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★★★★★ My Cowboy Heart by Z.A. Maxfield ★★★★★

My Cowboy Heart (book # 1) – in this review
My Heartache Cowboy (book # 2) – due for release in Jan 2014

My Cowboy HeartMy Cowboy Heart by Z.A. Maxfield

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

The blurb…

J-Bar ranch foreman Malloy pretty much keeps to himself—slinking around the edges of everybody else like an old coyote, doing his job and staying private. That is until Crispin Carrasco shows up.

Lean, muscular, and with a motor mouth that won’t quit, Crispin sparks something in Malloy—something the foreman didn’t know was there. But how does a lone coyote approach the warmth of a fire? And more important, what would happen if that fire burned?

So what did I think?

This is a beautiful romance that shows what love and family are all about. It is heartwarming and tender with some emotionally charged moments.

Malloy had a very sad upbringing with a drug addicted mother who was always looking for the next man or the next fix. He largely had to fend for himself until Crandall Jenkins and his wife Emma took him in. They provided him with a job and a home on their ranch but most importantly a place in their family. Malloy’s life largely revolves around the Jenkin’s family, his role as foreman of the ranch and his need to earn Crandall Jenkin’s love and respect.

Crispin has been through a terrible trauma and still bears the scars of his experience. Mr Jenkins offers him a place on the ranch and asks Malloy to keep an eye on the openly gay Crispin. This is the turning point in his life as Malloy’s eyes are finally opened to the true man he is inside.

The scenes where Malloy first admits his feelings for another man are wonderfully done, with Malloy first facing the loss of his dream “I wasn’t like Crandall Jenkins, and I’d never find an Emma. I’d never have what they had between them – not the home, not the kids, not the legacy, nor the love, nor the comfort of a lifelong partnership.” but then realising this wasn’t the end “It had only been moments since I’d thought about everything I’d lost, but now…now I could see what I’d gained.”

Crispin is truly a strong and inspiring man. He sees so much of the truth in people and I really warmed to his character. It was easy to see why Malloy felt so passionately about the man. I enjoyed the build of the relationship and the very emotional connection they had as well as the extremely passionate sex.

The story follows the romance but also has a strong focus on family as Crandall gets sick and the family need to deal with the ramifications. We also get some insight into the other ranch hands, Eddie and Jim who have their own issues. (I can’t wait to read their story in My Heartache Cowboy which is due Jan 2014). I guess Malloy’s doctor had it right when he said “Are you living on a ranch or a telenovela?”

A lovely balance of deep emotional issues with moments of love and happiness! 4.5 stars

Following is the song that Crispin and Malloy dance to on Valentine’s Day (Malloy ‘borrowed’ Crandall and Emma’s song because ‘some traditions are worth keeping.’), “Forever and Ever, Amen” by Randy Travis.

 

To find out more about Z.A. Maxfield and her books visit her website.

Buy My Cowboy Heart and pre-order My Heartache Cowboy from Amazon.

View all my reviews

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