After losing everything she held dear, Abby never wants to love again. But a certain cowboy may just spur her to wonder if love might be worth the risk.
Running from a past that haunts her, Abby Knightly is drawn to the cozy town of Wishing Springs, Texas. Maybe this small town could offer hope and healing and a future for Abby . . . if she’s brave enough to reach out and take it by the reins.
Bo Monahan isn’t interested in the new romantic destination his little town has become—or the women who might be looking at him like he’s their next Mr. Right. Between taking care of his Pops and his growing stirrup business, he isn’t looking for serious romantic commitments. But when the infant son he never knew about shows up at his doorstep, his world is turned upside down.
This confirmed bachelor might not think he needs a wife, but he sure needs help. Even Abby can see that, and despite her best efforts to keep her distance, she can’t help but be drawn to this new father-son duo. As Abby throws herself into helping Bo navigate fatherhood, hope sparks between them, revealing that maybe, just maybe, they can navigate their dark pasts and emerge together into a future as bright as the Texas sun itself.
About the Author
Debra Clopton is a multi-award winning novelist who was first published in 2005 and has more than 22 novels to her credit. Along with her writing, Debra helps her husband teach the youth at their local Cowboy Church. Debra is the author of the acclaimed Mule Hollow Matchmaker Series, the place readers tell her they wish was real. Her goal is to shine a light toward God while she entertains readers with her words. Visit her online at www.debraclopton.com, Facebook: debra.clopton, Twitter: @debraclopton.
Read an Excerpt
Counting on a Cowboy
A Four of Hearts Ranch Romance
By Debra Clopton
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2015 Debra Clopton
All rights reserved.
"Wake up, Abby," Abby Knightley demanded of herself through a huge yawn. Sitting straighter, she gripped the steering wheel of her car as if her life depended on it — and it did.
Abby's stomach knotted at the thought ... her firsthand knowledge of just how truly life could change in the blink of an eye. She knew getting behind the wheel was always life or death. She'd suffered great loss — she pushed the memories away, unable and unwilling to go there. She blinked back the sting of tears and berated herself for driving while tired. For putting herself in this situation.
She almost pulled over to the side of the deserted road to sleep. But thankfully her GPS reported that her destination, the small Texas town of Wishing Springs, was only about five miles ahead. She could make that ... just a little farther. And that was the only reason she was still driving ...
Her eyes blurred and she eased her foot off the gas pedal as the worry gripped her further. She should have stayed in Houston after being delayed so late. But she hadn't wanted to. She'd feared that if she didn't leave right then, there might have been another delay tomorrow. And then another one. With so many friends and family trying to talk her out of moving — like today, Abby might not have ever summoned up the determination to leave again if she hadn't finally gotten in her car and driven off.
Of course the fact that she'd sold her home and had a moving company haul her belongings off to storage was a pretty good sign she was going somewhere. But Wishing Springs, Texas?
"That hole in the wall," her friends called it in horror.
Abby cringed thinking about their response to her decision to make a new life for herself.
Her head bobbed and she yanked it up, realizing her eyes had closed. She shot them open, shook herself, and — too late — saw the hulking, huge, black cow — or was it a buffalo in the middle of the road?
"Holy Toledo!" Abby shrieked, yanking the wheel with all her strength, only to realize she was now heading straight toward a cowboy standing in her high beams.
Time slowed as she hit the brakes. He stood like a Western movie legend come to life. His brows dipped, his jaw tensed, his eyes connected with hers through the windshield as time stopped in that split second it took her to register the danger.
She cranked down hard on the wheel as flashbacks of another wreck crashed over her.
She managed to swerve, sending her car careening into the ditch, across the rough ground, then through the barbed wire fence.
On impact with the fence post, the car's air bags exploded — smacking Abby like a hard right hook to the face.
Stars filled the sudden, brief blackness.
Face throbbing, Abby fought off passing out — had she missed him?
Had she run him down? Dazed, with icy fingers of fear clutching her heart, Abby struggled with her seatbelt and almost had it off when her door flew open.
"Are you okay?" the very much alive cowboy asked, his voice gruff.
"Yes. Are you? Did I hit you?" Relief surged through her so strong she barely felt the pain of her face from the impact of the air bag. No sooner had the relief hit her, then anger, then the familiar panic sent her clawing to get out of this car.
"What were you thinking?" she demanded, pushing him back so she could escape the confines of the car. Surprise froze his expression as he backed up. She glared at him. "I could have killed you! Just what were you doing standing in the dark out here in the middle of nowhere? Have you gone crazy?"
He blinked in obvious surprise at her attitude, then a slow grin built until it caused a deep dimple to appear beside lips that suddenly had her gaze glued.
"Now calm down," he said in an easy drawl that caused her pulse to skitter unexpectedly. "I'm okay and you're okay, so no need to be upset. I was trying to herd that escaped steer off the road before someone came along and had an accident. I'm sure sorry I didn't get him in before you got here."
