If you’ve been following my reviews, you already know that I’m a fan of this author’s contemporary small town romances. Even though they are sexy and with a good dose of humor, Maisey Yates digs deep into the characters to produce an emotional journey.
Kate Garrett didn’t grow up like other girls her age. Kate’s older brothers, Eli and Conner, became her de facto parents when Mama Garrett abandoned the family when Kate was a toddler and Papa Garrett decided to live the rest of his life in a bottle. Up until recently, Kate was just fine with her simple life of working at the farm and garden store, riding her horses and hanging out with her family. She didn’t have much in the way of outside friends because of their home situation, save Liss, Conner’s best friend/now wife and Jack Monaghan, her brothers’ constant companion and thorn in Kate’s side.
Now that her cantankerous brothers found happiness with their mates, poker night talks revolve around weddings and babies, making Kate feel left behind. Thankfully, she still has good old Jack to banter with. However, the banter hasn’t been as easy lately with Jack, and Kate starts to feel “things” when he casually touches her. Kate knows that an attraction towards Jack wouldn’t (couldn’t) go anywhere and she’s known him all her life and thus the perfect candidate to gain some experience with.
Jack knows how hard Kate had it growing up. He was right there with her in the crappy parents department, so it has always made Jack happy to make Kate happy. They’ve always had an easy give and take, so it really bugs Jack for Kate to be so prickly with him lately. It certainly irritates him that sweet little Kate doesn’t know one thing about what guys really want. If Kate’s wants to achieve her dream to get her card on the rodeo circuit, she’s going to be surrounded by nere-do-well cowboys just like ex-pro Jack. Jack comes up with the brilliant idea to help her out in both ways – to get her rodeo and flirting skills up to par.
Jack quickly learns that no good deed goes unpunished when a simple kiss ignites a flame between them. The self-loathing starts immediately as Jack can’t believe that he could betray everything his best friends have given him over the years by getting busy with their little sister. Kate knows that Jack isn’t the kind of kind of guy that settles down. Not about to risk the wrath of Eli and Conner, they resolve to keep their fling on the way down low for the summer.
Secrets tend to come out in the dark, as Kate and Jack begin to learn that while they may have known each other for almost their entire lives, their hearts were always guarded. Jack is just as messed up as Kate from his own childhood and continues to deal with the fallout present day. Kate is naïve yet perceptive at reading between the lines and seeing people for whom they really are. Her emotionally dense nature holds her back from reaching for everything she wants in life and love.
I really enjoyed the push/pull dynamic of Jack and Kate as they tried to untangle their past and present natures. I wish there was less inner narrative and more dialogue between them because I really loved it when they banter. The author has a real talent for writing salt-of-the-earth characters with relatable flaws and problems. It is another heartfelt winner for this contemporary series!
*Review copy provided by author
Click to purchase: Amazon
Bad News Cowboy
by Maisey Yates
Release Date: July 28, 2015
Publisher: HQN Books