#RomanceTuesdays | feat. #HarlequinHeartwarming author Cathy McDavid’s “Her Cowboy Sweetheart” (The Sweetheart Ranch) as Jorie has to ‘let go’ of a series which ends in a quartet!

Posted Tuesday, 21 July, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#RomanceTuesdays badge created by Jorie in Canva.

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 enquiried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. This is how I came to love discovering the Harlequin Heartwarming authors & series as much as it has been an honour to regularly request INSPY stories and authors. Whenever I host for Prism, I know I am in for an uplifting read and a journey into the stories which give me a lot of joy to find in my readerly queue of #nextreads. It is an honour to be a part of their team of book bloggers.

My review for this blog tour unfortunately was delayed – I was ran a spotlight in lieu of a review during the blog tour and happily can now share my thoughts on the fourth installment of a series I have been delighted in re-visiting each time Ms McDavid releases a new chapter in the lives of these characters. It has become one of my favourite Harlequin Heartwarming Western Romance series – in company with the Rocky Mountain Cowboys (by Karen Rock), the Return of the Blackwell Brothers series (by multi-authors) and Heroes of Shelter Creek (by Claire McEwen).

I received a complimentary copy of “Her Cowboy Sweetheart” direct from the author Cathy McDavid in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I continue to love returning back into The Sweetheart Ranch series:

You immediately get attached to Jewel, Ava and Tanner’s situation because of how heart-wrenching it truly is once you learn all the facts about what caused the distance to erupt between Jewel and Tanner! Tanner is the kind of son and brother you’d hoped to have in your family – the kind where honour and loyalty are his best attributes but when it comes to balancing his family with his girlfriend, this is where his first fault is revealled. Tanner didn’t handle himself well with Jewel and this is also why little Ava despite her innocent acceptance of him didn’t know him from Adam. I also loved how in the opening pages Tanner is fuming at Jewel, when in theory you’d have thought Jewel would have been beyond angry at Tanner; at least, she was initially but I think its the shock of being reunited which overtook her moreso than the anger itself.

Just acknowledging what had transpired in their lives felt like a soap opera – you can hardly believe any of that could be true and yet, the ways in which McDavid writes the story – you cannot help but believe the situation because of how true it truly is to believe plausible! If anything you have sympathy for these two beyond the obvious reasons and your empathy for their plight is what leads you into the next pages… with an itch to see if they can either work through their differences and heal the past or if they need to temper their own reactions for the sake of Ava. Whichever way McBride had envisioned this story to go, all I knew is that I was ready to take the journey!

I felt it was fitting Emily was the one who met and took Jewel round Sweetheart Ranch – she has this kind-hearted grandmotherly persona which suits her well and she still had that distinctive glow of the recently married about her as well. The irony of course is how readily Jewel is finding that this ranch and the community which surrounds it is a small world. Meaning, there are a lot of interconnections between the towne, the ranch and the overall region therein. If she felt that trying to cut out a new life for herself and Ava would be seamless whilst finding out Tanner was living here as well – wells, let’s just say she short-changed herself for a bit of grief!

McBride definitely sorted out a way to bridge us into the difficulties of where a hidden pregnancy once revealled can become the unexpected nightmare for the parents. Tanner was unfortunately being a stubborn as a bull in July – not wavering his stance or even trying to understand the path Jewel had walked without him present. Whilst at the same time, Jewel was trying not to just confront her feelings for Tanner or the repercussions of knowing his whereabouts given he’s the father of her child but there was a finer point towards what is best for not just the child but the parents of the child. This is one of those slippery slopes where because they weren’t officially married nor separated, they are in that gray area where the law recognises both of them but that doesn’t meant they are mutually exclusive in their claim for the child.

I liked how McBride was presenting the case for Ava – she didn’t add judgement to the situation but carefully started to weave in the consequences of what happens when a baby comes into your life when your not planning to conceive. It takes both parties to realise their roles and to feel comfortable in the role they inherently want to occupy but its even more complicated than that when you don’t have a custody agreement penned between you. I felt the rest of the story might bring us towards that conclusion – how do you deal with an unplanned pregnancy, a reluctant Mum who is wary of her ex-boyfriend (as there are a layer of trust issues) and legal circumstances above and beyond this situation which could wreck even more heartache on their fragile state of family?

