Cassidy was looking for a home and a place to belong . . . not for a cowboy to steal her heart.
Having lived through her parents’ endless string of “matrimonial bliss gone wrong,” Cassidy Starr knows when the odds are not in her favor. Divorced and humiliated, her faith on rocky ground, Cassidy is through with love. She’s been bucked o_ that horse far too many times. Instead, she returns to Wishing Springs, Texas, and the rundown farm she’s inherited from her great aunt Roxie. She’ll reopen the strawberry farm and a bed & breakfast and follow in her aunt’s footsteps, remaining forever-independent, happy . . . and single.
Rancher Jarrod Monahan’s hands are full running the ranch, looking after his ailing grandfather, and chasing down a group of rustlers on the loose. He’s pushed his longing for a family to the bottom of his list of priorities. Besides, he was in love once but ran scared and lost his shot at happiness. But suddenly, the biggest regret of his life has moved in next door with a wounded heart, determined to become a spinster . . . and that’s a challenge that Jarrod can’t pass up.
Jarrod sets his mind to breaking down the walls around Cassidy’s stubborn heart. How can he show her that a cowboy’s kiss lasts forever? For the good folks of Wishing Springs, falling in love has never been so much fun to witness.
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
Kissed by a Cowboy
A Four of Hearts Ranch Romance
By Debra Clopton
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2016 Debra Clopton
All rights reserved.
Strawberry Hill. Cassidy Starr's headlights shined on the faded words of the wooden sign, which looked nearly ready to collapse. She knew exactly how it felt.
Taking a deep breath, she pushed her kinky mass of red hair behind her ears, then took hold of the steering wheel of her truck and drove up the dark, tree-lined lane. Up the hill, the two-story, yellow Victorian appeared in her headlight beams, and a wave of nostalgia and relief washed over Cassidy. She was home.
Humiliated, but home.
Tears dampened her eyelashes and she blinked them away. "I will not get emotional. I will not get emotional," she chanted to the silence around her.
She was done with tears.
So over them.
These days the only thing tears did was make her mad when they dared to threaten.
Coming back here must have been pulling these feelings from her, because it had been months since the divorce, since she'd walked away. Coming back to Aunt Roxie's was just ... well, it was emotional.
She hadn't planned on getting here this late, but on the way her truck's battery died in some tiny town in the middle of nowhere. She'd been lucky when an older man had finally come along and given her battery a jump-start.
Pulling to the rear of the house, she parked, then nearly rocketed out of her skin when the truck backfired. The engine sputtered and died.
"Terrific. Par for the course."
She was suddenly shrouded in darkness as her truck lights died. She groaned — it was blacker than Texas oil out here. Other than the ones coming from the ranch house half a mile away, there wasn't a light or even a moonbeam anywhere to be seen.
Cassidy swallowed hard and tried to crank her engine. It made a sad attempt, but then the battery completely flew the coop as just a clicking noise sounded when she turned the key.
"Well, how do ya like them beans?" she muttered while fumbling around for her cell phone. When she finally found it and turned it on, she groaned again — the battery life meter registered in the red. Two percent life was all she had — this wasn't looking good.
Clicking on the phone's flashlight app, she reached for the truck door. She had to act fast before the little light she had ran out. The heated air of the early June night hit her as she climbed out of the truck, then slammed the door extra hard, trying to make noise, just in case any unwanted visitors were roaming around. Hopefully the noise would scare them off. She remembered that once when she'd been here as a girl, she'd met a skunk face-to-face. Not a good situation at all.
"Yah! Get on outta here!" she yelled loudly into the night. She remembered Pops saying that when he wanted to move cattle along. Pops owned the ranch next door, and she'd been able to tag along with him and his grandsons a few times on roundups. She didn't want to round up anything now, but yelling should run off things too.
At this moment, all she wanted was to get inside Aunt Roxie's house — her house now. It had been six years since her aunt passed away and left the house to her, as if she'd known Cassidy would need it someday. And she'd been right. The thought settled depressingly on her shoulders and she shoved it away.
