The Trouble With Cowboys

Melissa Cutler
The Trouble With Cowboys
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Publisher
Zebra
Release Date
October 2012
ISBN
9781420130041
Series
Book 1 of Catcher Creek
Genre
Contemporary Romance, Western Romance

SUMMARY
It was their parents' ranch, through the good days and the bad. But if they want to hang on to their land, their pride, and their family, the three Sorentino sisters will have to reinvent it from the ground up—and one of them just may reinvent herself in the process…

Cowboys have never been good for Amy Sorentino. First her hard-riding father bankrupted the family farm. Then her all-hat-no-cattle boyfriend sold her out on national television, ending her promising career as a chef. Now she and her squabbling sisters have partnered up in a final attempt to save their land by starting an inn and local restaurant. So it figures that with everything on the line, Amy's key supplier is just the kind of Stetson-tipping heartbreaking bad boy she's sworn to avoid. But Kellan Reed has a few secrets of his own—and cowboy or not, Amy can't resist this kind of wild ride…

Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
Dec 21, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
162 people found the following review helpful
I'll be honest, I never really considered myself a fan of cowboys…until now. Melissa Cutler's first Catcher Creek novel is a funny, touching, terrifically sexy story that I simply couldn't put down.

Amy Sorentino lives by a few simple rules she's developed after a lifetime of bad decisions. Rule number one: no cowboys. First, her father bankrupted the family farm, causing her mother to suffer a nervous breakdown. Then, Amy's career as a chef was nearly destroyed when a fellow contestant on a reality cooking show sabotaged both her recipes and her self-worth. Now, back home in Catcher Creek, New Mexico, Amy is determined to patch up her relationship with her two sisters and resurrect the family farm as a ranching-resort bed and breakfast, even with the local oil conglomerate determined to repossess their property at any cost. The last thing she needs is Kellan Reed, one of her suppliers, and her every cowboy fantasy come to life. Even if she can't resist everything Kellan has to offer, Amy knows that this time, she can't let her heart get involved.

Kellan Reed knows precisely what he wants in a relationship. After a terrible childhood spent at the mercy of his drug-addicted parents, Kellan has built his cattle ranch from the ground up and is determined to put his past behind. All he wants is a stable, drama-free relationship that won't attract any attention from the local gossip-mill. In short, the last person Kellan should invite into his life is Amy and her notoriously dramatic family. But it turns out that after their sizzling first meeting, she is the only woman he wants. As their fiery relationship deepens, Kellan realizes he'll do whatever is necessary to protect Amy—even if it means destroying her cowboy fantasies and showing her just who he really is.

Amy is terrific heroine. I loved that she was strong enough not only to pick up the pieces of her life and career and do whatever she must to save her farm and family, but was still open enough to be emotional and vulnerable and to admit how much she needed Kellan. For his part, Kellan was a revelation. His past is a painful one, and his scars are so deep that often he can't see how much they have affected him and his life. But through his messy, tumultuous relationship with Amy, Kellan finally gets the chance to develop into a phenomenal hero.

Simply put, I adored Amy and Kellan together. Individually, they were wonderful, strong and complex characters who lit up every scene they entered. Together, though, they were sensational. They had sizzling physical chemistry (and a few encounters that were surprisingly blistering), but even more memorable was the depth of emotion that their relationship uncovered. Watching those feelings and needs develop made them both unforgettable. Though the fantasies they created were fun (and hot!), the reality they created together was even better.

I thought the conflict and secrets between the two of them were handled exceptionally well. I am normally completely turned-off by characters who keep secrets from each other, but in this case, Kellan never let his secrets get in the way of his true character or his genuine feelings for Amy and her family. There are no easy relationships in this book and few simple answers, but the beauty of this story lay in each character's willingness to open up and share with each other. The rawness of their emotions led to some painful scenes and real heartache, but the eventual rewards were enormous and deeply meaningful.

The supporting cast was a joy from start to finish. From Amy's sisters and their own personal heartbreaks, triumphs and shocking secrets, to the quirky, caring and complex citizens of Catcher Creek, every character in this story is an individual, and I can't wait for a chance to visit with them again. So put me down as a fan of cowboys, I guess—or at least of these cowboys, because I can't wait for the next Catcher Creek installment to arrive!
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Book Review by Delta (reviewer)
May 10, 2014   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
119 people found the following review helpful
If all cowboys were as ruggedly sexy as the ones in THE TROUBLE WITH COWBOYS, this reader would be packing up and headed out West ASAP!

Chef Amy Sorentino has an addiction problem. No, it's not the delicious food she cooks or even substance abuse. Her drug of choice is cowboys, and it's always landed her in a heap of trouble. Although Amy knows better, she can't seem to stop falling into bed with a guy wearing beat up boots and a Stetson, much to her constant heartbreak. After being very publicly humiliated on national television by yet another cowboy, Amy tucks her tail between her very shapely legs and heads home to Catcher Creek to work with her sisters Rachel and Jenna on saving the family land.

Despite the drama of the cooking show meltdown and her new set of rules, Amy can't help her immediate and unwanted reaction to ranch owner and neighbor Kellan Reed. The last thing Amy needs is another cowboy, but Kellan's sexy smirk and Alpha male swagger have her clothes off almost immediately after meeting him. Kellan can't seem to stay away from Amy--something about her brand of crazy calls to him, but his own crazy family secrets are definitely not good for her. Even though they both know they should stay away from one another, neither can stop the freight train of lust that rolls in every time they're together. When Amy learns what Kellan is hiding from her, can she accept his help or is she doomed for heartbreak yet again?

THE TROUBLE WITH COWBOYS is book 1 in the Catcher Creek series featuring the three Sorentino sisters, middle sister Amy, big sister Rachel and youngest sister Jenna and their battle to save their family ranch. This book got started with a bang (quite literally) between Amy and the object of her lustfection, Kellan. You could cut the sexual tension between the two of them with a knife from the get-go, and it didn't let up the entire book! While it did take me a bit of time to warm up to the storyline, once I did, I couldn't get enough.

Amy was terrific, a woman who knew what sewed her buttons and was helpless to resist…despite her list of rules that she tried so hard to follow. Even though Amy crashed and burned frequently with men of the Stetson variety, she still found herself willing to take the chance again, just like she did when she went up in flames on a national cooking show. Ms. Cutler wrote some fantastic seduction scenes, and it truly felt like the pair of them couldn't keep their hands off of one another. Kellan was pretty yummy as well, and I really didn't consider him the playboy that Rachel made him out to be. He desperately wanted a family of his own. He's a class act who is more than willing to stand up for the little guys that his psycho uncle goes after. I love that he doesn't fear his past; instead he embraces it and learned from it and works to make sure he's a better man because of it.

THE TROUBLE WITH COWBOYS had a lot of humor (I could definitely relate to the sisterly "orange" scene!), a lot of desperately erotic sex and a lot of eye-rolling cowboy puns. Two out of three ain't bad! I really loved the focus on family and friends too, not just lovers. While there's little in the way of drama or suspense and the conflict is mild, it's a feel-good story where the good guy is good and the bad guy is bad and everyone sticks with their role. There's nothing heavy or too emotional but for a light read about sexy cowboys, this story will fit the bill.
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