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The Trouble with Cowboys (Catcher Creek Series #1)

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Overview

It was their parents' ranch, through the good days and the bad. But if they want to hang on to their land, their pride, and their family, the three Sorentino sisters will have to reinvent it from the ground up--and one of them just may reinvent herself in the process. . .

Cowboys have never been good for Amy Sorentino. First her hard-riding father bankrupted the family farm. Then her all-hat-no-cattle boyfriend sold her out on national television, ending her promising career as ...

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The Trouble with Cowboys (Catcher Creek Series #1)

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Overview

It was their parents' ranch, through the good days and the bad. But if they want to hang on to their land, their pride, and their family, the three Sorentino sisters will have to reinvent it from the ground up--and one of them just may reinvent herself in the process. . .

Cowboys have never been good for Amy Sorentino. First her hard-riding father bankrupted the family farm. Then her all-hat-no-cattle boyfriend sold her out on national television, ending her promising career as a chef. Now she and her squabbling sisters have partnered up in a final attempt to save their land by starting an inn and local restaurant. So it figures that with everything on the line, Amy's key supplier is just the kind of Stetson-tipping heartbreaking bad boy she's sworn to avoid. But Kellan Reed has a few secrets of his own--and cowboy or not, Amy can't resist this kind of wild ride. . .

"One hot romance from start to finish." --Carolyn Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Mistletoe Cowboy

"Simply delightful."--New York Times bestselling author Lori Wilde

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781420130041
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 10/2/2012
  • Series: Catcher Creek Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 264,078
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Read an Excerpt

The Trouble With Cowboys


By Melissa Cutler

ZEBRA BOOKS

Copyright © 2012 Melissa Cutler
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4201-3004-1


Chapter One

Chefs the world over loved to riff about ingredients as inspiration, about tender leaves of fresh-picked basil or fall's first crop of apples sparking the creation of whole menus in their minds. For many chefs, food spoke to them like muses, guiding forces of creativity. Not Amy. She felt the life in each pot, the potential in every pan. In the way the light reflected off stainless steel and the hiss of a gas stovetop. And no matter which kitchen she cooked in, from Los Angeles to Paris, she carried with her the most invaluable inspiration of all—her knives.

Specifically, her nine-inch MAC SPK-95 Classic chef knife. Standing at the counter in the kitchen she grew up in, she withdrew it from its canvas bag and moved it over her arm, relishing the perfectly balanced weight of the blended steel tool.

"Hello, baby," she crooned.

Airport regulations had required her to stow the MAC in her checked bag yesterday for the flight to New Mexico, a rule she followed grudgingly, and this morning was their first reunion. Being that this was her first time back in Catcher Creek since the Ultimate Chef Showdown debacle and with an afternoon lawyer meeting on the horizon, she needed this moment more than ever. She needed to dice.

With practiced ceremony, she sharpened the knife with a pass along a honing rod. The zing of metal sliding over metal sent chill bumps crawling over her skin. A second pass over the rod, and this time, the vibrating zing of steel tightened her nipples. She smiled, a secret, wicked smile, as her stress evaporated. She adjusted her grip on the hilt of the honing rod, set the base of the knife against its shaft, and pulled.

Zing.

Who cared that for her thirty seconds of fame as a reality TV star she was the laughingstock of the nation? She didn't have to face the vicious gossip of Catcher Creek's locals anytime soon if she didn't want to. She was no coward, but today was going to be hard enough without their judgment.

Zing. Damn, she loved the feel of friction sliding up her arm.

Who cared about the pressure she'd piled on herself in returning home—the suffocating stress of her sisters counting on her to save them all from disaster? She wouldn't crack. Unlike her mother, Amy didn't have that luxury. Which was why, for a few quiet minutes, she needed to lose herself in knife work, in the mindless task of dicing perfect cubes of celery.

Zing.

She flicked the tip of the blade with her finger and licked her lips. Lethally sharp, just the way she liked it. The MAC was ready for action. As was Amy. She placed the knife on the cutting board and moved to the refrigerator. She had no idea the sort of produce her sisters kept on hand, but certainly they'd stocked celery, knowing how important dicing vegetables was to regulating her stress levels.

She opened the refrigerator door and gasped. Except for a bottle of ketchup and a gallon of milk, every shelf and both crispers were empty. She slammed the door and raced to the pantry. Empty. Not even a potato. She glanced sideways at her MAC, which sat impotently, waiting for her. And just like that, her usual anxiety returned with a vengeance.

