As the oldest of three brothers, Shane Tyler takes his responsibility to the family ranch seriously—and it’s clear to him that the younger man who wants to marry his widowed mother is only looking for a meal ticket. He’s determined to stop the nuptials whatever it takes, but the shy wedding planner his mom hired is harder to intimidate than he expected.
When Cora Preston worked up the nerve to leave her abusive ex and move with her young son to Gracely, it was a huge step. Accepting the position as wedding planner at brand-new Mile High Weddings took even more courage. But Cora’s biggest challenge is turning out to be the bride’s handsome—and stubborn—oldest son, Shane, and the way the strong-willed cowboy makes her feel.
Can the heat crackling between them warm two hearts suspicious of love?
Praise for A Nice Day for a Cowboy Wedding:
“Helm’s winning...contemporary shows that love and romance can occur in the most unexpected situations….Witty repartee, strong familial bonds, sensual romance, and the backdrop of the Colorado Rockies add allure to this satisfying story.”- Publishers Weekly
Praise for Nicole Helm’s previous romance, Want You More
“An intimate, rewarding romance with a hot hero whose emotional growth is as sexy as his moves in the bedroom.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Humorous familial schemes, solidarity, and snark make this a satisfying, intense romance.” —Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Nicole Helm is the bestselling author of down-to-earth contemporary romance and fast-paced romantic suspense, including the Navy SEAL Cowboy series. She lives with her husband and two sons in Missouri enjoying Cardinals baseball and dreaming about someday owning a barn. Visit her at nicolehelm.com.
Patrick Lawlor has recorded over three hundred audiobooks in just about every genre. He has been an Audie Award finalist multiple times and has garnered several AudioFile Earphones Awards, a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award, and many Library Journal and Kirkus starred audio reviews.
Read an Excerpt
Cora Preston pulled her car to a stop at the open gates of the Tyler ranch. Despite having spent her entire life in Colorado, she couldn't believe her eyes.
She had moved to the small mountain town of Gracely from Denver almost three years ago, but she'd spent most of her time in Gracely. Occasionally, she took the trek up to Mile High Adventures where her sister worked, and there was something soul cleansing about the views from up in the Rockies, looking down at the world below.
But this ...
Green stretched out in waves beyond the sturdy wooden archway. Scattered across the expanse were little black dots she assumed were cattle, then the land covered in all that green began to roll, until far off in the distance gray, rocky, snow-capped peaks reached for the impossibly blue sky.
Cora breathed through the flutter of nerves. She wasn't here to admire the surroundings. She was here to plan a wedding.
It seemed a crazy undertaking when she'd never had a wedding herself, a crazy undertaking when she knew her sister, Lilly, would be ten times better at it than she.
But Lilly had enough work at Mile High Adventures as PR specialist, plus mother of starting-to-be-mobile twins, and she'd given Cora this job because supposedly Cora had a "natural talent" for planning events.
Cora thought it was BS, but she wanted to make Lilly proud. She wanted to prove to everyone in her life that she'd grown up in these past few years. No more wallowing in all the ways life could be unfair, no more shrinking from being a hard-ass mother to her twelve-year-old. No more skating by.
She was reaching for the stars now, or maybe those snow-peaked mountains. Strong, immovable, and majestic.
She was ready to be majestic.
The gate was open, as Deb had said it would be. Cora had met the bride-to-be only once, at their initial consultation. Lilly had been there, so it had been much easier for Cora not to be nervous.
Deb was a sweet, older woman, all her children grown — some even older than Cora herself — who wanted to have the grand wedding she hadn't had as a young woman. Cora had immediately liked Deb for her clear, no-nonsense strength mixed with her desire to have a whimsical, outdoor spectacle of a wedding.
"And you are going to be the one to give that to her," Cora said aloud to herself, taking a deep breath in and out before pressing her foot on the accelerator again.
The narrow asphalt drive curved its way around, meandering along those green, fenced-in fields, cattle and horses happily grazing in different sections. When the house came into view, she could only stare wide-eyed.
It looked like a movie. The wood fairly gleamed in the afternoon sunlight, a golden brown, with dominant glass windows reflecting the blue of the sky. The house existed in a cove of sorts, pine trees tall and proud surrounding the house except for the front yard.
The Tylers had some serious cash.
