A onetime bad girl comes home to small-town Oregon in the first in a sexy, heartfelt new series from USA TODAY bestselling author Maisey Yates
Sadie Miller isn’t expecting any welcome-home parades on her return to Copper Ridge. Least of all from part-time rancher, full-time lawman Eli Garrett. The straitlaced, impossibly hot deputy sheriff glares at her as if she’s the same teenage hoodlum who fled town ten years ago. But running from her demons has brought Sadie full circle, ready to make a commitment at last. Not to a man, but to a bed-and-breakfast. On Garrett land. Okay, so her plan has a tiny flaw…
Eli works too hard to let a blonde ball of trouble mess up his town. But keeping an eye on Sadie makes it tough to keep his hands off her. And if she’s so wrong for him, why does being with her feel so right?
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Welcome to Copper Ridge
What a wonderful introduction to Copper Ridge, Oregon we find with Part-Time Cowboy from Maisey Yates. The author creates a quaint little town that is holding its own as a new generation of folks are coming of age. Eli and Sadie are two of those - both having grown up in Copper Ridge but taking different paths to where they find themselves. Sadie has spent her life running - the author wonderfully depicts her as someone afraid to make connections, and ultimately to love, because for her love means pain. She has become a therapist but never found herself rooted, choosing to continue to move around and create an isolated existence for herself.
"This was why she always left. Because if she left first, if she never let anyone close, if she never asked anyone to know her and accept her anyway, she couldn't get hurt."
Sadie is a wonderful character who seem to be able to do whatever she sets her mind to - and she has decided to come home and open a Bed and Breakfast. Nothing deters her as she makes her plans and moves forward with steps to open her B&B - expect Eli.
In Eli, the author nails "strong, silent type" to a tee. Eli grew up feeling out of control so now he needs to control everything in his life, he needs things neat and orderly, so he never has to feel the way he did growing up with his parents. Being a deputy sheriff is a perfect role for him - its a job driven by rules. As long as Eli knows the rules and can follow the rules, and punish others that don't, he's happy. There are so many other things out of control in his life, including his brother Connor who is in a state of perpetual mourning. We get to know Connor in this book but Connor's book, Brokedown Cowboy, really digs into what's going on with Connor. Eli feels the need to take care of everything - Connor, his sister Kate, Sadie's B&B, Sadie's barbeque, and ultimately the entire town. But as much as he tries, Sadie turns his well-ordered life on its ear. I loved how the author turns Eli's overall frustration with his inability to control what is going on around him into sexual frustration, directed at Sadie. I'm not sure how much of the beginning of their relationship was more than anger and frustration - strong emotions - that erupt into sexual need. But what started out at sexual need for both of them ends up being so much more.
"She didn't know why anger and lust were all tied into one thing with this man. She didn't know why she couldn't control her emotions or her body around him"
I'm not sure I've read a book recently where two people are both so determined not to want to feel the way they feel. Both Sadie and Eli fight their feelings as soon as they meet, and as soon as they act on those feelings, they BOTH constantly fight what they were feeling. Until the very end, neither is willing to admit what they have is more than casual sex, because neither one can give up the control that they have needed to protect themselves.
"But I realized something today, when I was ready to leave this place, to lave you. I realized it's not enough to have a life. You have to have all of life. And I haven't let myself do that."
Sadie's realization above epitomizes both Said and Eli. It's why they are so perfect for each other. Eli provides Sadie with the comfort and reassurance that she is safe, and Sadie shows Eli that being out of control isn't always a bad thing! In Part-time Cowboy, the author welcomes us to Copper Ridge and the Garrets, introduces us to two wonderfully-complex characters in Eli and Sadie who are so perfectly suited for each other, and makes us crave another visit to Copper Ridge where we can get to know Connor, Kate, and others in Copper Ridge.