"It's dark. I didn't see you. I could have hit you." Her stomach lurched at the close call and her hands shook as she grasped her hips.
Concern etched his features. "But you didn't. Come on now, breathe before you go and give yourself a stroke or something. My truck's down there." He pointed into the distance.
Abby spotted headlights pointing out into the pasture. "Way down there," she accused. "I can barely see them."
"Look, the steer started out down there, and then bolted. I ran after him on foot — big mistake. I'm just glad you didn't get hurt because of it."
"Well, I could have been," she retorted, not able to let being upset go as easily as he seemed to think she should. She knew, understood, what could have happened all too clearly. Her mind filled with the sound of screeching tires, she closed her eyes and fought the memory off. Heard the screams — her screams —
"Hey," he said kindly, his hand, gentle and warm, wrapped around her arm, causing her to jump. "We're all okay. That's all that matters."
She met his eyes and blinked, remembering where she was. "I, I just wasn't expecting something like this."
"You're whiter than a sheet. You may need to sit down. You have a few cuts on your face still bleeding a little bit. I'm sure it all hurts pretty good too."
"Blood?" Abby yelped. Her heart dropped to her knees and she swayed. She might have fallen if his strong hands hadn't closed more securely around her arms, holding her up.
"Hang on, breathe," he said, easing her back into the car's seat. He wasted no time pushing her head forward between her knees. "Come on now, this will pass. How are you doing down there?"
She sucked in a couple of shallow breaths. "I'm f-i-i-i-ne," she said, drawing the word out, trying to sit up, but he resisted, holding her firmly. "Really, I am. As long as I don't see it," she called, trying to sit up again. This time he let her. She carefully made sure to keep her eyes off the mirrors. "Is it bad? Is it going to drip? I can't see it drip." Flashbacks surged and she focused on him as he crouched in front of her. She hated the panic she could hear in her voice and the panic of threatening memories clashing inside of her. Memory of her loss ... of Landon.
Unable to go there, she focused hard on the cowboy's blue eyes sparkling in the light of the interior car lights. Familiar eyes, she suddenly realized. "It's not bad. Not much more than a scratch, but let's get rid of it before it —" He halted as a drop of blood landed on his wrist and in the glow from the inside car light she saw the dark red stain spread out on his tanned skin.
She gasped. "Not good —"
Then everything went black.
* * *
Bo Monahan caught the woman as she went limp. "Whoa," he said — as if that would stop her from falling out in a dead faint. It was just a small amount of blood from a cut at the corner of her full bottom lip. Just a drop on his wrist. He got a little queasy around a lot of blood, but this wasn't as big as a dime.
She'd slumped forward into his arms — he'd automatically swung her up and now held her. Her feet dangled over one arm and her head lolled against his chest. Her dark hair tickled his jaw. Suddenly at a loss, relief surged through him when he saw lights coming down the lane leading up to the ranch.
Jarrod was on the way.
Bo had just found the escaped steer about five minutes before and called his brother for backup while he ran in pursuit. This poor gal had just happened to come around the corner a few moments too soon. The ornery bovine had bolted right in front of her car and all Bo could do was watch.
"Wake up, pretty lady," he urged. A slight September breeze was blowing, but despite it not yet being cold in Texas this time of year, her cheek had an icy chill — her face pale in the bit of light reaching them from inside the car. She had a Sarah Evans face — one of those faces that was beautiful, but give her a base-ball cap and she became the girl-next-door type. He couldn't seem to take his eyes off of her. Though he sure wished she'd open her eyes and let him know she was okay.
Seconds later Jarrod's headlights flooded over them, blinding him as hers had done. Jarrod, his older brother, stormed out of the truck, stalking through the glaring beams.
"You didn't say anything about an accident. Have you called 911?" He stared at the woman in Bo's arms.
"No time. It just happened. That blame steer was in the road and this lady had to swerve to miss it. She was shaky, but fine after the accident. This isn't from the wreck. She saw a drop of blood from that small cut on her face and she fainted."
"You sure that's all that's wrong?" Jarrod pulled out his cell phone. "I better call 911. Have them send out an ambulance just in case."
"She didn't hit anything other than those two fence posts. The air bag deployed and probably busted her lip. But call anyway."
"No," she groaned, and moved in his arms. Her lashes fluttered, and then Bo found himself looking into soft blue eyes.
"Well, hello again," he said. "Glad you're coming back to us." He smiled to reassure her, though he was far from happy that one of their steers had caused this. She could have been hurt bad if she'd hit the nearly two-thousand-pound animal at the speed she was traveling.
"I'm fine," she said, her eyes starting to focus. She studied him. "You're Bo Monahan."
He'd never had a problem with ladies knowing who he was — until after his new sister-in-law had put Wishing Springs on the map. Maggie was an advice columnist in the Houston area and there had been a TV special done on her and his brother Tru. If that wasn't bad enough, she'd written a crazy article on single men in his small town and since then, women had been showing up in Wishing Springs in packs.