The Quick Stand was roasting inside. Whoever set the thermostat either had a poor understanding of electronic devices or the misfortune of being born cold-blooded. Sure New Mexico was experiencing a cold snap, but nothing justified heat this sweltering. The refrigerator display cases whirred nonstop, and Amy debated the merits of staging a citizen's arrest of the leathery-skinned farmer at the coffeepot who'd forgotten to apply deodorant. Then again, that would mean stepping out of the line she'd already invested ten minutes of her time waiting in.

She glanced around. Busy place for a Saturday, probably because it was the only store open before ten o'clock for twenty miles—a fact she'd learned the hard way. With each padlocked door and darkened store she'd driven by, the more viciously the day's stress seized up in her belly.

When her turn arrived, she took a deep breath and stepped to the checkout counter. A niggle started in her throat, like a first tickling of hysteria. She swallowed it back. Please, please, please have celery.

Charlene Delgado, who'd been the cashier for as long as Amy remembered, smiled in surprise. "Well, if it isn't the famous actress home from Hollywood. I watched you on that television show. A shame, what happened with that cowboy contestant. He played you bad, for sure, but your tantrum"—she whistled—"that was one for the ages."

Amy ground her molars together and painted a pleasant smile on her lips. She'd wondered which Catcher Creek resident would be the first to bring up Ultimate Chef Showdown and Cowboy Cook Brock McKenna. In town less than twenty-four hours, she hadn't been kept waiting long. And how fitting that Charlene, the leader of the local gossip brigade, delivered the initial blow.

Charlene was spot-on about Amy being shamed, even if she got the details wrong, but she wasn't about to point out that the show filmed in New York City, nor that Amy was a chef, not an actress. If she'd been anything of a decent actress, that tantrum would've never happened. She pushed her smile as wide as her lips would stretch. "Thank you for watching the show. The support of my Catcher Creek neighbors has been such a blessing." If one counted deafening silence as support.

"What can I do for you, dear?" Charlene asked.

"Does the Quick Stand carry celery? I couldn't find any and I really, seriously, need some this morning." Like a turning of the screw, thinking about her futile celery search across the county twisted her belly into a tighter, more painful knot.

"Celery? You cooking some sort of gourmet breakfast, like that time on Chef Showdown where you had to make a dessert using vegetables? Wait ... you're pregnant, aren't you? You have a craving for celery."

"No ... NO! Nothing like that. It's just—"

A woman in line conspicuously cleared her throat. Amy froze. And so it began, the whispers and stares she'd faced all her life in this small community, the disdain she faced for being a Sorentino. Her cheeks heated, but she didn't dare turn. Let them all look. Let them whisper to each other behind their hands, Like mother, like daughter. Amy had gone up against worse bullies and survived. Not always with dignity, she amended, thinking about Ultimate Chef Showdown, but she'd survived nonetheless.

"It's just that I'm a chef, and I need celery," she finished, forcing her smile wider.

"I wish I could help you, but we don't carry celery."

"How about onions? I could make do with onions."

Charlene shook her head. "We don't carry any produce here."

"Nothing?"

Charlene trudged to a refrigerated bin and removed a Styrofoam snowman from the top. She fished something out, waddled to the checkout stand, and slapped a three-ounce bag of baby carrots on the counter.

Cringing, Amy poked at the bag. "Fine. Give me everything you've got."

The woman in line cleared her throat again, followed by a muttered "Those Sorentinos...."

This time, Amy whipped around. "Is there something you want to say about my family?"

The woman's eyes widened in shock and, Amy liked to think, a healthy dose of fear. Yeah, that's right, lady. Don't mess with a Sorentino. I might go all crazy on your ass.

A man stepped forward, his expression placating. "Now, ladies. Let's stay calm. No need to get riled up on this fine morning."

Amy cursed under her breath. A cowboy. Just perfect. She was already primed with need from her knife-sharpening session, pent up with nervous tension that needed releasing. She'd tried to take the safe route to stress relief by sticking to celery, but it looked like the universe had different ideas, throwing a cowboy into her path.