The complexities of this story keep building the harder McBride takes us into the conspiracy of what is surrounding the key case at the centre of the drama. A conspiracy in this case to subvert the truth even of a worthy case felt to me to be a bit too much to ask of those who were remaining quiet because it put themselves in jeopardy. Not just for the rumours but the situational stickiness of never being able to be open with responses to even simple questions which might route back round to the issues of why they are choosing to remain silent. I felt McBride wrote a dearly realistic story-line which has a lot of hidden layers – she pulls apart her character’s emotional states by placing you centre-fold into their lives – to understand what is compelling them to lie or to at least cover the truth with half-truths for an outcome which on the surface seems to be the right way to go for this particular set of circumstances but overall, you just feel the worst for how unrealistic the plan is to execute.

The author’s note inside The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby revealled how McDavid had considered owning a ranch similar to this one she’s created in the Sweetheart Ranch series. I had to agree with her that the concept behind the ranch and the ways in which it is run is very alluring because you are focusing on the happier moments in all of our lives. To rejoice in that kind of goodwill and thankfulness on a continuing basis would be beyond uplifting because you’re helping to seal the memories of life changing events which become the cornerstones of people’s lives!

Similar to the seamless transition I felt when I was reading The Cowboy’s Perfect Match – I also felt transitioning into this novel after reading one earlier in Spring was as easy as regularly Saturday family dinners! You get to re-visit with beloved characters, re-settle into the time-line of Sweetheart Ranch and find new characters you’re drawn into reading about due to their aspirations and the stories they have to share with us all.

-quoted from my book review for The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby

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#RomanceTuesdays | feat. #HarlequinHeartwarming author Cathy McDavid’s “Her Cowboy Sweetheart” (The Sweetheart Ranch) as Jorie has to ‘let go’ of a series which ends in a quartet!Her Cowboy Sweetheart
by Cathy McDavid
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

He’s been a good friend

But can he be her sweetheart?

At Sweetheart Ranch, single mom Carly Leighton finds a fresh start, and a friendly neighbor in former bull rider JD Moreno. Neither are looking for love—Carly must think first of her son, Rickie, while JD is recovering from a career-ending balance disorder. But when her former in-laws demand access to Rickie, Carly turns to JD for support and finds he is becoming more than a friend in need…

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Romance Fiction

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1335889690

Also by this author: A Cowboy's Christmas Proposal, The Cowboy's Perfect Match, The Cowboy's Christmas Baby, Her Cowboy Sweetheart (Spotlight w/ Notes)

Also in this series: A Cowboy's Christmas Proposal, The Cowboy's Perfect Match, The Cowboy's Christmas Baby, Her Cowboy Sweetheart (Spotlight w/ Notes)

Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 5th May, 2020

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

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The Sweetheart Ranch series:

A Cowboy's Christmas Proposal by Cathy McDavidThe Cowboy's Perfect Match by Cathy McDavidThe Cowboy's Christmas Baby by Cathy McDavidHer Cowboy Sweetheart by Cathy McDavid

A Cowboy’s Christmas Proposal (book one) | see also review

The Cowboy’s Perfect Match (book two) | see also review

The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby (book three) | see also review

Her Cowboy Sweetheart (book four)

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Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming,
an imprint of Harlequin Books (@HarlequinBooks)

Formats Available: Ebook and Paperback

Converse via: #Contemporary #Romance & #Harlequin Heartwarming

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7th Annual Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

This story received my award for Best Ending of a Series:
(Western Contemporary Romance)

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About Cathy McDavid

Cathy McDavid

In the third grade, NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Cathy McDavid made it her goal to read every Black Stallion book ever written. Who knew such an illustrious ambition would eventually lead to a lifelong love of all things western and a career writing contemporary romances for Harlequin? With over 1.2 million books sold, Cathy is also a member of the prestigious Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll.

An “almost” Arizona native, she’s married to her own real-life sweetheart, whom she re-met a few years ago at a high school reunion. Her grown twins are out on their own and finding their happily-ever-afters. In 2014, Cathy retired from the corporate world to write full-time. She now spends her days penning stories about good looking cowboys riding the range, busting a bronc, and sweeping gals off their feet. It a tough job, but she’s willing to make the sacrifice.

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on learning this was a quartet:

I am unsure if I am ever fully prepared to ‘let go’ of a series I love reading – learning this was the final installment of the Sweetheart Ranch series was a bit difficult to process as I had a feeling there were more stories within this world yet to be told. Thankfully Ms McDavid hinted towards this being true for her as well – though there will be a pause in the stories being written. I loved how she let the door stand ajar – where this isn’t necessarily the ‘end of the end’ for the series but a moment for her to develop new stories and most likely a new series.