Like day trips to see the "cowboys." Made him feel like the newest animal in the zoo.
And he wasn't especially fond of feeling like he was on display.
Until that had all started, Bo had enjoyed it when a woman approached him and already knew his name. These days not so much.
Jarrod hiked an eyebrow at him, telegraphing their shared reaction. The only difference was Jarrod ran the ranch cattle operation and upkeep while Bo ran the ranch's custom-made stirrup business. Because the stirrups could benefit from the publicity, Bo had been idiot enough to agree to be interviewed on the show.
So now he was recognized and looked for by all the daytrip- pers here and sometimes when he went out of town for any reason. He was a little touchy on the subject these days.
Jarrod, on the other hand, had flat out refused to be on camera — the cattle business got plenty of publicity without showing him. The stirrup business needed all the free publicity it could get and so there you go — Bo had been on the program.
"Yes, ma'am," he answered though his thoughts rambled. "That's me. How are you feeling?"
"Fine," she said, disgust in her voice. "I passed out, didn't I? I hate when I do that."
"I can sure see where it would get to be bothersome."
"Real bothersome." Her fingers began drumming against his chest as she seemed to think hard about something. He realized he wasn't finding the feel of her in his arms bother- some at all. Matter of fact, he didn't mind that she knew who he was.
"It just takes a drop. Do you know how hard it is to avoid seeing a drop of blood? It's tough." Her brows suddenly dipped and her gaze dropped to his chest and her hand lifted. She gasped. "You're holding me."
Taken off guard by her only just realizing that, he laughed and so did Jarrod. A complete look of horror flared red across her face.
"Well, you don't have to look so horrified. I'm not as bad as all that."
"That depends on who you ask," Jarrod drawled. "How about we take you to the ranch, ma'am, and get you something to drink while you get your wits about you."
"No. No, I couldn't. I have a room in town at the Sweet Dreams Motel."
She wiggled in his arms and he knew he should put her down but found the thought unappealing so instead he said, "And it will be there after you've had some sweet tea and are steady on your feet." Bo wondered if her eyes were as soft a blue as they looked in the dim light.
"No buts, ma'am," Jarrod said. "Bo."
"Might as well not argue with my big brother. He's pretty used to getting his way when he spells it out. And I happen to agree with him. I'll take you up to the house and let you get steady while I get that blood off your face. Unless you want us to take you to the hospital."
"No, really, I'm fine. It was just the blood. My face isn't throbbing any longer either. You can put me down now."
Jarrod moved to the front of her car and voiced what Bo had also figured. "I don't think your car is drivable."
With Bo close beside her, she moved to stand beside Jarrod. "Oh my word," she gasped. "My car."
"Looks like this is going to need hauling in all right." Bo bent to look at the metal fence stake sticking out of the radiator.
"Yeah, I'd agree. I'll go round up the steer before it causes any more trouble. You've got this, don't you, Bo?"
Bo didn't miss the mild humor in his brother's question. Jarrod could read him like headlines on a newspaper and had already picked up on his interest and curiosity toward Abby. "Yeah, got it."
"I'll see you later, ma'am. If you need anything let us know. And don't worry about any of this — we'll take care of all of it."
"Thank you, and please call me Abby."
He tipped his hat. "Abby, you take care."
Looking less pale, she watched Jarrod walk to his truck and take out a rope then head into the shadows for the steer.
"Will he get the cow by himself? Do you need to help him?"
"Nah, Jarrod's a pro. He'll have that troublemaker caught in a flick of his wrist. Let's get you to the house and that lip of yours doctored. Might need an ice pack for your face too."
"Thanks. That might actually feel good."
"Hang here for a minute while I jog down there and get my truck."
"Sure," she said, staring into the distance where his truck sat. "I'll be here. No hurry."
Attraction needled him as he jogged away. She was pretty. But he'd sworn off dating right now. That his last relationship had ended badly still had him hesitant about dating right now, so he was taking a break. Plus, his plate was too full with work and Pops. Not to mention the irritating matter of the man-watchers all around. The big question: Was she one of them?
By the time he got back to her, she had her purse over her shoulder and her trunk open. He grabbed her two suitcases and set them in the back of his truck.
She paused before getting into the cab as he held the door open. "Really, you can just take me to the motel in town, if you don't mind."
"I'd feel better if we knew you were completely steady before I take you to the Sweet Dreams and drop you off." He held her elbow and assisted her as she got into his truck.
He felt responsible for her safety now. Besides, what if she did accidentally glimpse herself in the mirror before she cleaned her face? She could faint and hit her head on something. She could end up in the hospital or worse. He couldn't be responsible for that.
After he started up the drive, he asked, "Have you always fainted so easily at the sight of — well, you know? It's just plain dangerous."
Her expression shadowed and she looked away from him out the dark window. Even in the dim lights of the dashboard, he hadn't missed the look of sadness that had deadened her eyes.
"No. I ... I had an accident and it's been like this ever since. My doctor says it will get better one day. Time will help."