Learning to Let Go of the Past for a Better Future
400 pages, approximately
Romance: Contemporary, Western
** Provided by Netgalley in Exchange for an Honest Review. **
-- MY THOUGHTS --
As a teen from the wrong side of town and a troublesome upbringing, Sadie was a hellcat. She was also Eli's first... arrest, that is, and he'd never forgot his first. Even ten years later, when Sadie returns to town to attempt putting down some roots by opening a B & B out of a house on Garrett land. She's smart and sassy, he's stern and sexy. Together... watch out! The characters are a joy to get to know and watch interact as the story unfolds; the more they fight their attraction, the more entertaining they become. Although there are times that I wonder why Sadie would put up with the crap-tastic attitude Eli directs at her... it, occasionally borders emotionally abusive! Both of them need to get their heads out of the past; what's done is done... don't re-hash it at every face-to-face!
The secondary characters are supportive to the story without trying to seize the plot. The plot progressed smoothly, but was lacking in any major dynamics - most of it was rather even level. It wasn't until about 80 percent into the story did things really pick up in pace, but in no way did the prior portion drag. I had a bit of an issue with the way some of the conflicts were resolved with avoidance and denial, but in the end most of it was resolved maturely. The predictability was pretty low and the conclusion was mostly solid. There were no noticeable cliffhangers.
I look forward to reading Connor's story next, he's such a tragic character.
Heat Level: 4
Tina J / Happily Ever Chapter
Smut Book Junkie
Full of emotion and chemistry
When Sadie left Copper Ridge, she never thought she'd be back. The small town held too many bad memories and disappointments to ever make it feel like home. But after years of short-term leases all over the country, she thinks it's time to put down roots, and since the people who made Copper Ridge her own personal hell have long since moved away, she's willing to give the town a chance.
A successful therapist, she's used to helping others through loss and crisis, but now she's set on opening up a little bed and breakfast and finding a peaceful life that always seemed so out of reach. But there's nothing peaceful about Deputy Eli Garrett, the man who arrested her on her last night in town so long ago. His cold looks tell her she's still the same reckless troublemaker he put in cuffs, but the heat between them is saying something entirely different…
The Verdict: Sadie and Eli were a rather different kind of couple, each grappling with some pretty tragic pasts that continued to shape everything they did. They were both incredibly alike and complete opposites, and it made for an entertaining romance and interesting read.
Sadie grew up in an abusive home, a situation that came to a terrible head the night Eli arrested her. Growing up on the wrong side of the tracks and never telling anyone what her home life was like really affected her view of everyone, and more than anything, she wished someone had noticed and stepped in to save her. I imagine that's true for a lot who face that in real life — wanting rescue but not necessarily speaking up. Thankfully, she left that life and cut ties with her parents, but it made her wary of love, and she was more content with serial dating than trusting a relationship.
Eli was likewise affected by a pretty bad upbringing. His mother had abandoned them, and his father had found the bottle. A teenage Eli had stepped up and become the man of the family, taking care of his baby sister and keeping things together with his brother so they wouldn't be split up, and when his father died while driving drunk, Eli shouldered responsibility for that as well. He spent his life trying to maintain order and control, and he can't let go of anything long enough to let himself fall in love — something he's seen destroy the men around him.
Sadie and Eli are like oil and water at first. She's messy, free-spirited, and disrupts his carefully controlled world. She's renting an old house on his family's property, and that puts her in his path more than he would like. But despite their distaste for each other, there's a strong attraction that neither can deny, and they end up in a no-strings-attached affair that they both think they can handle.
Both characters were very resistant to falling in love and settling down, so it was great to see them slowly become a real couple, despite their initial intentions. The half-serious, half-sarcastic banter they shared kept things entertaining, but the real gem was in watching them begin to overcome their pasts and look toward the future, instead of simply getting by from day to day. There's lots of angst, of course, but it feels rather natural and makes the romance they share that much more meaningful, and Sadie's wild approach to life keeps things light.
Part Time Cowboy is a great read, filled with so much emotion, sizzling chemistry, and a well-earned happily ever after. I can't wait to read Connor's story in the next book!
***FicCentral received this book from Xpresso Book Tours for free in exchange for an honest review.