But before she could make it to the house that looked more like a fancy mountain resort she'd never be able to afford than a home, she had to stop.
A man on a horse was blocking the drive, and a cluster of what appeared to be baby cows ambled across.
Another man on a horse made his way toward her. When she rolled down her window, he tipped his cowboy hat. An actual cowboy hat, like this was a movie or one of the romance novels she'd read that had finally gotten her to wake up about Stephen.
"Pardon us. Just separating some calves from their mamas," the man said in a deep, swoon-worthy voice. "We'll be out of your way in just a moment." He smiled politely. At least it seemed polite. All she could really make out was his chin and his mouth because the brim of the hat shaded most of his face.
A real, honest-to-goodness cowboy hat. She knew nothing about cowboys or what they wore, but he might even be wearing chaps.
She wanted to giggle. Instead she forced herself to nod. She was a professional here on professional business after all.
"Can I help you with something?"
"Oh, I'm Cora Preston." Which was a stupid thing to say. Why would some ranch hand know who she was? "I-I have a meeting with Deb Tyler."
Then his expression did change, at least what she could see of it. His mouth firmed into a grim line. "I don't suppose this is about the wedding," he said flatly.
"Well, yes." She smiled. She was the face of Mile High Weddings. It was her job to be as charming and professional as Lilly. No matter how intimidating it all seemed.
The man did not smile back. In fact, he made a noise and a movement, and then he and his horse moved away, going to converse with the man blocking the road.
Cora stared at them with a frown on her face, but when the one who hadn't spoken to her looked over his shoulder in her direction, she smiled again. Smile, smile, smile.
Eventually the little herd of cows was across the road, and the one who hadn't spoken rode his horse next to the group, seeming to lead them in the right direction. The one who had spoken to her moved his arm toward the house in a kind of follow me gesture.
Odd. She'd think whoever he was had better things to do than lead her to the house when it was clearly at the end of this long drive, but she inched along until she got to a large concrete pad in front of what she assumed was a garage that had to be bigger than her entire house back in Gracely.
Grabbing her bag, gripping the shoulder strap in an effort to center and focus herself, she got out of the car.
The man still sat on his horse, quite a few feet above her. Cora had to tip her head up and shade her eyes against the sun. She opened her mouth to speak, but the horse made an odd noise and Cora startled, which seemed to cause the horse to startle as well.
"Easy," the man murmured in a low voice as his hand swept down the horse's mane. It didn't calm Cora down any, but it seemed to soothe the horse.
In a fluid movement Cora could only be mesmerized by, the man swung off the horse and onto his feet in front of her. Even with him on solid ground, she still had to tip her head back to look at him. He was very tall.
Get ahold of yourself, Cora.
"I'll take you to my mother," he said gruffly, most of his face still shadowed by the hat.
"Your mother?" Cora echoed lamely.
"Deb Tyler. My mother."
"Oh!" Oh. Oh. Deb had mentioned her sons were a little bent out of shape about their mother's remarrying. She'd laughed it off, but Cora knew Deb wanted her sons' approval. Micah might only be twelve, but Cora couldn't imagine not wanting him to like whomever she married.
Not that she thought that was in the cards for her, but it was a nice little fantasy to have.
With certain, ground-slapping strides, the man started walking toward the house. There was some kind of post next to the garage, and he paused briefly to tie his horse's reins to it, before walking again.
In the cute heels she was wearing, on the intricate stone walkway with lots of little dips and crannies, it was hard to keep up with him.
When she reached the porch where he was waiting for her, he slid the cowboy hat off revealing a thick, brown head of hair that looked to have been recently trimmed. He had dark brown eyes, a sharp nose and cheekbones, one of those square-cut jaws. Broad shoulders. Tall. So dang tall.
Someone could put him in a Western movie, and she'd believe he was an A-list star. She was downright ready to swoon.
Except she had a job to do. A really important one. Lilly had stepped into Mile High Adventures over a year ago and not swooned at the very swoon-worthy sight of Brandon Evans, so Cora could be just that calm and withit.
The man raised his eyebrows, and Cora realized that while he'd opened the door and gestured her inside, she'd been standing there staring at him.
Calm and with-it were so not her wheelhouse. But, she stepped inside and let the amazing interior take her mind off Mr. Hot Cowboy.
Wood and forest green dominated everything in this entryway. A chandelier made up of lanterns and dark metal shaped like horses hung from the high, vaulted ceiling.