She didn't sound all that sure about it. Bo wondered all the way to the ranch what kind of accident might cause someone to start fainting at the sight of blood. He didn't ask, though. His gut was telling him it was a deep subject and one she probably didn't share with strangers.
But he sure was curious.
Excerpted from Counting on a Cowboy by Debra Clopton. Copyright © 2015 Debra Clopton. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
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
Counting on a Cowboy by Debra Clopton A Four of Hearts Ranch Romance Series Book Two Bo Monahan along with his two brothers, have been working to save their ranch and there hasn't been time for dating, or much else. He wasn't the man he used to be, but sometimes the past catches up to you...and sometimes that past mixes with the present and future. Abby Knightly had read all of Maggie Hope's, now Monahan, columns and fell in love with the small town of Wishing Springs, Texas. Her friends and family thought they were helping her, but they were really keeping her in the past. It was time to move forward. Oh, she would never love again...but maybe she could be happy. Life never quite turns out as you plan. For Bo, it was a woman he felt responsible for after an accident and his past showing up...literally...on his doorstep. For Abby it was the attraction to a cowboy...an attraction that she didn't want. She couldn't let go of her past, or the guilt that came with it. The first book is Bo's brother's story; Betting on Hope. The third book; Kissed by a Cowboy is his eldest brother, Jarrod's, story.
This novel was a sweet read that made me laugh, but real enough to also make me cry. It is Christian romance however it isn't "preachy". I truly couldn't put it down, so if you plan on purchasing this be prepared to pull an all nighter!
_____________________ *My Thoughts* Every once in a while, I get a book that is just...tough. It's really hard to review. Either it's not a very genre, I didn't like the writing that much, or I just flat out didn't like it. I have to be honest but it's so hard to write. That is not a problem with this one! I decided to give it a try even though I am not much of a western fiction reader...I loved the synopsis and had to read it! I thought Abby was so sweet! She came to the town looking for healing, hope, and a calm atmosphere. She ends up with a surprise calamity before even getting into town, a shocked cowboy, and a tricky situation just begging for her help. She could have ignored the situation and went on with her own life to find the peace she was searching for. Instead, she threw herself into the situation to help, no matter what the consequences in her own life. I thought she was so strong and I adored her! Bo definitely has the makings of a favorite hero. Not just a "hunky" cowboy but one that hates the title, I loved his sense of humility, confusion, and the sense of doing what was right throughout the story. The banter between all the brothers was downright hilarious at times and made the story so enjoyable! I found the whole story beyond cute but still with a sense of depth to it that would appeal to all readers! Well written and funny with still a sense of seriousness that just added to the appeal. Worth all five stars! ___________________ *Audience* This was so enjoyable! It would appeal to lovers of western fiction or just great characters as well as readers of Mary Connealy, Becky Wade, and Jen Turano! ________________________ *My overall thoughts* Counting on a Cowboy by Debra Clopton is a cute romance story with so much more depth to it then an ordinary story of wit and love! Great characters worked together to weave an excellent story and I can't wait for book 3! _______________ *My Rating* I give Counting on a Cowboy by Debra Clopton... 5 stars!! http://bookreviewsforchristians.blogspot.com/2015/09/litfuse-review-counting-on-cowboy-by.html *I received this book from the litfuse, the publisher, and the author in exchange for an honest review, which I have given. All thoughts were my own and I was not compensated in any other way.
How absolutely romantic! What I liked about Counting on a Cowboy: Counting on a Cowboy is an excellent Christian Romance. I loved the primary characters plus, Ms Clopton pulled in previous characters and townspeople to give us a story that’s amazing and well-rounded. Your heart can’t help but to get involved as Abby tries to move forward in life while still cutting herself off from her heart. What I didn’t like about Counting on a Cowboy: While Ms. Clopton did a great job of keeping Counting on a Cowboy mostly a light read there are definitely some deep feelings here.
two people looking for nothing. definitely not love. bo suddenly finds himself a father with the baby left on his doorstep. he needs help....abby takes pity on him and tries to help. love blooms and baby has a home too. love debra's stories. have never read her love inspired books, but have read these and they are well worth the time.
I have read several of Debra Clopton’s Love Inspired novels published by Harlequin. This is the first one of her Thomas Nelson books I’ve read, and I enjoyed this one. The main character of this story, Abby, has suffered two devastating losses in her life in recent years. She spends much of the story careening back and forth between guilt and grief with some self-doubt and insecurity thrown in. When Abby meets local cowboy, Bo Monahan, she is flustered about her feelings for him and begins to realize that instead of revisiting the past, she needs to move forward. But how does she accomplish this major task? Bo has some challenges as a caregiver to deal with throughout the story. I felt like this character matured greatly as the story progressed. There are some very humorous moments in this book. One of my favorite characters is actually the Monahan’s family dog named Solomon. He is a real scene-stealer. The antics of the dog, along with the baby (Levi) and Pops (Bo’s grandfather) add a witty flavor to the manuscript. The town of Wishing Springs, Texas, is a close-knit town with some strong characters—Doonie and Doobie, Clara Lyn, Reba, and Pebble—who share compassion and kindness with Abby. This book is enjoyable and well-written. The main characters have realistic problems, tragedies, and issues to overcome. The author deals with alcoholism, drunk driving, Alzheimer’s, and unwed fatherhood head on. I feel this author excels at character and plot development. I recommend this book to fans of clean fiction, inspirational fiction, western fiction, and romance. I was given a paperback copy of this book for free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers review program in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own. I was not compensated in any manner for posting my review here or on any other site.