Dark brown hair curled beneath his dust-coated cowboy hat and his long legs ended in scuffed, aged boots that settled a familiar, heavy ache between her thighs. True, she was the only woman she knew who got hot and bothered every time "Desperado " played on the radio, but there was something about boots, snug jeans, and a worn-in Stetson that flipped a switch in her. And this particular cowboy— oh, Doctor. She pictured him tossing bales of hay into a truck bed, his burly biceps bunching, his broad, strong back flexing, his brow sweating from the effort.

Snapping her gaze away, she mentally shook herself. The last thing she needed in her life was another cowboy, especially after Brock McKenna, even if this one clocked in at an eleven on the hotness scale.

She looked at him again with fresh eyes, this time registering his patronizing grin. Amy hated to be patronized. Brock had done that on Ultimate Chef Showdown and it was as grating to her nerves now as it had been then. The longer she thought about it, the more she wanted to smack the arrogant smirk off this new cowboy's sexy, stubbled jaw with her bag of baby carrots, then stuff it down his throat. How dare he barge in on her stressful day with his tight jeans and T-shirt that showed off the muscles beneath like he was God's gift to women? Snatching the bag from the counter, she gave a little practice swing with her three ounces of whoop-ass.

No. She wouldn't cause a scene. Her tattered reputation couldn't handle another public freak-out. Her gaze drifted over the crowd of people in the market. From those in line to the people doctoring up their morning coffee, all eyes in the place were trained on her.

Too late. She'd already caused a scene. The heat of her cheeks spread over her neck. She'd been seconds away from bludgeoning a man with a bag of carrots. Unbelievable. She should never be allowed out of the kitchen again. She counted down from ten before speaking in her calmest, most rational voice. "I'm not riled up. I'm buying carrots." She dangled the bag in front of her face. "See?"

Lifting his hat from his head, the cowboy's grin broadened. He ran a hand over his mop of hair as he moseyed her way, his boots clomping along the linoleum. She couldn't tear her gaze from him. The way he moved got her visualizing him swinging onto a horse, taking the reins, issuing a command. The prick of heat on her skin grew unbearable. She had to get away from him before she embarrassed herself even further.

"Perhaps we could step out of line to talk in private and let these good folks get on with their morning." His voice was a low, lazy drawl that turned her legs rubbery. She allowed him to take her arm and lead her to a rack of magazines in the corner, mostly because she wanted to feel those large, work-worn hands on her skin.

Get a grip, Amy. Remember rule number one.

She twisted her arm away. "What do you want?"

"Just trying to keep the peace, Miss Sorentino—Amy. You looked like you were ready to go postal on Linda Klauss. I had to do something."

She shook her hair back and lifted her chin. "Let's stick with Miss Sorentino. And who are you?"

"Kellan Reed, your neighbor."

Damn. Her morning just went from bad to worse. "You're Kellan Reed, owner of Slipping Rock Ranch?"

"At your service."

With the way he was looking her over, she bet he was. "I'm opening a restaurant here.You're on my list to call."

"Is that so?"

"I have a business proposition for you." She felt dirty saying the words, like from them he might divine that she was imagining how he'd look astride a horse. Shirtless.

Lordy. Maybe she could hand this particular negotiation off to Jenna.

"I look forward to discussing it with you, so long as you leave your bags of carrots in the car." Amy balked and he held up his hands. "I've got some time now. Why don't you follow me to my ranch and we'll talk about what it is you want from me? Business-wise, of course."

She chewed her bottom lip, considering. After Brock McKenna in all his cowboy glory played her for a fool on Ultimate Chef Showdown, she'd added a new number one rule to live her life by—resist temptation by steering clear of cowboys. Unfortunately, she was opening a restaurant that would feature locally grown food, and her success depended on securing contracts with the best ranches and farms in the region. Kellan Reed's cattle ranch sat at the top of that exclusive list because of its reputation for producing the most coveted, high-quality beef in the southwest. Not to mention the most expensive.

So if Kellan Reed offered her an invitation to talk business at his ranch, she had no choice but to take him up on it. The way she saw it, she had the drive from the Quick Stand to his property to strategize a way to convince him to sell Slipping Rock beef to her at an under-market rate. That was going to be a problem because, even now, she was having trouble stringing together a single intelligible sentence with him looking at her with those deep brown eyes—and they weren't even alone yet.

She would have to be strong. No going inside his house, no needless small talk. They could negotiate outside, where she had quick access to a getaway vehicle should she sense her self-control crumbling. After securing the beef contract, she'd thank him and be on her way like a reasonable, responsible adult. No problem.