"I'll get my mother."
Cora nodded, but as he started walking toward the hallway, she thought better of it. "Wait!"
He turned slowly, looking at her as if he couldn't figure out what kind of species of bug she was.
She was the wedding coordinator, and Deb Tyler wanted the perfect wedding. Which included if not enthusiastic, at least cooperative sons. Which meant Cora had to do her best to win this man over.
"I didn't get your name."
His tight-lipped expression turned into a frown. "Shane," he said simply.
"It's nice to meet you, Shane. I'm so excited to help plan your mother's special day." She smiled brightly.
His mouth went full-on scowl, and he merely grunted before turning back toward the hallway.
Well, grunting, irritable men was something Cora Preston had learned how to deal with in the past year and a half, and it looked like she was going to be putting that experience to good use.
* * *
Shane walked down the main hall toward the back room his mother used as an office. He did his best to get his simmering irritation under wraps, because so far his disapproval of all this nonsense had only served to make Mom dig her heels in harder.
When she wasn't in her office, he headed through the back hallway toward the kitchen. "Mom?"
"Deb, the voice of doom is calling," Grandma's wavery voice said from somewhere in the vicinity of the kitchen.
He stepped into the kitchen to find Mom and Grandma at the small table they never actually ate meals at. Bridal magazines were spread everywhere. Shane tried not to scowl.
"Your wedding planner is here," he said as pleasantly as he could manage.
"Oh, shoot." Mom glanced at her watch. "I lost track of time. Poor girl. Didn't scare her off, did you?"
"Why would I do a thing like that?" he asked innocently.
Grandma gave her raspy laugh, and Mom rolled her eyes as she got to her feet. "Why indeed," she murmured loftily. "Where'd you leave her?"
"In the entryway."
Mom started toward the front of the house, and Shane trailed after her, trying to come up with some way to change her mind that wasn't antagonistic.
So far everything he'd tried had failed. He'd told her all his suspicions about Ben — that there was no record of his supposed ex-wife, that the man was the laziest ranch hand they'd ever had, that he'd lied about his references, and, most of all, that four months was not enough damn time to know someone and marry him.
Then there'd been the very foolish conversation where Shane had outright forbidden his mother to get married.
At every instance Mom went on as if he hadn't spoken at all.
His mother was too smart for this, and Shane didn't understand her insistence on forgetting that. No one in the family thought Ben Donahue was anything other than a hustling no-account. Except the two people who most needed to: Mom and Grandma.
"Where's Ben? Was he working the fence line today?" Mom asked, working her way toward the front of the house.
"I don't know where he is. Ben made it very clear I wasn't in charge of him."
"Oh, you two." Mom flung a hand into the air. "Acting like dicks doesn't make yours any bigger."
He'd lived with his mother and grandmother for thirty-two years and still wasn't used to the frank way they discussed some things a mother and son or grandmother and grandson should never discuss or even be in the same house while discussing.
Mom approached where he'd left the wedding planner, and Shane felt the same wave of desperation he'd been feeling since Mom had announced her engagement to scheming, lying, thieving Ben Donahue.
"She's skittish around horses," he blurted. "The wedding planner, that is." If he could stall this whole insane charade, maybe he could prove Ben was only using his mother.
Mom didn't even stop. "Good thing I'm not paying her to work my horses." Mom patted him on the head like he was a little kid, not her thirty-two-year-old son almost a foot taller than her. "Will you unload all that dirt in my truck and take it down to the garden before you head back to the cows?" Then, without waiting for a response, she swept into the entry with grand greetings and apologies for being late.
Shane sighed. Maybe moving the dirt would give him a few minutes of thinking to figure out how to nip this in the bud.
His siblings weren't too keen on the wedding either, but Gavin's solutions were all too violent and illegal. Lindsay and Molly had both insisted that, even if they didn't approve, they should mind their own business, and Boone wasn't around to voice an opinion at all.
Shane was the oldest, though, and, after Dad had died, the reins of this family had fallen to him. Not that he'd ever say that in front of Mom or Grandma. Still, he couldn't wait around, twiddling his thumbs, hoping his mother didn't make the biggest mistake of her life. He had to act — without getting thrown in jail, as Gavin's plans would surely get them.