Counting on a Cowboy is an easy read and a very sweet story. Abby comes to Wishing Springs reeling from pain and tragedy; hoping to start over and make a new life for herself. I loved how Clopton revealed Abby’s story piece by piece throughout the novel. It made the story interesting and I wanted to keep reading. I enjoyed watching Abby grow throughout this book. Clopton has a way of drawing you into what her characters are feeling. She writes their raw emotions. Clopton did not gloss over issues that she brought to light in her book which was very refreshing. There were issues of side characters that exposed. Sometimes when there are side stories it distracts from the main storyline. In Counting on a Cowboy the side issues added to story by providing tension and made it more engaging. My only disappointment with this book was that it seemed a bit unrealistic. Bo seemed to not want to have anything to do with the women who were drawn to the town through his sister-in-law’s articles. Yet, he seems to fall in love with Abby right away. I think there was an opportunity for some tension to be provided and this would have added to the story. Overall, I enjoyed this book and am glad I read it. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own.
Counting on a Cowboy was a good follow-up to the first book in this series, Betting on Hope. It was full of family, fun and diverse friendships, small-town charm, humorous moments, a precious baby, and a sweet and sultry romance between a city girl who wants to grow small-town roots and a cowboy with forever love on his mind. I loved how Bo and Abby get under each other's skin almost immediately. They're attracted to each other and find that there's definitely something there. The problem is that neither one of them wants a relationship. There were also other obstacles in the way of them pursuing a relationship. It allowed for some tension in the plot, some heartache, and some hope and inspiration to seep in. I enjoyed some of the moments they share, especially when you throw in some of the other characters and sweet Levi to the mix. The ladies who welcome and befriend Abby were so much fun! It was also fun to be reacquainted with the other Monahan brothers. If you enjoy inspirational romance then I'd recommend Countin on a Cowboy. I'm looking forward to reading Jarrod's story next in Kissed by a Cowboy, to be released in February. Content: Clean Source: I would like to thanks Thomas Nelson through Litfuse for my complimentary copy, which did not affect my review in any way.
This was an enjoyable story with a good dose of fun while also dealing with some serious issues. I really felt for Abby and all she had gone through. It was heartbreaking to see how much she blamed herself for what had happened and that she didn't feel she deserved happiness again. There's also a character dealing with alcoholism, though that's a minor part of the story. I loved Bo! There's nothing better than a handsome cowboy! It was admirable to see how he took responsibility for the baby even when he wasn't sure he was his. He seemed to really grow up as the story progressed. There were some nice romantic moments and also some humorous ones. Wishing Springs is such a cozy community. I just loved the townspeople, especially Clara Lynn and Reba. They were a hoot! There's some talk of faith as Abby talks about attending church and one of the ladies talks about placing your faith in God and depending on Him. It didn't seem like there was much, if any, faith in Bo's life and I was disappointed there wasn't more in the story. I liked how it was pointed out that Abby needed to forgive herself and another and let go of the guilt. This is book two in the Four of Hearts Ranch series and while it's not necessary to read them in order, the characters in book one figure prominently in this one. I would recommend this story if you like cowboys and romance! I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.