She afforded him a terse nod. "It's a deal."

"Excellent." His dark eyes twinkled with lusty purpose— or maybe that was only a product of Amy's overactive imagination. "Char, would you put these on my tab?" He waved a candy bar and a bag of pretzels in her direction.

"Breakfast of champions?" Amy asked.

"More like lunch, I've been up so long. But if you want to call me a champion, I'm not going to argue." He winked.

Amy sucked in an unsteady breath, then tried to hide it with an indignant huff as she squeezed her thighs together. "Let's get on with it," she said, her voice coming out far huskier than she intended.

"By all means, after you, ma'am."

"I know where Slipping Rock Ranch is. I'll meet you there."

"Fine with me." He replaced the hat on his head and tipped the brim low over his eyes. "And, honey, I know you're having a tough morning, but watch your speed on my property. Wouldn't want you to spook the horses." With another wave at Charlene, he left.

"Cowboys, ugh," she muttered. Still, her eyes tracked the swish of his tight jeans out the door and into the driver's seat of a run-down truck across the lot. Her rule book might forbid her from getting too close to cowboys, but it didn't say a thing about looking.

Kellan hadn't meant to boldly flirt with a member of the notorious Sorentino family at the Quick Stand. All he'd wanted was for the pretty girl at the counter to move along and stop disturbing the peace. He had a low tolerance for people airing their messy lives in public and the Sorentino family had the worst reputation in town for staging scenes wherever they went. He'd spoken up in an effort to run damage control for Charlene before a catfight erupted in the middle of her morning rush, but the minute he got up close and personal with Amy Sorentino, he changed his tune.

He'd heard plenty of talk about Amy. Nothing flattering. Nothing that hinted at her beauty or vivacity. Nothing that captured Kellan's interest the way the actual woman had with a toss of her hair and a few terse words. Not to mention that heart-shaped ass and the fire in her eyes as she gave him the once-over. She rubbed him the right way straight out of the gate.

Not that he was looking for a relationship with a woman with a screwed-up family and a penchant for public commotions. Once upon a time, he'd belonged to a dysfunctional family. He knew better than to let history repeat itself.

When she pulled up in front of his house, driving too fast like he knew she would be, he was waiting for her on the porch. From that angle, he was treated to a perfect view of her legs stretching from the car to the ground one at a time. She froze at the base of the porch stairs and fiddled with her car keys.

He hooked his thumb toward his front door. "Come on in. We can discuss your business proposition over coffee."

She took a step back and mumbled something that sounded like "rule number one."

"I didn't catch that. What did you say?"

"I said it's a beautiful day. Let's talk outside."

He kicked away from the wall, intrigued. Maybe he read her body language wrong at the Quick Stand. "Okay. How about you have a seat on the porch? I'll bring out the coffee."

Her mouth screwed up as she eyed the porch suspiciously. "Fine. I can handle that. No problem."

She perched on the edge of a wicker chair, wringing her hands. Maybe she'd heard talk about his no-nonsense business ethic and was nervous about entering into a negotiation with him. "One more thing," he found himself saying without giving it much forethought, "I grow celery. I give most of it away, but there's three bunches in my fridge right now. You're welcome to it if you want."

"That would be ... Thank you." Her hands stopped fidgeting, which he took as a positive sign.

"Okay. Good. I'll get the celery and coffee and be right back."

Bracing his side against the door frame, he tugged a work boot off and there was no mistaking her long hiss of an exhale. Interesting. When he started in on the second boot, he watched from the corner of his eye as her fingers smoothed over her skirt and locked on her bare knee.

Note to self—the lady's got a thing for boots.

"Rule number one," she said in a bare whisper.

"What? Something about a rule?"

"Huh? Me? I didn't say anything." She jumped to her feet, color staining her cheeks.

Kellan stifled the urge to brush his thumb over her pink-laced freckles. In the spirit of discovering what else turned the skittish Miss Sorentino on, he lifted his work hat from its peg by the door and dropped it on his head.

Amy's eyes turned dark. She bit her bottom lip.

That look alone was worth feeling like an idiot by putting on a hat to go indoors. Working hard to keep a triumphant smile off his face, Kellan swaggered into the kitchen, leaving the door open behind him. He busied himself at the coffeemaker until a long shadow materialized on the tile floor. Amy had moved into the doorway.