Shane walked out the back and around the house to the garage and keyed in the code. He hung his hat on the hook, then went over to Mom's truck. He hefted two sacks of dirt out of the trunk and over his shoulder, relaxing as his body got into manual-labor mode.
Maybe he could tell the wedding planner they didn't have any money. That every last cent was tied up in the ranch and any checks written to her would inevitably bounce. Stall this nonsense.
He walked passed MacGregor with the bags of dirt on his shoulder. The horse eyed him.
"Don't judge me," Shane muttered. Sometimes the ends justified the slightly sketchy means.
He'd given up swaying Grandma to his side, and he knew telling his siblings they needed to interfere would only ensure they thought otherwise. They never cared for his telling them what to do.
A Tyler family trait, which made it a good thing they ran their own ranch. None of them could probably stay gainfully employed somewhere else without thumbing their noses at the boss.
Well, except Boone. But since his job was trying to stay a few seconds on an angry bull, Shane didn't count that much for listening to a boss.
Shane unloaded all the bags of dirt, then arranged it around Mom's garden plot in a way that it would be easy for her to put the dirt where it needed to go. On an oath, he pulled his Swiss army knife out of his pocket.
He knew exactly where Mom would want all the dirt, and it'd take him less time to do it. So, he went about cutting bags open and dumping the extra dirt in the newly turned plot she'd start planting in soon.
Once that was done, he figured he might as well go ahead and get some fertilizer from the stables while he was at it. It would give Mom the time to plant rather than fiddle with the hefting and hauling part of the garden.
He headed back for the garage. Better ride over to Gavin and tell him he was fooling with the garden at Mom's request so Gavin could get on with things with the cattle.
He grabbed his hat, but before he could walk over to MacGregor, a female voice interrupted him.
"Oh, hi. Excuse me?"
When he turned, the wedding planner was making a beeline for him. Shane scowled, but manners had been drummed into him too hard for that to last. It wasn't her fault his mother was falling for a lying piece of trash. He forced himself to smile. Well, not scowl anyway.
"Hello, again," she greeted, peering up at him. "May I have a moment? Real quick. I promise." She smiled broadly. What had she said her name was? Cora?
"Sure," he muttered, slightly taken off guard by the way the sun glinted off her hair, showing off every possible shade from golden blond to reddish brown. He'd never seen a hair color like it.
"I do hope you'll be cooperative," she began as he chastised himself for thinking about someone's hair color. "Your mother is hoping you'll walk her down the aisle, and she thinks you'll refuse and —"
"Damn right I'll refuse," he interrupted. He was not giving his mother away to a lying son of a bitch. Not even to spare her feelings.
"But surely ..." She opened her mouth, then closed it. There was some kind of calculation going on in that head of hers.
"Nice to meet you and all, but I've got work to do." He took a step toward his horse, but she jumped in front of him, blocking his way. He didn't worry about manners now. He glared down at her.
"You love your mother, don't you?" she asked, clearly unaffected by his glare.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "A Nice Day for a Cowboy Wedding"
Copyright © 2018 Nicole Helm.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Oh My Word this is a book I can so relate too. Large family with a dad who passes when some of the kids are younger in age. One of the sibling steps up to help the Mom raise the other kids. Shane is THAT person in this situation. Most of the other siblings work along side him on the Ranch. His mom is getting re-married after years of being a widow. Good and bad...Good as it brings Cora and her son Micah into the picture for everyone to meet the clan. Bad as Ben seem to be the bad penny. He is a ranch hand, 10 years younger than their mom Deb and lazy to boot. Bet you can guess what the kids all think right... What does Ben really want from Deb? This is part of a series (I have read book 1 but not the others until this one) but can def but read as a stand alone. I enjoyed it so much that I decided i need to read books 2 & 3 LOL to catch up.
This was my first book by NICOLE HELM and I thought it was wonderful! I absolutely can't wait for the next book in this series. This is of course a stand alone romance, but the next story does involve the same family and I'm hooked! This is a nice clean feel good story that covers the serious topic of abuse in a responsible way. Humor, love, family and cowboys abound in this feel good story.