Counting on a Cowboy is the second book in the Four of Hearts Ranch series. It can stand alone if you have not read book one, Betting on Hope, but I would really recommend reading both of these stories because they are just so good! There are so many “tug at the heartstrings” moments in Bo and Abby’s story. Abby is a woman who has experienced crushing loss. She is doing her best to climb out of it, but is weighted down with guilt. I thought that her reactions were just so realistic. From the way she sees herself to the way she deals with her landlord, Rand, it is clear that Abby is a wounded soul. I loved reading about her and watching her slowly come to life again. Bo was also a great main character. As a strong male lead, he needed something to knock him to his knees. The author found the perfect thing…a baby that Bo didn’t know existed. I believe that the author handled this aspect very tastefully and I really enjoyed watching the change that occurred in Bo. All of the characters were so fun to read about in this series of books. Both Betting on Hope and Counting on a Cowboy have great romances that develop despite the seemingly insurmountable odds that the main characters in these stories face. I am really looking forward to reading book three when it is released. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Unfortunately, this was not one of my favorite books. It felt like it was lacking....something. I can't put my finger on it. The characters and the story line were just ok, to me. The redeeming quality in the book, in my opinion, was the character developement, especially in Abby. I guess her struggle to put the past behind her and move on is one I can definitely relate to, having lost everything I've held dear once, too. The author's focus on putting the past behind you and moving forward was well written into the story. Both characters had a lot to overcome. Overall, while this wasn't one of my favorite books, someone else might enjoy it. It just wasn't for me. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the Litfuse blogging program in exchange for my honest review.*
Debra Clopton in her new book “Counting On A Cowboy” Book Two in the Four of Hearts Ranch Romance series published by Thomas Nelson brings us into the lives of Abby Knightly and Bo Monahan. From the back cover: After losing everything she held dear, Abby never wants to love again. But a certain cowboy may just spur her to wonder if love might be worth the risk. Running from a past that haunts her, Abby Knightly is drawn to the cozy town of Wishing Springs, Texas. Maybe this small town could offer hope and healing and a future for Abby . . . if she’s brave enough to reach out and take it by the reins. Bo Monahan isn’t interested in the new romantic destination his little town has become—or the women who might be looking at him like he’s their next Mr. Right. Between taking care of his Pops and his growing stirrup business, he isn’t looking for serious romantic commitments. But when the infant son he never knew about shows up at his doorstep, his world is turned upside down. This confirmed bachelor might not think he needs a wife, but he sure needs help. Even Abby can see that, and despite her best efforts to keep her distance, she can’t help but be drawn to this new father-son duo. As Abby throws herself into helping Bo navigate fatherhood, hope sparks between them, revealing that maybe, just maybe, they can navigate their dark pasts and emerge together into a future as bright as the Texas sun itself. Don’t you just enjoy the name of the town, Wishing Springs, Texas? I think that name just sets up the whole theme of this book. Abby is still mourning in her widowhood though her friends feel she should re-marry. That is why she comes to town, to escape their well-meaning wishes. It is an accident that Bo is in the middle of the road at night and that he causes Abby’s accident. Now he takes her around until the car is fixed. In the meantime Bo is an unexpected parent and he needs Abby to help him. That is when the sparks start to fly. Abby and Bo are a lot of fun. How do you deal with someone’s pain and then another’s need? Ms. Clopton does a great job of answering those questions without being preachy. Bo and Abby are wonderfully crafted characters that we draw very close to and root for them to succeed. “Counting On A Cowboy” is a wonderful, interesting story that is a lot of fun that will keep you flipping pages. I recommend this book highly and I do look forward to the next book in this series from this highly talented author. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
I was fully engaged in the story the entire time I was reading this book. Abby portrays a wide range of emotions as she daily struggles with her feelings of guilt, grief and ultimate desire to feel happy again. She is a perfect example of how our perceptions of self and situation can be distorted while we are weighed down with heavy emotional burdens. Abby experiences unconditional love for Bo's son Levi and that love works to heal her deep hurts. Allowing herself to love the baby opened her heart to be able to allow romantic love then blossom. Bo is adorable in his adoration of Abby which was unexpected since he seemed pretty gruff in the previous book in the series. His devotion to Pops, his grandfather with Alzheimer's, shows how both hope and acceptance of the hand life deals you help to still celebrate the good memories and daily joys however small. I loved the cast of family and community members who emphasize the importance of reaching out, connecting with others, and surrounding yourself with positive friends and people. The message I took from the book is that we can't do it alone- we need each other and we need God. This story is full of heart in an idyllic setting with realistically flawed characters reaching out and supporting and trying their best. (Thank you to Thomas Nelson Publishing and BookLook Bloggers for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)
Counting on a Cowboy, By: Debra Clopton Counting on a Cowboy is book 2 in A Four of Hearts Ranch Romance series. Wow, what a fabulous romance! There is such a strong chemistry in this story and a wonderful story line! I was drawn in from the very start! This book will not only have you laughing, crying and mad at times. You get so emotionally involved in this story. The characters and the issues that they are each facing will touch your heart. This story is a home run in my book! This book touched me in many ways. Trying to hid something from our past, not trusting people. Learning to let go and trust people. I felt as though I was in the story feeling everything that these characters were feeling. Looking forward to reading the next book in the series!! Be sure to get your copy of this book today! 5 stars!!