He glanced at her. "You want onions too?"

"Celery should be enough to get me by."

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The Trouble With Cowboys by Melissa Cutler Copyright © 2012 by Melissa Cutler. Excerpted by permission of ZEBRA BOOKS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 32 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(18)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 27, 2012

    I got in Trouble with Cowboys!

    I loved Trouble with Cowboys from the first teaser chapter to the very end. I couldn’t put it down. I need to be careful where I read Ms. Cutler’s work; it had me laughing out loud in public places. Good for the author because I enjoyed her voice, characters and dialogue. Bad for me because of the crazy looks I received. What I liked most about the introduction to Catchers Creek and its inhabitants, is each character is lovable, especially Mr. Dixon and Lisa Binderman. Kellan and Amy stood on their own merits and didn’t bash me over the head with their angst. The plot was believable, enough thoughts and feelings to see the characters transitions from meeting to love, and great dialogue. I loved it from start to finish and can hardly wait for the next installment.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by ANGELA & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog M

    Reviewed by ANGELA & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog

    Ms. Cutler delivers, not only a sexy cowboy hero, she also delivered an enthralling story line ~Under The Covers

    This is my first read from Melissa Cutler and it will not be the last. I have to admit that I picked this book up on a basis of just looking at the cover. I’m lucky I landed with a good book because I just
    should not decide on that reason alone. But hey, true to the cover, Ms. Cutler delivers not only a sexy cowboy hero she also delivered an enthralling story line.

    Amy Sorentino of the Ultimate Chef Showdown has returned to her small town home of Catcher Creek. After losing the contest to her Ex-jerk-boyfriend, she decided to go back home to help her sisters save their family land. With the plans to turn their property into a Bed and Breakfast type of business, meeting with the owner of the best cattle ranch is inevitable…for the best piece of meat, of course.

    I love Amy. With her, there are no pretenses. What you see is what you get including her emotions and decisions that go with it. She totally made me laugh with her rule of NO COWBOYS. Due to her past heartaches, she has become cynical and avoids cowboys like the plague. However, her attraction for them, especially Keelan was unavoidable. Her inner dialogue trying to avoid him was hilarious. On the other hand, Keelan was just straight up with how he felt. His sexual innuendos made it even harder for Amy to resist. Their sexual tension was so obvious and totally off the charts. But it wasn’t just that, they complimented each other and they seem to solve each others problems.

    The subplots were a great addition to the story and the rest of the characters were intriguing. With financial hardships, the Sorentino sisters’ argued and irritated each other. However, with each
    confrontation they seem to find the “sisterhood” and in the end, working things out. A few more stories brewing in the background with Vaugn (Keelan’s BFF) and Rachel (Amy’s sister). Jenna (the other sister) and her son’s story was vague but I’m totally curious to see what’s up her…I mean, what her story is all about. Sloan, Mr. Dixon and Lisa looks like will be a permanent part of the sisters’ lives. I hope to read more of everyone in the next installment scheduled to release
    October 2013. Rachel’s story!!!

    * Review copy provided by publisher

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A rating....

    My Review:
    I caught sight of this book a few months ago and was completely floored (and drooling a bit) over the gorgeous cover. (Top Off Tuesday) So I was very excited when I found out that I won an ARC of the book. Unfortunately, ARC's usually aren't so pretty, but Melissa knew I was having a love affair with the cover so she also included a VERY GORGEOUS cover flat for me to pet and lick and stroke. He is so very pretty, isn't he??

    You see...I have this in common with the heroine of the book, Amy. She has a serious weak spot for cowboys. In fact, for her it is so bad that she's had to make up rules about them...#1 is that she has to stay away from them. Yeah, she doesn't do so well with her rules, but that's what makes this book, especially the first chapter, so good and fun. I love Amy. She's in a tough spot. Her two sisters are counting on her to hold it together so they can save the family farm. Her mother was never stable and Amy has a tendency to be a bit over-emotional herself. The problem is....she is very easily swayed when faced with a sexy cowboy and that's been known to mess things up...like tanking her career on national tv.

    She has this weak spot...and you know Kellan is just a guy who is also feeling the effects of their incredible chemisty...he's not afraid to exploit her weakness if he needs to. But then he finds out something about her family ranch that means he has to stay away from her, but by then the chemistry has already turned into so much more.

