendship to lean on where she could be herself but without the pressures of trying to prove anything. I felt this was a friendship they both needed – not just because of the feud but because of how they each grew up in a similar way.

The beauty of this installment is not just keeping the continuity in tact for the Loveland/Cade adverse relationship stemming from water rights but for giving us a glimpse into how hard it is to recognise needing the time to learn ‘who you are’ before you can consider becoming a ‘partner’ with someone else. Heath needed the extra time to sort out who he is and what he wants the most in life to do with his hours whereas Jewel knew how her skill set could help both families but how to prove that against the stubbornness of tradition?

Rock hasn’t disappointed me – she’s crafted together a wicked lovely fifth installment of a series that is enduring as it is nurturing of the human spirit. Each page turn led me closer to understand Jewel and Health, whilst the rest of their expanding families were close-by in the background, standing proud and true alongside them. It is a remarkable series from that particular stand-point where you can get to know everyone in the family, tuck into a story highlighting one of their paths towards living their authentic self and still feel as if you’ve gone back home for a happy respite of familial reverie! This is a family which feels like yours and one that you can’t help but continue to rally behind as they re-define how to find strength in adversity and hope in moments where life feels oppressively stacked against you.

On the Contemporary Western Romance styling of Ms Rock:

Ms Rock alights you so readily into each installment of the series, you never wait long to get caught up with the goings on of the Cade’s and Loveland’s! The two families have become entwined so to speak, to where where the Cade timeline begins so does the Loveland’s! They make good fodder – especially now that they have the permanent alliance of the two parents tying the knot and drawing their families even closer together! The beauty of course, is seeing how each installment leads into the next story-line – how Rock handles the continuity is a blessing as well, never leaving you in the dark about her characters and always finding clever ways to tie together any loose ends that might have kept you guessing about how they would get resolved. In essence, its a series that once it grabs your emotional bookish heart, your not going to want to ‘let it go’ until you get the chance to read the next story!

What I love about how Ms Rock has been crafting this series together is how she moves from one character of importance to another – each character being highlighted in each installment draws us closer to understanding the overall sequence of the series. For instance, it was fitting to focus on Jewel in book five as I felt it was a natural choice of who should be highlighted next – each time we return to the series, we’re not just drawing closer to one character, we’re understanding the long history between the Cade’s and the Loveland’s overall.

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This blog tour is courtesy of: Prism Book Tours

Prism Book Tours

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Winning the Cowboy's Hearts blog tour via Prism Book Tours

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End of the Blog Tour badged provided by Prism Book ToursBy clicking this badge you can find out about the giveaway associated with the tour;
my particular tour stop doesn’t host the giveaway as I’m a review stop, however,
you’ll find many other bloggers who are hosting the information!

This review is cross-posted to LibraryThing.

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “A Cowboy to Keep” and “Christmas at Cade Ranch” as well as the author’s photo and biography were provided by the author Karen Rock and are used with permission. Cover art of “Falling for a Cowboy”, “Bad Boy Rancher”, “A Cowboy’s Pride”, “Winning the Cowboy’s Heart” and “A Rancher to Remember” as well as the book synopsis for “Winning the Cowboy’s Heart”, the Author’s Note, the Prism Book Tours badge, the blog tour banner 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 and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2019.

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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, 5 February, 2019 by jorielov in 21st Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, Blog Tour Host, Contemporary Romance, Farm and Ranching on the Frontier, Indie Author, Modern Day, Prism Book Tours, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, West Coast USA, Western Fiction, Western Romance

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4 responses to “#PubDay Book Review | “Winning the Cowboy’s Heart” (Book Five: Rocky Mountain Cowboys) by Karen Rock I am wicked thrilled to be returning back to the Cade Ranch and re-entering a series which already won over my heart!

    • Hallo, Hallo Julie-ann,

      I am sorry you’ve been afflicted by the monsters of migraines yourself; it is never easy having to deal with them on any kind of regularity; you have my sympathies and my empathy on that note! I was so thankful you’ve dropped by and left me this cheerful note! It is wonderful to engage with fellow readers of Ms Rock’s stories – knowing that we’re all eagerly excited about her characters and how we’re all dearly attached to the series she’s writing! May you have a blessed week and here’s to less migraines for us all!

  1. I’m so sorry you had such a difficult time through the holidays and beyond! A severe flu and migraines would stop the most determined of readers- but not you, my friend! Thank you so much for hosting me today and for sharing your beautiful thoughts which always inspire me to write more books <3

    • Hallo, Hallo Ms Rock,

      Goodness — I thought for sure my health afflictions were going to be long-lasting this New Year as much as they were last year (10mos) as environmentally it seems like this region works against me. However, one strength of mine as being a migraineur is I never give in to the migraines themselves; they might tax my spirits, give me days/weeks of angst but somewhere on the outside of them, I can recover and gain my strength back. Those are the moments I hold onto and look forward too – as they are rather beastly and aggravating whilst in the midst of them!!

      Ooh it was a pleasure of mine to host you on this lovely blog tour! (big smiles) I truly love reading this series – each new installment is a moment of joy because of how dedicated you are to telling the Cade/Loveland story! I mirror my sentiments with fellow bloggers who’ve been reviewing it this tour, how we’re dearly attached to the series, how each new story on the horizon is an exciting moment of re-visiting the families and how blessed we are you wrote the stories! Here’s to a continued inspiration alighting in your heart and imagination as you continue to entice us with new chapters of their lives!!

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