All I know is that I’m thankful I was able to take this journey with her and with my fellow PRISM book bloggers who’ve had the grace of blessing to be on the blog tours as the series released. It became a top favourite memory of mine as both a reader and as a book blogger because you do not oft get to see the growth of a writer and of a series as a book blogger. This will be one of those special memories of mine and I am truly grateful to be able to continue cheerleading on behalf of Ms McDavid’s writings – both now and wherever they take her next in her career. I cannot wait to see future announcements about the new characters and stories she’s currently working on to release!

my review of her cowboy sweetheart:

I admit, I used to have that same kind of ease round horses as JD – where you can walk up to a horse and feel a connection with them without having to say too many words. It has been a bit too long since I’ve been round horses and on that level in the saddle. Hence why I read copious amounts of Western Romances – however, what I loved about the tenderness of how Her Cowboy Sweetheart opened is seeing how JD truly has a gift with the horses in his life and how Carly is a self-sufficient single Mum who works hard but still finds ways to enjoy the simple joys her life brings into her path. This moment with the mare and foal with JD is a prime example of how two people can click with each other without having to say anything at all. JD knew what Carly was hoping to accomplish with the photographs and he respected her enough to know what he could do to make those photographs happen. His ease of calming down Mum and foal was remarkable but it was his joy in seeing Carly’s son which melted my own heart.

I’ve known about Meniere’s Disease for awhile now (though it wasn’t something I had known about for a long while – even though I have chronic migraines) which is why I had full sympathies for what JD was going through with his newfound condition and diagnosis. Life is challenging enough but when you throw in a wench which is health related – it makes everything doubly complicated and far more challenging! I was impressed with how McDavid segued into highlighting this medical challenge whilst also showing how JD simply wanted to live his life as best he could without having the condition affect his day to day life (at least as best he could circumvent). I felt the hardest part about this particular condition is how it strikes without warning – similar to migraines (of course!) but in a way which can put yourself in critical harm if you’re not prepared for when they happen.

Over the years I’ve enjoyed watching the series Heartland – through various means of seeing the series as originally we streamed the first nine years via NetFlix. From there it was a bit trickier to find it until we found season ten available via Hallmark Movies Now and season eleven available on another streaming service – whilst seasons twelve and thirteen remain elusive at this point! Laughs. On this series, there is a sweet, adorable and yet complete late bloomer rodeo star who married on an impulse and then realised he wanted more out of life; for himself and for the pursuit of a partner who better understood his lifestyle. He turnt into a rodeo mentor and teacher, working with Heartland’s own Tim at his rodeo school (as he’s also a retired rodeo champion) – whereas with Caleb he kept trying to achieve something that always felt two many steps away from his reach. Thereby after all the years I’ve spent on the Heartland ranch wrapped up in the drama of their lives, I can attest to what JD is talking about cowboys and their rodeos. It isn’t for the faint of heart nor is it for a woman who wants a bloke who keeps regular office hours. It is a dedication all of its own with its own set of risks and consequences whilst the rewards and the awards are quite impressive if you move up the ranks within the circuit.

One of the things I loved about how Carly was approaching her date with JD is that she was trusting that it might not be a ‘quote un quote’ date. She had emotional baggage of her own to trudge through in regards to her son’s father and the effect he had on her emotional well being whilst for JD, it is his Meniere’s Disease which is causing him the most strife. JD doesn’t quite know how to move forward or how he can entertain the idea of dating in the height of trying to get a grip on his diagnosis. Neither of them are ready for a commitment but you ought to see how they each approach this ‘date’ – Carly was overthinking everything and attempting to present herself in the best light possible. JD for his part was unsure about how she’d feel about Hombre being brought with him unannounced – which is what made her reaction even more sweet!

Honestly – I know Carly and JD were attempting to pull off their first ‘date’ so to speak but Rickie (her young son) and Hombre (JD’s rambunctious dog) simply stole the scenes! They had this organic friendship knit together between boy and dog whilst in the background the adults found that they truly enjoy each others’ company. Not to be outdone though, it was what happened when Carly’s in-laws phoned that turned the night’s tides for good. You have to wonder what motivates people to inflict such anguish on Mums who are already stressed past the max of what they can personally handle. I felt for Carly, I truly did – but with Hombre and JD close by, I felt she could shift past this difficult situation.

There is nothing worse than interfering in-laws who don’t understand custody agreements between divorced parents! Grr! I felt Carly’s in-laws were going to perpetually rub me the wrong way – from the way they bullied her into seeing their grandson to the ways in which I could tell they were manipulating her into a false sense of security. I wasn’t sure what their endgame was entirely – though part of me guessed half of what they were scheming because they truly let themselves be seen rather than giving out the illusion of their innocence. I knew JD was always available and by Carly’s side – but what happens when your being undermined by people who have a stake in your son’s life?