    I loved this book. Kellan and Amy both have serious family issues between their siblings and the way they were raised. For Amy and her sisters...they fight like cats and dogs, but at the end of the day they're family. For Kellan and his brother, Jake, they no longer speak. I liked the way that Melissa brought their family issues into everything and how it affected the way the relationship between the two of them developed. Amy turns to her sisters. Kellan turns to his friends, but it's not the same.

    There were so many things that made this book so good. First, the characters. There are a lot of them, but from Amy's sisters to Kellan's friends to the strays that Amy was constantly taking in (loved Mr. Dixon and Sloane). They were all wonderfully developed and offered an interesting impact on the story. Then there's the setting...Everything about the setting was perfection. The book takes place in Eastern NM (which I love that area of the country). Kellan runs a cattle ranch while the girls are setting up a guest farm. I liked the undertones of the big-bad oil company and how that affects the lease-land ranches. Being from this area of the country, so much of the book rang true. And then there's the sexy cowboy....yep, I have a weak spot too...thank goodness I live in ranching country. ;o)

    Finally I loved the glimpses into Vaughn and Rachel's relationship. I hope this means that we get their story soon. I loved them both and ached for the obvious heartache between them. But I also found myself intrigued about the mystery of Jenna's little boy and who the father is. I also really hope that we get to see more of Kellan's brother Jake.

    It was just a great book and I'm so happy that I won it. I will definitely be looking forward to more from this author and series!

    I won an ARC of this book in a random giveaway on Goodreads.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2014

    highly recommend

    Good story, enjoyed it the whole way through.

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  • Posted February 1, 2014

    recommend

    Great Read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2014

    Recommend

    I enjoyed the book. The story left my with questions after I finished reading it. You get an idea of what happens with the 2 main characters. I was left what happened with the rest of the sisters, the plans for the house, the sheriff, and the company that had an important role in the story. I was disappointed that I was left with so many questions. IT was a good book though.

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  • Posted December 20, 2013

    highly recommended

    NEVER judge a book by its cover. Meaning, to look deep inside to the person to see the true self! Wonderful read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2013

    I'm hooked on this series!

    I actually read the 2nd book first and liked it so much that I went back and read the first book. I am very impressed with this author. Her story lines are actually quite complicated, but are easy to follow and make sense. They intertwine all the characters and their story lines The main thing that I really like about her writing is her ability to make you feel the emotions of the characters. I think we can all relate to being afraid of turning into our parents. I liked the way she was compared Amy's upbringing to Kellan's without you, the reader, knowing it was happening until it did. I can't wait for the next release.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2013

    E

    2.5stars. Story line falls flat. Dull.

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  • Posted November 1, 2013

    Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book by the author becaus

    Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book by the author because I am a member of her reader review club. I confess that I was a little shocked when the story started off with Kellan and Amy having sex the first time they meet. I am no prude; but I thought this was an odd start to a serious relationship. That being said, I was hooked into the story when I met her sisters and began to understand more about their family history.
    This story is set in New Mexico where Kellan and Amy's family own adjoining ranches. Melissa descried the setting so well that I had no problems "seeing" the Reed and Sorentino ranches. Both Kellan and Amy had difficult times growing up. Kellan even more than Amy since he and his brother, Jake, ended up in the foster care system. The character development of Amy and Kellan moved the story along; but so did the secondary characters. Rachel, Jenna, Mr. Dixon, Vaughn and Sloane were contributing factors to the plot. There was so much interaction between them and Amy and Kellan that helped to complete the picture of the two main characters.
    For me, the best scene in the story was toward the end of the book when Amy is at Kellan's ranch waiting to talk to him. She is watching Kellan ride up on his horse and she realizes that her previous feelings for Kellan had been infatuation and lust. She finally understands that what she now felt, after all of their ups and downs, was love for the whole person that Kellan is and not just her "cowboy fantasy". That scene showed that Amy had grown up and matured into a real and honest woman.
    Thank you, Melissa, for sharing this story with me. I look forward to reading the next book in this series "Cowboy Justice".

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  • Posted October 21, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This is a great story with great characters. If you are into ho

    This is a great story with great characters. If you are into hot cowboys who get down and dirty (pretty fast I might add) then this is your book. Kellen Reed is sweet, sexy, sincere, and darn near “perfect”. His counterpart Amy Sorentino is funny, sassy, and quirky. The attraction (which could be a character in and of itself) between them is hot, intense, passionate and pretty much unwanted by both. All of which are ingredients for a fun, hot, attention holding read. Each character has an equally intriguing story, as well as the story they have together - you will have no choice other than to be captivated and in love with these characters from the beginning.