This was a hard one to rate for me, I was deciding between 3 and four stars. Shane was what pushed it up to 4 stars. Shane was a good hero, and a great man. He did everything he could to help those around him. Cora was what was bringing my opinion of the story down. I understand that she was in a horrible situation, but she was supposed to be in therapy and dealing with things, and she clearly wasn't. She was always taking things the wrong way, second guessing everyone, and taking things out on Shane that didn't have anything to do with him. I felt like she let her 12 year old make decisions for her, and that was no way to be either. I liked all the secondary characters, and even though this is not the first book in the series, I didn't feel like I missed out on anything. I did enjoy the ending, and I was glad that these characters could move past everything and get their HEA. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers copy of this book.
Cora is trying to change her life. So one of her many steps is succeeding in her new job as a wedding planner. Of course, her first job will be very hard because the bride to have not support from her children. One of them is Shane a very charming hot cowboy. Both Shane and Cora are interesting and with a lot of baggage from the past. So that is why they can't enjoy their romance fully. The story is full of family drama and family love. Cora thinks that past defines her but through the pain and tears she realizes she is more than her past self that she has grown and that the fear is the one that is not letting her be happy again. I hope that the author will continue to write about all the siblings. I volunteered to review an ARC of this book for Netgelly
The Mile High series continues as we move down the mountain and meet some of the fine people of Gracely, Colorado. Shane Tyler grew up in Gracely on his family ranch. He's the oldest of the family so when his father passed away he took over responsibility for the ranch and his family. No way will he let some smooth talker come in and con his mother out of anything! Cora Preston is new to Gracely. She was brave enough to leave her abusive ex and start over in Gracely. No way will she let some gruff cowboy derail her from planning his mother's perfect wedding. Enjoy the ride as these two butt heads over the wedding and fight the attraction between them. Love is definitely in the air!
This is the 4th book in the Mile High Romance series. It can be read as a standalone. I haven't read any of the previous 3 and fully understood the whole book. This one is about Shane Tyler and Cora Preston. Shane runs the family ranch and feels the full responsibility of making sure his family is not only happy but safe. He is determined to stop his mother from marrying a younger man, especially as he feels that man is only out for her money. Cora has been hired by his mother to plan the wedding. And for her this is her new start after leaving her ex and moving her and her son away from him. She is determined that everything will go off without a hitch, even if that means she has to learn how to stand up for herself and have the stubborn will to make it happen. I truly liked this story. It started off slow for me but once I got past that I liked it. Cora is a sweet woman who has been through a lot. But she still had the strength and gumption to get away from the horrific situation that her and her son were in so that she could make a better life for him. Shane comes across as being hard headed but always willing to do what he could for his family. And he had his own issues to deal with as well. I really liked how they never treated Micah any differently than if he had been blood related. That's something that I always love to see and it was great to read about. These two together make a great couple, especially once they truly start dealing with their issues and can move on with their lives. Another good read by this author!
I really enjoyed this story. It’s real, emotional and an honest to goodness feel good book. I love Cora and her son Micah! And Shane is wonderful! He is so sweet, sexy and kind and honestly just everything Cora needed after what she has been through. He has his own burdens but together they are what the other needs to heal and be happy. These characters are so deeply developed, real and lovable I felt like I really knew them.
I received a free, advanced copy of this book from NetGalley.com. This is my unbaised and voluntary review. With the help of her older sister Lilly, Cora Preston fled with her 12 year old son, Micah, from his abusive father in Denver, to Gracely. Lilly is now married with twins and is the PR specialist of her husband's business, Mile High Adventures. Cora was tasked to start Mile High Weddings, a wedding planning division of Mile High Adventures. Her first customer is ranch owner, Deb Tyler, who after being a widow for a long time, is marrying again. However, the man she is marrying is 10 years her junior and her children don't trust him. The oldest son and ranch foreman, Shane, will do anything he can to stop the wedding. Both Cora and Micah are suffering from the aftermath of many years of abuse, but don't want anyone else to know. When Micah gets kicked out of basketball camp, Deb offers Cora the chance to have Micah help on the ranch. Micah falls in love with the horses, and the Tyler family. Both Cora and Shane are both fighting demons of their past. Will they find their partner in the other? This is the fourth book in the series, but I read it as a stand alone. Since there was no Prologue or short synopsis of what had happened in the first book, which was Lilly and Brandon's story, I was left guessing if Cora's past had been revealed previously, or the elusions of what her ex had done, was on purpose, so it could be revealed slowly. The characters are adeptly developed and the conflicts of family dynamics and secrets are artfully explored.