A bed and sleep were all Cassidy needed for now. It had been an exhausting day of travel from Plano, which had started with catching all the morning commuters in Dallas and then gone downhill from there. If it could go wrong, it had, and all this was more of the same.
Heart thundering, Cassidy moved toward the back porch. Memories greeted her as she approached the house, but now was not the time to be waylaid by them. So she shoved them away, too, and trudged forward.
She stomped up the steps and stooped down to feel beneath the flowerpot that had sat next to that back door since she was a kid. No key.
She should have made certain the Burke brothers, who kept watch on the place, still kept it in the same spot. She just hadn't thought to ask about that when she'd made arrangements to have the electricity turned on.
The eerie sound of a Hoot Owl sounded from the direction of the barn's hayloft, and Cassidy shivered despite the warmth of the summer night. She shined the phone's light that direction just in time to see the bird fly off into the darkness.
She swallowed hard, then turned back to the door and gave the handle a twist, hoping that maybe ... Nope, nothing. She eyed the doggie door with skeptical eyes. No, no way. Striding over to a window on the porch, she tried opening it. No budge.
She was worried about her phone battery too.
"Why couldn't there have been a full moon tonight?" she grumbled, then promptly tripped over the step as she hurried off the porch. Managing not to fall, she found the rock that sat in the flower bed beside the porch and lifted it, hoping maybe ... A couple of bugs scurried away, but there was still no key.
Clomping around the house, she tried each window and the front door.
"Come on!" Weariness was starting to get to her.
She should have felt some excitement at being here, but instead she felt weighed down by the trepidation swirling in the pit of her stomach. She was here, but it was not looking good.
Stop that. She might not be inside her new home yet, but she would find a way. She would —"
Umph," she grunted as she fell facedown on the ground, her phone flying out of her hand. She knew instantly that she'd hit the water spigot that had always protruded from the earth in the middle of the yard. She'd forgotten it was there despite having tripped over it several times growing up. Either it had rained at some point or the water hose had been leaking, because dampness instantly began seeping through her clothes. Then her phone light died, the battery evidently giving out.
"Great. Just great."
She jerked up to her hands and knees and felt around on the ground. Finally she gave up, knowing she'd find it in the morning. Her knees were soaked now, and her determination was wavering.
Sleeping in the hot truck might be her only option. Her head was starting to thump, a lingering ailment from the accident that had pushed her to move to Strawberry Hill. Being hit by a car and spending two days in a coma made a person take a serious look at her life. Rubbing her temple, Cassidy scrambled up and eased around to the back of the house, still wary of what critters she might run into.
She seriously needed to be in the house and get some light. Her stomach was churning, her head was thumping harder, and now her knee throbbed where she'd hit that metal water spigot. She grimaced with each uncertain step.
Aunt Roxie would have plowed through this inky black and dared something to jump out at her. Her aunt had lived her entire adult life single, independent, and self-sufficient. She'd been able to do anything. Cassidy remembered the roof once sprang a leak during a rainstorm and there went Roxie, stomping out to the barn, grabbing her ladder. The next thing Cassidy knew, the woman was up on that roof with a blue tarp and tacks, covering it up until the rain stopped.
"It's just going from point A to point B," she'd tell Cassidy. "You can do anything you want in life if you think about it like that — and read lots of books." To prove that belief she had shelves and shelves of books on every subject imaginable.
The bottom line was her aunt Roxie wasn't afraid of anything. She'd lived fully and on her terms until she'd dropped dead in her garden. She was probably up there in heaven right now with her big, floppy, brimmed red gardening hat and her oversized chambray shirt and her gardening gloves, telling the Lord where she wanted the strawberries, tomatoes, and marigolds to go.
And he was probably saying, "Have at it, Roxie. Things have never looked so good before."
Cassidy smiled in the darkness, consoling herself with the knowledge that her aunt had died doing what she loved. Working in her garden, living her simple, uncomplicated, single life.
And that was exactly what Cassidy had come home to do.
She made it to the back porch by feel and memory, then knelt down and felt for the doggie door. When she'd been younger she'd fit through this opening. Loopy, Aunt Roxie's cocker spaniel, hadn't been big, but she hadn't been tiny either. If Loopy could fit, maybe Cassidy could. She pushed on the heavy flap and felt it give. She weighed the idea of sleeping in her truck, no light, and no shower against sleeping in a bed, light, hot water, and all the comforts of Aunt Roxie's things around her.