    The background the author gives on each Kellen and Amy is great information and just enough to convey their past without being wordy or overwhelming. This book has a huge emotional factor. Your heart will ache for a young Kellen and Amy all while you are becoming increasingly frustrated with Amy and her “rules”. Both Kellen and Amy’s families are very much a part of the people they have become as well as the story line. I certainly enjoyed reading about Amy’s sisters and her mother. Kellen’s friends, who are his family, are also very well described and written about in a way that you will be curious about them. I definitely liked the underlying story of Rachel, one of Amy’s sister, and Vaughn, Kellen’s best friend and the town’s sheriff - the author gave away just enough to peak one's interest. There is also a little suspense – you know a western, even a contemporary western wouldn't be a real western without at least one gun draw – , mystery and an unexpected surprise character at the end of the book. It is a great series book because there are lots of unanswered questions and just enough hooks to have you waiting for the next book. Overall, I think it was a great book and has just enough webs for you to become entangled in Catcher Creek and its residents. I certainly am ready to read book number 2 of the series!

    Rating: 4.5

    Heat Rating: Hot

    Reviewed by: A. Lyn

    Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

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  • Posted October 14, 2013

    Thought it was great!

    Love them cowboy romances! This had a great story line and enjoyed the book.

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  • Posted October 3, 2013

    The Trouble with Cowboys, is book one in Melissa Cutler's Catche

    The Trouble with Cowboys, is book one in Melissa Cutler's Catcher Creek series. In this book we are introduced to the Sorentino sister's, Amy, Jenna, and Rachel. The sisters are trying to make a go of a new business to save their family farm and deal with the loss of their father and the some of the security they thought they had.

    Amy has come home to save her family, throwing in all she's got after a devastating loss on a cooking reality show. But she's also come home broken-hearted. Amy has a slight problem, she has a tendency to fall hard quickly, which doesn't always pan out well for her, so she's developed rules to keep herself on track. But as always rules are made to be broken, Right?!

    Who better to help her break all those rules and break the wall she's trying to erect around her heart than cowboy neighbor, Kellan Reed. Kellan is a local rancher, one whom the Sorentino's want to form a business association with for their Dude Ranch. But Kellan has a secret and getting tangled up with Amy is sure to bring it out.

    From their first meeting on, its clear that Amy and Kellan are perfect for each other, even if neither realizes it at the time. But both have their own wounds to heal before they can attempt a real relationship.

    I loved how fierce Amy was about saving her family's farm at all costs. I also found it funny how she used her culinary skills to deal with her anger/frustrations/stress. I can totally see someone whose' life revolves around the preparation of food using the same methods to cope with their problems.

    Kellan was such a fun guy, I enjoyed watching him trying to work his way into Amy's heart, not just as a cowboy, but as the man who could love her completely. As he dealt with his past and the family issues, it was easy to see how he struggled but wanted to do right, for himself and everyone else in town as well. I love that he created his own family out of friends and locals.

    I enjoyed this first book, not only getting to know Amy and Kellan, but their friends and family and Catcher Creek as a whole. As more bad news finds it way to the Sorentino's, I couldn't help but feel sorry for them and want them to catch a break so of course I enjoyed what happens to Kellan's dear old Uncle.

    The brief glimpses into Rachel and Vaughn's romantic history have me anticipating their story. I'm also curious to know more about Jenna and her past. This book is a great introduction to a wonderful set of characters and I cannot wait to continue getting to know them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2013

    There's nothing wrong with having a cowboy fetish.

    I bought this book thinking I could get away with reading a single book and not a series, but I was wrong. I knew half way thru the book that there will be at least 2 more and I would most definitely have to read them all. I'm dying to know how the trouble Sorentino sisters fair. Amy's cowboy fetish was a problem that landed her the love of her life, it just took her a while to realize the cowboy in question, Kellan was actually going to be her rock both emotionally and physically. I have 4 days until the next book is released then I'll be stalking Melissa Cutler's websites to figure out what happens to the third Sorentino sister.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2013

    !

    B,

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2013

    Co Glad i did not have to pay cover price

    Could have left out the boring porn and it would have been a much better read. Basic story line was good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2013

    Very Enjoyable Reading!

