Wrapped and Strapped is the seventh book in the Blacktop Cowboys series by Lorelei James, and I have to say no one writes a hot cowboy quite like Ms. James. Pretty much everyone in this series is related to or knows someone else in the series, so even though it’s a new couple, chances are we’ve already read something about each of them before. In this installment, we get Harlow (sister to Tierney from Wrangled and Tangled) and Hugh’s story. You might recall if you follow the series that Hugh works for Renner who is married to Tierney – see, everyone knows everyone!
Three years ago Harlow Pratt came to Split Rock Ranch and Resort pretending to be there because daddy cut off her trust fund, but in actuality, she was worried sick about her sister who was pregnant. Harlow and Tierney’s mom and grandmother died from complications after child birth, so Harlow is determined to be there just in case something happens. While there, she gets the hots for Renner’s right-hand man, but he seems to only see her as a spoiled princess. After dancing around each other for weeks, the two finally give in to the heat between them, and Hugh panics after getting nasty with Harlow. She gets in her car and runs from Split Rock Ranch, determined to never return.
Hugh Pritchett was royally screwed over by his spoiled, rich ex-wife. The life he provided was never good enough for her, and in addition to cheating on him, she tore him down with vicious insults and verbal attacks. Determined to never let another woman get that close to him again, Hugh has kept his heart under wraps ever since. Harlow reminds him of his ex, strictly because they both came from wealthy families, but as he gets to know her he realizes they are nothing alike. Harlow is giving and loving, and what he feels for her scares him to death, so he lashes out and hurts her.
Harlow and Tierney’s father has a heart attack while at the Ranch and needs emergency heart surgery. With Tierney pregnant with her second child, caring for their dad falls to Harlow. In addition to the pain of dealing with her father’s health issues, she is forced to confront the heartache that Hugh caused. He has no way of knowing that his actions had very serious consequences for Harlow, driving her into the arms of an abusive man.
He may not know what happened to Harlow during their time apart, but Hugh knows he wants a future with her and is determined to convince her to give him another chance. He starts out slowly trying to woo her back and eventually she starts to forgive him.
When Hugh needs to go to a rodeo for the business he works for Renner, he invites Harlow along to see if she can handle the life that he lives. Things go really great for most of the trip, but a big fight at the end causes things to blow up. When they get back to the Ranch, Harlow finally says some things to her dad and sister that need to be said about the way they treat her, and she reveals some big news that she’s been holding back. This news changes everything for Harlow and Hugh, and it was so refreshing to see the guy change major things about his life in order to make the relationship work.
I really enjoyed this book. The heroine has all the qualities I love, between the way she is with her family, her kind and generous spirit, and the way she handles the relationship. She’s not an over the top drama queen and she handles herself well with Hugh. As for the hero, Hugh has his moments, but he doesn’t do anything that can’t be forgiven. He’s very sweet to her and he’s loyal to Renner. These two were a great couple and I was rooting for them from the beginning.
Click to purchase: Amazon
Wrapped and Strapped
by Lorelei James
Release Date: November 3, 2015