Ooh my goodness! This final installment of the series doesn’t disappoint! I had wished it might have looped back to the beginning a bit – or felt a bit more connected to the previous installments moreso than it had but what I loved about this story is how hopeful McDavid wrote it! She didn’t want you to give up on the hope peeking round the corners of the drama and the angst! And, trust me – there is angst in this novel! For one thing, McDavid truly tapped into the needless trauma self-deserving grandparents can inflict on their divorced daughter-in-laws! I was truly baffled by the lengths they went to deceive and assist someone against Carly! I mean, at some point – why did it take the grandfather to be the voice of reason?

The true heroes of this story are JD, Carly, Hombre and Rickie! Each of them has a reason to take notice of them – from JD whose rectifying where he is with his health and to Carly whose trying to sort out how to live out from under the shadow of her ex and his parents. The growth of the characters is happily in tandem with a sweet and slow romance – as both JD and Carly were unsure how they felt about pursuing any kind of a relationship. These are the kinds of romances I love most – the unexpecting ones and the ones you’re never quite sure how they will resolve until you reach the very last chapter!

on the western romantic styling of cathy mcdavid:

One of the reasons I’ve grown attached to the Sweetheart Ranch series (and the Harlequin Heartwarming line overall) are the realistic story-lines which continuously greet me whenever I make a return visit. What is hard about letting go of this series is the fact once you take up residence inside a series you love reading its hard to simply ‘let go’ and ‘let live’ wherever you last see the characters and where they have gone with their lives. It would be great to re-visit this series again in the future (if the author is inspired to do so) and to rekindle the joy of the Sweetheart Ranch.

Having said that – I loved how this installment focused on some rather difficult topics and remained true to its core about how those who come to the Sweetheart Ranch find a way of renewing their spirits, finding second chances and have taken some unexpected twisted turns to arrive in this small towne and to intersect their path with the Sweetheart Ranch. Some might call that fate but the beauty of the series is how serendipitously McDavid wrote their lives. In particular for this novel – if Carly hadn’t taken a chance to distance herself from her ex, she might not have had the opportunity to run the boutique at the ranch nor to raise her son without the fear of what ‘could’ happen if she had staid with her husband. Percolating in the background of this sweet and idyllic setting are dramatic lives of people who are overcoming their circumstances and finding a true way forward even if the path didn’t feel as assured previously. We all need a bit of hope and encouragement at any given time and the Sweetheart Ranch series feels like such a brilliant lift of joy to be reading.

McDavid also brought in a particular kind of craft Carly could make to turn a profit – I loved the ingenuity of what Carly chose to be a creator of as it ties into her love of the ranch and the lifestyle of a single Mum who lives on a ranch. I felt she had the right kind of instincts you need to make it in this life whilst at the same time, it felt right that she and JD might want to hope for ‘more’ for themselves rather than shortchanging their chances at happiness.

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Some stories I find are accompanied well with a bit of music in the background – I found listening to my Daily Mix No.2 via #Spotify worked well because it was a collection of airy and light Indie singer and songwriters as well as bands outside of Indie Rock & Folk who had the same kind of light-hearted and encouraging lyrics to their music which fit well within the scope of this novel – whilst it helped find peace in ending a series I loved reading. However, I finished reading the second half of the novel whilst listening to Americana songwriters and artists – whilst tucking into my Playlist for Country Coffeehouse!

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This book review is courtesy of: Prism Book Tours

Prism Book Tours

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Her Cowboy Sweetheart blog tour banner provided by Prism Book Tours and is used with permission.

End of the Blog Tour badged provided by Prism Book Tours

By clicking this badge you can find the original tour route where my fellow book bloggers shared their honest thoughts & impressions about the book as well as other lovely posts connected to the story and the author. Originally there was a giveaway.

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I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!
Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it.
I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst
readers who gravitate towards the same stories to read.
Bookish conversations are always welcome!

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{SOURCES: Covers art of “Her Cowboy Sweetheart”, “A Cowboy’s Christmas Proposal”, “The Cowboy’s Perfect Match” and “The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby”; synopsis for “Her Cowboy Sweetheart” and biography of the author Cathy McDavid as well as the blog tour banner and 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: #RomanceTuesdays banner; 7th Annual Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards badge (using Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo) and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2020.

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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, 21 July, 2020 by jorielov in #RomanceTuesdays, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Western Fiction, Cowboys & Ranches, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Western Fiction, Western Romance

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