It was a no-brainer. She needed sleep tonight. She had a lot to do. Starting tomorrow she was making plans for her organic strawberry farm and beginning the process of making her new home into a bed-and-breakfast.
You won't make it on your own. You need me.
Jack the Jerk's chiding words echoed through her mind, words he'd smugly tossed at her the day they'd signed the papers that had cut their legal ties.
But like Roxie, she could make it on her own.
She would make it on her own.
Because from here on out that was the way it would be.
A fist of fear knotted in her chest, but she ignored it as best she could and stuck her head through the doggie door.
She was going in.
* * *
Jarrod Monahan clicked off the computer, scrubbed his eyes, and pushed his chair back from the desk as the clock on the mantel struck midnight and chimed. He'd been going over the cattle records in his office for hours now and he was tired. It had been a long day.
The clock on the mantel seemed to tick louder than usual in the silence. The house, as always, was quiet. When a man lived by himself, watched a little TV, and basically did nothing but work in his office or sleep when he was home, quiet was all it would be. He told himself he should get another dog. His Blue Heeler had died two years ago, but Jarrod just hadn't taken the time to replace it.
Needing something more than a computer to stare at and the sound of a ticking clock, he went outside to sit on the back porch. As soon as he stepped out the door, he breathed in the scent of the rose bushes beside the porch, a leftover reminder of his mom when they'd all lived here as a family. The heat met him too. The first week of June had hit with a vengeance and he and other ranchers in the area needed rain already. Walking to the edge of the porch, he let the haunting sounds of the coyotes and the crickets settle around him, much preferring them to the silence inside his home that seemed to permeate his soul tonight.
He might think about that dog more seriously.
Tonight he was restless. In more ways than one. Lonesome feelings had been grabbing hold of him lately and dragging behind him like dead weight. The feelings set him off center and they were distracting. But he wanted to focus on the only issue that mattered right now — the fact that the ranch had cattle missing.
The numbers didn't lie.
Jarrod passed up the chairs on the porch and sat on the steps instead as he gazed into the darkness. He heard the sound of an owl in the distance as his thoughts churned. He wasn't going to jump the gun, but he was pretty certain these cattle were being stolen, which meant only one thing — he had rustlers.
He turned the numbers over in his mind again. It was possible the theft could be the work of one person. Then again, he hadn't checked all the sections of the ranch, which was expansive with a lot of cattle. He didn't know the exact number of missing cattle he was dealing with, but he would know soon. At the moment it was just a rough estimate.
He did know one thing, though. Whoever was taking their cattle was in for trouble when he caught them. And he would catch them. He and his brothers, Tru and Bo, had been working too hard for too long to let this go. He'd catch them and then he'd —
His gaze suddenly locked on a small pin of light across the pasture.
He stood up and watched the light creep along for a moment. The only thing out here on the far side of the ranch was his house, with no neighbors for miles — except for the Starr place. But that had been empty for over six years. Roxie Starr had passed away suddenly and left her property to her great-niece. Cassidy had been here only long enough to pay her respects to her great-aunt at the funeral, sign papers, and make a few arrangements for caretakers. Then she'd gone back to life in the city. And her husband.
Jarrod strode into the house and grabbed his shotgun from the gun safe. He either had rustlers sneaking onto his property through his neighbor's place or there were vandals next door.
Either way, with the mood he was in, if they were lookin' for trouble, they'd come to the right place.CHAPTER 2
Cassidy had almost made it through the doggie door when the belt loop of her jeans caught on something on the outside of the door. "No," she grunted. She tried to back out so she could unhook herself, but she couldn't. She yanked her body hard. Nothing happened. "This is ridiculous." She was stuck, and no amount of yanking or jerking was doing her a bit of good.
It was icing on the awful day.
In the darkness the musty scent of dust and disuse assaulted her senses. She sneezed, then dropped her forehead to her arm. Could it get any worse than this? She sneezed again as coyotes howled in the distance. What if they showed up and there she was hanging halfway out the doggie door for them to nibble on her bones? A shiver ran through her at the thought.
