In this sexy Whisper Creek romance for readers of Kristan Higgins, Susan Mallery, and Molly O’Keefe, a red-hot cowboy uses some Montana magic to give a reclusive beauty her happily ever after.
Yoga instructor Jessalyn Alcott radiates peace, calm, and serenity—on the outside. Inside, she still feels like the broken, desperate girl from the trailer park. She’s got dark secrets she can’t share, which is why she never lets her relationships go beyond the third date. But when she travels to the Whisper Creek dude ranch for a friend’s wedding, Jess is enchanted by a cowboy whose deep blue eyes, dimpled smile, and rock-hard body make it tough to remember why she keeps running scared.
Cole Driscoll has struggled to find his place on a family ranch where he’s always played second fiddle. His future might be uncertain, but he’s sure of one thing: He wants Jess by his side. Easier said than done. When it comes to getting close, she’s full of excuses, and he longs to fix the hurt he sees in her eyes. Now that she’s at Whisper Creek, there’s nothing he wants more than to break down the walls around her heart and heal her pain with the power of love.
Maggie McGinnis’s sweetly sensual Whisper Creek novels can be read together or separately:
ACCIDENTAL COWGIRL | A COWBOY’S CHRISTMAS PROMISE | ONCE UPON A COWBOY | UNLUCKY IN LOVE | MEANT TO BE | TAKING A CHANCE
Praise for Once Upon a Cowboy
“Sexy, charming, and perfectly heartwarming, Once Upon a Cowboy is the ultimate pick-me-up. Everything about this book made me smile. Maggie McGinnis just keeps getting better and better!”—USA Today bestselling author Lauren Layne
“Maggie McGinnis combines nostalgia, romance, and heartbreak in the Whisper Creek characters in a way that will leave you emotionally drained and your heart full.”—Sarah Robinson, bestselling author of Breaking a Legend
“Romantic and emotional, Once Upon a Cowboy is as swoon-worthy and heartwarming as it gets!”—Elisabeth Barrett, author of Once and Again
“The characters will capture your heart and envelope you in their fears and struggles to find that forever love. . . . McGinnis is a brilliant writer.”—Fresh Fiction
“There are equal measures of heartache and joy sprinkled throughout the read, making it a story that engulfs the reader.”—Examiner.com
“What a beautiful, emotionally charged story this was! Maggie McGinnis has written a book that will draw you in from the first chapter and take you on an emotional journey. She’ll make you smile and also have you grabbing a tissue, but in the end she has woven a tale that will make any doubter believe in happily ever afters.”—Em and M Books
Beautiful, emotionally charged story!
What a beautiful, emotionally charged story this was! Maggie McGinnis has written a book that will draw you in from the first chapter and take you on an emotional journey. She’ll make you smile and also have you grabbing a tissue, but in the end she has woven a tale that will make any doubter believe in happily ever afters.
Cole and Jess have been dancing around the attraction they have towards one another for the past two years. Jess has once again returned to Whisper Creek dude ranch for Hayley and Daniel’s wedding and the sparks start flying from the moment she arrives. And of course everyone is pushing Cole and Jess together – which makes it hard for these two to resist each other. I loved watching these two come together, only to be confronted with obstacles that seemed insurmountable, which ultimately made their HEA even more special.
Jess’s back story was just horrible. The life she lived before reinventing herself was painful to read about. I loved that she ultimately came out of those experiences a strong, resilient, and independent woman. Cole has also had some struggles with his past, feeling that he had to give up his dreams in order to help run the ranch after his dad passed. He is constantly wondering what he could have done or made of his life if circumstances were different. Now he’s also feeling the added pressure of trying to pick up the slack when his brother has to devote his attention to his other business ventures. As Jess and Cole begin their relationship they are both carrying around issues from their past that cause misunderstandings and hurdles that they need to clear. It was frustrating at times watching these two struggle to communicate and trust in each other, but the end result was certainly worth all the angst.
The added drama of Jess’s past coming back in to play added a nice layer to the story. Watching Jess grow as she built up the strength to deal with her issues was wonderful. And seeing Cole support her without taking over and handling things himself made me just love him even more.
I have come to love the Whispering Creek dude ranch and the wonderful family that has been built around it. This little slice of paradise in Montana has me smiling at the thoughts of real cowboys and trail rides, and has me hoping that Maggie McGinnis will be taking us back to Whispering Creek for a few more stories.
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Maggie McGinnis has done it again
Maggie McGinnis has done it again with Once Upon a Cowboy! All the books in the Whisper Creek series are excellent, but Jess and Cole's book exceeds them all! I laughed, I cried and never wanted it to end! All the characters in this series had issues to overcome in some way or another, but Jess and Cole go beyond the usual expected obstacles. Jess especially has to learn to be open and trusting of Cole when her past life has taught her lessons that to be trusting is to be hurt! Will they find their way to true love? Or will the past continue to haunt them both! Good news, this book does have an epilogue so don't sneak a peek at the end!
Cole Carries the Story. Score: 4.3
** Provided by NetGalley in Exchange for an Honest Review **
-- MY THOUGHTS --
Judging a Book by it's Cover:
There is really nothing in this cover to convey that it is a Western Romantic Comedy other than the cowboy boots that she is wearing which is at odds with her fuzzy top. The synopsis is a tad cliche' and I can't help but assume that the female lead may be the stronger of the two in this story.
Third-person POV. Although this is the third book to the series, you can read it fairly easily having not read the previous installments. That said, I've not read book 1, but *did* read book 2 when it first came out. The characters are all interconnected, but each have a unique story that can and will stand-alone
This is going to be a rough one to score... I absolutely LOVE Cole. His gentle, patient and caring nature is often taken advantage of by those around him. He's the good and dutiful son that has put his own dreams aside for far too long, but never says a word. Jess... I really am not a fan of her adult decisions in reaction to her juvenile life left behind. This makes her difficult to connect with, both in the story with the other characters AND with the reader. Cole and Jess's chemistry is too one-sided. She likes him, yeah, but she's "afraid" and continues to push Cole away... he's left to do all the work - again... just like on the ranch. It's no wonder the poor guy hasn't just said, "I quit. All of it" and walked off the ranch and straight to a new life. The secondary characters on the ranch are great; enjoyable, lovable, and fun while the ones back in NC add the necessary touch of "bad guy" drama. The dialogue throughout the story is natural and believable. The plot wasn't horrible, but I just was not as engaged as I'd liked to have been even with the smooth, fluidity of the writing. There are a few minor conflicts along the way that are handled by Cole in his most heart-warming and utterly charming manner, yet the main conflicts remain until much closer to the end. It is only at about the seventy to seventy-five percent mark that I begin to feel that things are becoming truly and believably cohesive between Cole and Jess. That is NOT to say that it was poorly portrayed before, but rather that her "personality" did not quite allow for anything but her self-imposed stiff, impersonal, and aloof being. I waited through the entire length of the book, or so it seemed, to see what Cole's retribution for the water balloons would be and was strangely disappointed that it never came to fruition. There really was not any predictability to speak of, but there were a few minor unforeseen twists. The conclusion was complete and solid, an epilogue is provided to slingshot the couples forward a few years and touches on a few places that were waiting in the wings to be finalized. Overall, it's a pleasant read that flowed nicely.
Heat Level: 2.25 / PG ~ Score: 4.3 ~ Stars: 4