Thankfully, I have never to this date, experienced the loss of a spouse, but I know many who have, and it is not an easy place to be. Often times, well meaning people, will believe that enough time has passed in their books, for that person to be willing to move forward, but what we fail to realize is that it is different for everyone. What we need to do, is to be there for them, as often as they need us and never underplay what they are feeling or dealing with from one day to another. That is the premise behind Debra Clopton's novel, Counting on a Cowboy, the second novel in the Four of Hearts Ranch Romance Series. I quite literally read this in a couple of hours, it was simply that good. I mean who wouldn't want a handsome cowboy like Bo Monahan to be interested in helping you out. For Abby Knightly, she isn't. The only reason she sold her home and moved to Wishing Springs, Texas was to start over and based on the advice columns she read from Maggie, this was a ladies paradise for all the right reasons beginning with the eligible men that lived there. This wasn't the reason she moved here, she simply had to get away from all those well meaning friends and family that felt after two years, the loss of her husband Landon, should be old news by now. She should be willing to look for love again. For Abby, she was just ready to leave that all behind, but the problem was that no matter how far away she moved, unless she was ready to deal with things, it would follow her for the rest of her life. Bo Monahan wasn't looking for love until it hit him, well almost anyway. Trying to corral a wayward steer, put himself in the middle of the road at night and cause Abby to swerve her car and put her into a ditch. Knowing he was partially to blame, he offers to be her escort around town until her car can be fixed. He just doesn't know that the more time he spends with Abby, and the more she tries to push him away, the more deeper he gets in his feelings for her. Thankfully, he has to put his mind on other things like a baby that is dumped on his porch that claims he is the father and that if this has happened, then the mother has passed away from cancer. Life certainly just got interesting in Wishing Springs and for some it will be quite life changing in more ways than one. I received Counting On A Cowboy by Debra Clopton compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and Litfuse Publicity. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review aside from a free copy of the book. and the opinions contained here are my own personal and honest opinions. This is such a wonderful heartwarming story because it deals with loss on a different level. It shows us that no matter what we are all facing in our life we can make it through it when we rely on God's promises found in the Bible. We just need to learn to lean on Him and one day before we know it, will we arrive on the other side in our own timing and with His! This one is worth 4.5 out of 5 stars and I can't wait for the final novel in this series Kissed By A Cowboy which is slated for release in February of 2016. I will be sad to see it end for the Monahan family!
4 STARS This is the second book to the A Four of Hearts Ranch Romance. It is good, clean, romance. It is full of drama, sadness, joy. Abby Knightly has had some tough issues to get through. She decides to move to a new town because her favorite newspaper wrote about the town and moved there. to Wishing Springs Texas. Bo Monahan's life as been different since his sister-in-law wrote about the town of Wishing Springs Texas and all the good looking single cowboys there. He even was on tv being interviewed talking about his business. He makes stirrups. He is not ready to settle down. Abby almost hits a steer on her way into town. and ends up in ditch with air bags deploy and faints in front of Bo. Who she recognizes. Next day Bo finds out he has a baby and the mother is dead. So Abby ends up helping him. Deals a lot with forgiveness, alcoholics and choices we make in life. I like to read Debra Clopton's books and look forward to reading the next book in the series. I was given this ebook by Net Galley and Thomas Nelson to read for free. In return I agreed to give a honest review of Counting on a Cowboy.
Romance was the last thing on Amy's mind! I received a free copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. Counting on a Cowboy is the second book in the Four of Hearts Ranch Romance series by Debra Clopton. The ranch is just outside the town of Wishing Springs, Texas and is run by three brothers: Jarrod, Tru, and Bo Monahan. Ever since columnist Maggie Hope came to town (see book 1, Betting on Hope), the cowboys of Wishing Springs have been chick magnets. Some of the cowboys like it, but Bo Monahan isn't one of them. He's overcome his original aversion to Maggie, which is just as well since she married his brother Tru. When Abby Knightly comes careening around a curve late at night, avoids a loose steer, and barely avoids Bo by crashing off the road into a fence post, Bo hopes she isn't one of those cowboy-hustlin' women from the big city looking for romance. And she isn't. Abby has been reading Maggie's column, Gotta Have Hope, and even exchanged some personal letters with her, and, stepping out in faith, she's decided that Wishing Springs is a good place to make a fresh start and recover from the recent loss of her husband and unborn child, the crash the result of a drunk driver. It has been a hard struggle to reach the place where she can make this decision, but trusting God and His promises, Abby is leaving her friends and family behind to escape their pity and move forward. The last thing she is looking for is romance. With her car out of commission, Abby is right on the spot when Bo finds out he's a father by discovering little Levi in a playpen on the porch and a letter of explanation. Bo had dated Levi's mother briefly and they got carried away one night. Darla moved away and never told Bo that she was expecting. However, the letter tells him if he's reading it, Darla has died of cancer, and her friend has left Levi for Bo to raise. All of Levi's documents name Bo as the father. As if he didn't have enough on his plate caring for his grandfather who's suffering from Alzheimer's while Tru is on his honeymoon, and Jarrod is off to a cattle exhibition. Boy does he need help; enter Abby. Between her own remorse, Bo's problems, her growing attachment to Levi, and the discovery that her new landlord who lives next door is a closet drinker, Abby begins to have some second thoughts about her "fresh start", especially when some of her new friends start pushing her toward Bo. But she begins to see God's hand weaving the events together, and making "all things work together for good". 61zE2U72keL._UX250_ This is an intriguing story with real life situations that sometimes are quite comical. Amy's situation is sensitively and realistically handled, understandably since Ms. Clopton had a similar experience. The people in Wishing Springs are a caring community, looking out for each other and welcoming newcomers. This was a fast, easy read with a "feel good" ending, as any good romance should have.