She jerked harder but it was useless.
"This is just so not right," she muttered as a deeper weariness and feelings of ineptitude filled her. What was she going to do?
"Okay. Back out real slow and easy," a deep, gravelly voice warned.
Cassidy froze and screamed silently, Who? And where had the man come from? She hadn't heard a vehicle drive up.
"Come on, do as I say."
Her weary eyes narrowed and fear shot straight to mad. "I don't know who you are," she growled, saying the first thing that popped into her exhausted brain, "but I warn you, I'm armed, so you better back off." What? Are you crazy, Cassidy?
"Well, that makes two of us," the man drawled. "Now, come on out here."
Her heart leapt in her chest — he was armed. What if he was here to rob the place?
"My patience is wearing thin and my trigger finger is itchin', so hurry it up."
"This is ridiculous. Look here, bucko," she warned, not liking yet another man trying to push her around. "I guess we will have to have our shoot-out at the O.K. Corral in a little while, because the truth is I'm stuck here. So there isn't much that can be done until I get loose. Either help me or get off my property."
Laughter from the other side of the door was her only answer. A husky, wonderful laugh that she would know anywhere. "Jarrod Monahan, is that you out there?"
"Cassidy Starr, I have seen you in some predicaments, but this one wins hands down. What in the name of thunder are you doing?"
"What does it look like I'm doing, knitting a sweater?"
"Well, you could be, but since your hands aren't exactly the part of your anatomy I have a visual on, I don't know what you're doing over there on that side of the door."
Drop her in a hole and push dirt over her! She was pretty certain she was glowing with mortification in the pitch-dark house as she growled, "Get me loose, please. And stop gawking."
"You've got me on that one. I cannot tell a lie," he drawled and chuckled at the same time.
Memories from the past rushed by her in living color. "You're incorrigible." She yanked her hips hard.
"Hey, I'm not the one stuck halfway through a doggie door."
"Would you please help me get unhooked from this thing so I can move?" She wondered what he looked like after all these years. She'd glimpsed him a couple of times at Aunt Roxie's funeral, but he'd stayed well away from her at the back of the packed church. And outside he'd had his cowboy hat on, which cast his face in shadow.
She suddenly felt his hand on her hip and she tensed.
"I'm sorry to have to do this. Hold still."
He tugged on her waistband, then she heard an odd sound and felt the tightening of the hooked area. She realized she was feeling the blade of a pocket knife sliding through material.
"You're cutting my jeans!"
And then she was free. Cassidy wasted no time after that. She pulled herself through the door and into the dark house. She stood up and felt along the wall beside the back door for the light switch. Thankfully she'd made sure to have the utilities turned on. She'd even asked for them to be turned on a few days before she told them she would be here, just in case. Sure enough, she'd been ready to come back home earlier than she thought she'd be, and today she'd made her escape.