    Ruth, Loved It! The only problem is it will be several months before Book 2. :( Tony and Sarah were a match even tho it took them awhile to get there. Can't wait to read about Melanie and Charles. Please, Please tell me David is next. Of course now I do want to read about Dean too!!! I most definitely recommend this book to all readers. Check out Ruth other series (Legacy Collection) too!!

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  • Posted July 2, 2013

    Likeable Characters + Great Writing = One enjoyable book! The Tr

    Likeable Characters + Great Writing = One enjoyable book! The Trouble with Cowboys is Melissa Cutler’s first book in her Catcher Creek series. Book 2 Cowboy Justice is due to hit the shelves in October 2013. And I can’t wait to get my hands on it! I found The Trouble with Cowboys to be a delicious combination of sexy and emotion-filled moments. The heroine Amy has all these self-imposed rules and rule #1 is to stay away from cowboys. Rule #1 gets thrown out the window within minutes of meeting Kellen, who says that he is a rancher not a cowboy. I felt that the characters were genuine, and Cutler does a nice job of introducing secondary characters with just enough information to make you curious, but does not over power the main story lines with unnecessary details. I was able to ride the roller-coaster of emotions with the characters. I felt like I became a part of the book and I can’t wait to see where Cutler takes all the wonderful characters of Catcher Creek.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2013

    AWESOME!

    Loved this story and the stting. It did not get boring. Cant wait to read more of her stories! I am rooting for Vaughn and Rachael!

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  • Posted February 27, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A GraveTells Review: A sassy, quirky cowboy romance with heart a

    A GraveTells Review: A sassy, quirky cowboy romance with heart and soul!

    Either I haven't read enough romance books with chefs as the heroines or Amy is just the unusual exception, but her therapy of chopping celery to stem her frustration and sexual needs is both unique and a little frightening (I mean, what ELSE would she consider dicing up? *gulp*). If I were this woman's man, I'd be sure to keep her completely satisfied or risk that fancy Mac knife practicing on my sensitive bits. Ms. Cutler sets the stage quickly and efficiently, giving us a glance into Amy Sorentino's frustrating history with cowboys, family drama, and recent professional embarrassment. She then rides straight into a little lets-blow-off-some-steam nookie between Amy and our sexy rancher hero, Kellan.

    Let's talk about the sex. Oh, don't be shy - you know you wanna! My initial thought, from their first encounter, was that the love scenes in this book would be too skimpy, short on details and lacking in chemistry. Girlfriend, was I wrong! The detail and intimacy of the sex scenes grows with the relationship between Amy and Kellan in a healthy, organic way. Their chemistry is superb, both tender and passionate, and the romantic moments along the way reflect the intimacy level of their relationship as it develops. I loved Kellan's respectful cowboy ways and his sweet Southern accent, and I could easily picture his sexy Stetson, boots, and tight Wranglers. Kellan is not a glamour cowboy and, aside from a little wardrobe over-exaggeration to fire up his prospective lady's cowboy fetish, he's as honest and true as so many of the lovable Southern men I've known.

    Ms. Cutler's style is comfortable and natural, straightforward with a charming Southwestern flair. The dialogue is also authentic, a pitfall for many authors who don't actually live in the unique culture that is "the south". Seriously, I can practically hear the thick accent rolling off the characters' tongues (and not in a cheesy, makes-me-want-to-/faceplam way either), and the landscape is a vista of beauty, with earthy depictions only someone who has lived and loved that environment could understand. There was a scene between the Sorentino sisters that had me laughing out loud, it was so spontaneously fun and refreshing. Each of the Sorentino women has a distinct and vibrant personality and their relationship with each other is genuine and believable, right down to the sibling spats and stalwart support.

    This book is really good. It starts off feeling like a cowboy fluff piece and blooms into a heartbreaking saga of love, loss, and the bonds between family, friends, and lovers. The writing is mature and elegantly appropriate and the characters will draw you right into their world of desert vistas and Southwestern charm, where the slower pace of life makes everything that much more rich and enjoyable. I just wanted a quick, smutty read for Cowboy Romance Week and this book completely demolished all my expectations, continually endearing me in to a story that opens up in its own sweet time. Sexy with heart, is what this book is. More please, Ms. Cutler! And I don't want to wait! The Trouble With Cowboys is a GraveTells "must read"!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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