I totally loved this book. I kept wishing that I didn't read so fast so the book could be savored longer and I wouldn't come to an end! Why did the pages keep turning on their own? I laughed, I cried and I fell in love all over again. Debra's books are amazing. Her characters and places are so real, you feel like you can actually drive to that city and find those people living there! I want to go to Wishing Springs, Texas and find the Four of Hearts Ranch! Tru, Bo, Jarrod and Pops are the most authentic cowboys you would ever want to meet! Larger than life, handsome charmers with such a sense of duty! They stand by each other through thick and thin. Well, this time Bo has a baby dropped off on his front porch and the note says it's HIS baby! What??? Cute little Levi steals his daddy's heart but poor Bo doesn't know a thing about being a daddy! Thankfully, Abby is with him when Levi is discovered on the porch and she at least knows how to change a diaper! However, Abby has lost everything she held dear in her life and she never wants to love again so she will help Bo get his "daddy feet" under him but that's as far as it will go! But, then again, maybe this cute little Levi and his daddy might be worth the risk if she will just reach out and take it....... The secondary characters make this book even better and I loved them just as much!
Counting on a Cowboy A Four Hearts Ranch Romance 2 By Debra Clopton Wishing Springs, Texas, is Abby Knightly's chance to start over, to get away from the pain, grief and guilt that has been her life for the last two years. But her entry into town is not quite how she planned it - an accident that introduces her to the Monahan family and specifically youngest brother Bo. The Monahan family brought Wishing Springs to public awareness when Maggie Hope and Tru Monahan had a bet on whether or not Maggie could be taught to ride (Betting on Hope). Maggie's newspaper column that spotlighted this town has convinced Abby that this where she needs to be if she is going to heal. But Abby never counted on getting caught up in the latest Monahan family drama when a baby is left outside the family home. Bo has just become a father who has no idea what to do with a motherless baby. What's a cowboy to do? Why call on the first available woman who can give him a helping hand and fortunately for him Abby Knightly is available and on the spot thanks to her mishap with a wayward steer and a fence. Bo is desperate and young Levi needs her help, though Abby is reluctant to open herself to the hurt that she knows will come from opening her heart to this little boy and his shocked father. But sometimes healing means you first need to reopen old wounds, could this be what Abby needs? Or will this just create deeper wounds in her heart? Counting on a Cowboy takes us back to Wishing Springs and all its small town charm that we were introduced to in Betting on Hope. This book isn't as humorous as the previous one as more serious issues are dealt with, but it is as well written and some the secondary characters are expanded upon and depth is added to their stories. This is great for an afternoon or a long weekend that you just want to escape into the pages of a book and what better way than with some friends that you met previously. I was provided with a copy of this book through the BookLook blogger program in exchange for my honest review.
After losing everything she held dear, Abby never wants to love again. But a certain cowboy may just spur her to wonder if love might be worth the risk. Running from a past that haunts her, Abby Knightly is drawn to the cozy town of Wishing Springs, Texas. Maybe this small town could offer hope and healing and a future for Abby . . . if she’s brave enough to reach out and take it by the reins. Bo Monahan isn’t interested in the new romantic destination his little town has become—or the women who might be looking at him like he’s their next Mr. Right. Between taking care of his Pops and his growing stirrup business, he isn’t looking for serious romantic commitments. But when the infant son he never knew about shows up at his doorstep, his world is turned upside down. This confirmed bachelor might not think he needs a wife, but he sure needs help. Even Abby can see that, and despite her best efforts to keep her distance, she can’t help but be drawn to this new father-son duo. As Abby throws herself into helping Bo navigate fatherhood, hope sparks between them, revealing that maybe, just maybe, they can navigate their dark pasts and emerge together into a future as bright as the Texas sun itself. Cons: I had some trouble understand Abby. She sells her house and moves to Wishing Springs, TX all because of a blog in a newspaper. I know she has lost her husband in a terrible accident and blames herself and is having trouble forgiving herself. But I would have thought she would have at least visited before moving there. Then she is very indecisive about helping Bo with the baby. One minute she is going to help then the next she’s not. Now onto Bo. He has a child he didn’t know anything about. I understand that happens. But all of a sudden he decides to stop sleeping around. But he gets carried away one more time. No explanation about why he decided to stop sleeping around. For a Christian novel this was disappointing to me as I would have thought this would have been a perfect place for the author to show why he quit sleeping around. Also, faith was hardly mentioned at all in the book. Pros: I did finally start to like Abby. But I still had some issues with her. The concept of the story was good and I liked how the Monahan clan and town of Wishing Springs rallied around Bo to help him take care of the baby. I think Bo was the more believable character in this novel. Bo was willing to take on the responsibilities of his actions and raise his son. It was comical in spots in how he went about trying to take care of a baby. Overall it wasn’t a bad book just could have been better. It was good enough that I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. The first book in the series “Betting on Hope” was better. I was given this book by the publisher for an honest review. I was not compensated in any way.