Excerpted from Kissed by a Cowboy by Debra Clopton. Copyright © 2016 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
Kissed by a Cowboy**** by Debra Clopton After her divorce, Cassidy Starr returns to Wishing Springs, Texas to the home she inherited from her Aunt Roxie—the only place she ever felt loved, to put her life back together. With determination and hard work, she tackles the job head-on and hopes to have the strawberries planted for a strawberry farm and the house fixed into a B&B within a few months. Can she really make this work? More than that, can she handle living next door to someone who held her heart so long ago? Jarrod Monahan is a hard working rancher, caring for the Four of Hearts ranch and his grandfather—along with his brothers. He uncovers some unsettling facts about the cattle and forms a plan on how to solve it with the help of some officials. When he checks on Roxie's home, he is shocked when he finds Cassidy there, stuck in an odd place—not going to say how, don't want to spoil it. Jarrod wants to help Cassidy with her plans for the homestead but she will not hear of it—she insists she can do it herself. How can he just walk away and not help? Will she open her heart and let him in? Cassidy and Jarrod both carry hurts from their past that have impacted their lives. I wanted them both to let go of the past and start to heal. There are many characters in this story that are endearing. Cassidy and Jarrod are my two most favorite. I love Cassidy's determination and courage despite everything she has gone through, and her kindness to animals. I was hoping she would learn to trust others again and God. I love Jarrod's integrity, his compassionate heart for others—especially Cassidy, hard working, a godly man. Oh, those ladies at the Cut Up and Roll Beauty Salon are a hoot! They certainly liven up things and had me chuckling at their antics. And the Veterinarian's unusual pet had me chuckling too. There is a little suspense and danger when Cassidy and Jarrod go on a steak-out. Overcoming fears and past hurts, learning to trust—yourself, others and God again, starting over, forgiveness, danger and suspense, spiritual elements woven within the story-line, a fun and humorous, heartwarming story. ~I received a copy of this book from The Fiction Guild, this is my honest review~ 1 like ·
First thoughts: This was my first introduction to Debra Clopton's writing and now I have another author to add to my ever-growing to-be-read list. I enjoy a well written story about a couple's reconciliation and I love when the hero is in love with the unaware heroine. That's always one of my favorite basic plotlines. In this book, it was well written and believable. Plot: Cassidy Starr has seen the not so great side of marriage and has decided to avoid romance. Having inherited her aunt's farm, she plans to start her own business running a Bed and Breakfast and organic strawberry farm. However, next door neighbor and rancher Jarrod Monahan has other plans. Years ago, he and Cassidy had a relationship, but something made her run away. He's determined to show her that not all relationships have to end badly. Characters: Jarrod was definitely my type of hero. He's the honorable type that's loyal to family and is someone you can count on. Cassidy has been through rough times and is rather jaded when it comes to relationships. I loved watching Jarrod gradually break down the barriers. Recommendation: I'd highly recommend this book for fans of cowboys and rancher love stories. While it's the third book in the series, I haven't read the others and didn’t' feel like I'd missed any background. Rating: 4/5 stars I received a free copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Cassidy Starr came home to Wishing Springs, Texas after a rocky divorce. She is through with love. She is through with trusting someone with her heart. She only wants to focus on fixing up her great-aunt’s rundown farm and turning it into a bed and breakfast. Jarrod Monahan, Cassidy’s childhood crush and now next door neighbor, is busy running his ranch and caring for his ailing grandfather. Now, though, Cassidy has moved back and is turning his life upside down. Can he break down her walls? I tried so hard with this story. I usually give books to about fifty pages to capture my attention and with this one I kept holding on. I wanted to like this story but it was not working for me. I was halfway through when I decided to stop. I couldn’t go any farther. It was not picking up for me, the events were becoming a rut, the same things over and over. No action. And, from the title, yes I was expecting a kiss to happen at some point, or at least for sparks to be igniting between Cassidy and Jarrod by the middle of the book and I felt no chemistry between them. I have shelved this book as a “Did Not Finish”. *I received this book free from Fiction Guild and Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review. The thoughts I have expressed are entirely my own.*
When Cassidy Starr comes back to town all of Jarrod Monohan's old feelings for her come rushing back. Cassidy is determined to put her past behind her and start over. Will Jarrod be able to change her mind about love? Or will she continue to run scared? Find out in this awesome romance by Denise Hunter. I will admit it took me a while to get into this book, but once I did it was worth it. It ended up being a great read! The characters were well developed and had their own flaws. I love the cowboy theme of the book. I recommend this to anyone who likes romance novels, but it may take you a few chapters to get fully engrossed. **I received this book free from the publisher through the Fiction Guild blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review; all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Cassidy returns to Wishing Springs after her marriage falls apart and she is divorced. She works to make a success of her Aunt's farm with help from Jarrod. Will Jarrod also help her heart heal? Will they be able to catch the rustlers on Jarrod's ranch?
Quick read rounds out this series.... Kissed by a Cowboy A Four of Hearts Ranch Romance #3 By Debra Clopton Years ago Jarrod Monahan made the biggest mistake of his life and he drove Cassidy Starr into the arms of another man. He's had years to regret his decision, but he's been given a second chance. Unfortunately for Jarrod, Cassidy isn't willing to give him another chance to break her heart. She's determined to make a new life for herself on the farm she's inherited from her Aunt Roxie. And she's determined that romance has no place in her new life. But Jarrod is nothing if not persistent as is evidenced by the current state of the Four of Hearts Ranch. He put romance and a family of his own into the background as he focused on saving the ranch his father almost gambled away. But Cassidy as a next door neighbor just might change Jarrod's priority list. But Jarrod has another concern battling for priority in his life - cattle rustlers have moved in and they are costing the Four of Hearts thousands of dollars. Can Jarrod determine who is threatening everything he's fought for and still get the girl of his dreams? He is about to find out. This is the third and final book in the Four of Hearts Ranch series that brings the Monahan brothers story to a conclusion that fans of the previous books should enjoy. I was provided a copy of this book by the Fiction Guild in exchange for my honest review.
“Kissed By a Cowboy” is the third and final book in the “Four of Heart Ranch Romance” series by Debra Clopton. Each book tells the story of one of the Monahan brothers and how they find true love. The last book shares the story of the oldest brother Jarrod and the one-that-got-away, Cassidy Starr. I have read several of Debra’s novellas but this was her first full length novel that I have read. I did not read the first two books in the series and felt this story was complete by itself. There did seem to be some back stories of some minor characters and the Monahan family from the previous books, but I think Debra did a great job of filling the reader in on anything they missed. I would definitely like to go back and read the first two books and find out more about Jarrod’s 2 brothers, Bo and Tru. I liked Jarrod and Cassidy. They were both relatable and likable characters. I felt compassion and anger for Cassidy and her heartbreaks. It was understandable that she would be hesitant to ever want to enter into another relationship with a man after her failed marriage and the poor example set by her parents. Jarrod was an awesome guy! Who could pass up a handsome cowboy? I enjoyed the story and being a part of Jarrod and Cassidy’s journey to finding true love. I look forward to reading more of Debra Clopton’s books. I also enjoyed the minor characters that were a part of the fun town of Wishing Springs. The women at the hair salon were a fun addition. And who couldn’t smile over the antics of the veterinarian’s lively pet pig? I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
As part of my association with the Fiction Guild blogging group, I am often provided with books to read and review. While I'm always open to trying something new, when I see something I know my mom will love, I check with her first. When I read the back cover of this book to my mom over the phone, she could barely wait for me to pop it in the mail to her. I told her she could take a couple of weeks to send me her review. I can always tell when it's a good book because instead of getting the review in a couple of weeks, I got it in two days. That means Gloria (my mom) probably stayed up all night reading this one! So without anything further from me, here's Gloria's review: "This is my first book to read that was written by Debra Clopton and this is the third book in her series called 'A Four of Hearts Ranch Romance Book 3'. I will say that while this book can be read as a standalone, I really wish I would have read books 1 and 2 before reading this one. Truth be told, if I was rating this book using a 1-5 star rating system I'd probably give it a 4, but if had I read books 1 and 2 before reading this one, I'm betting this rating would go up to 5 stars for this book! Early into this book you are taken to Wishing Springs, Texas where everyone seems to know each other. All the characters seem to come alive, and feel very warm and friendly. They are the kind of people you feel like you’ve known them all of your life. I felt that I lived there and knew all the characters personally. Divorced Cassidy Star returns to accept her inheritance, the farm and house where she spent her best childhood memories from her great Aunt Roxie.. Her plans are to run the farm, take care of the peach orchard, plant some strawberries, and open a bed and breakfast (B & B). She does not want to get involved with any men because of all of the hurt that she experienced in her first marriage. Cassidy Starr and Jarrod had a previous history when they were teenagers. He gave her a kiss, got spooked and ran off. Her farm sits next door to the ranch where Jarrod is raising cattle fighting the cattle rustlers and taking care of his grandfather who has Alzheimer’s. Will Cassidy and Jarrod be able to renew their feelings for each other or do they both have too much baggage? This story was easy reading and I really enjoyed my visit to Wishing Springs, Texas. I look forward to future novels by Debra Clopton and recommend this series for readers that enjoy contemporary westerns. I received a paperback copy of this book without cost from the publisher through The Fiction Guild, a Thomas Nelson/Zondervan book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
This was my first visit to Wishing Springs and I throughly enjoyed it. The people were warm and easy to get to know. I especially liked learning about Cassidy and Jarrod and their previous history. Cassidy's Aunt Roxie had passed away and left her farm and house to her. After a drawn out marriage and divorce, Cassidy decided to get away and move back to where she had spent so many of her growing up years. Even though Jarrod lived right next door and they knew each other previously, she vowed to never get interested in another man and live a life of solitude just like her Aunt did. Her plans were to have a Bed and Breakfast, grow strawberries and peaches and enjoy being by herself. Sometimes though God has other plans and when we mess up, as in the case of Cassidy and Jarrod, He has to step in and clean up our messes and get us back on track for His plans, the best plans for us. This story held lots of friendship, romance, Cowboys and even some action with cow rustlers. It was a really fun way for me to spend some time with new friends and visit a new place. This book was provided to me by the Fiction Guild for my honest review, which I have given.
Who says you can't go home? Cassidy Starr did just that when she decided to end her sham of a marriage. Well, ok, it wasn't home per se but it was the only place that ever felt like home; Aunt Roxie's place. Kissed by a Cowboy is the third book in Debra Clopton's Four Hearts Ranch Series but it can stand alone. I haven't read the others, yet, but was able to follow along just fine. Cassidy Starr has had a rough life. From being tossed about by her parents, to a revolving door of step parents, who stayed only long enough for her to get attached then left, to marring a man who thought fidelity was a type of pasta. She decided to divorce her husband and move to Aunt Roxie's place, which was left to her in the will. She is going to grow organic strawberries and turn her house into a B&B and never look back. If Aunt Roxie could rock the single life and be perfectly happy then she could too. Besides, focusing on her to do list will keep her mind occupied and keep her from focusing on her hunky cowboy neighbor. Jarrod Monahan lives his life with few regrets but he does have one. Kissing the daylights out of Cassidy Starr when they were teenagers and running off to Montana. Boy, that was dumb. By the time he managed to come to his senses and make it back home to Texas, she had up and married somebody else. It must be for the best, but man it hurt. Of course, he would never admit that to anybody, not even his brothers. Now a days, he and his brothers spent their time looking out for their grandpa, Pops, and making the ranch successful again after all the damage their dad had done. He doesn't have time for rustlers much less the beautiful spunky neighbor next door. Kissed by a Cowboy is a funny romantic comedy that everyone should read. It is full of twists and turns and colorful characters. I would love to visit Wishing Springs, Texas and meet everyone, They already feel like family. I'd love to go to the Cut Up and Roll Hair Salon and not only get my hair done, but catch up on the gossip with Reba and Clara Lyn. Of course, I'd go over and see Doc and see if he had any animals to adopt. Wishing Springs is a place where once you're here you are family and everybody looks out for one another. This is the first Debra Clopton book I have read but I will definitely be reading others.
The setting of this story is charming and so is every last one of the characters. The premise is simple, but sweet. Romance blossoms softly and old friendships are revived. This contemporary tale is a lighthearted read with a hint of the old wild west. I enjoyed getting to know Cassidy and Jarrod, but I’m afraid I didn’t connect to them as I would have hoped. Their relationship had some amusing moments, but I struggled believing the two of them and their up-and-down feelings for each other. I appreciated their goals and ambitions, especially Cassidy’s dream for a strawberry farm and B&B, but things just became a little too repetitious for me. Yes, there are some predictable moments. Even so, I know many readers will still enjoy this easy-to-read tale of two old friends finally embracing true love. This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to Thomas Nelson & Zondervan’s Fiction Guild for my copy.
Kissed by a Cowboy by Debra Clopton is the third book in the "Four of Hearts Ranch Romance" series. It works as a stand alone, although it mentions the two brothers from previous books. I've read the second book in this series also, but thought both worked well as stand-alone. Jarrod Monahan is the oldest Monahan brother, and he's tired of watching all his brothers get married around him. He's ready, but hasn't found room in his heart for another woman since Cassidy Starr left town. Cassidy Starr has returned to town though, because her aunt has passed away and Cassidy aims to take over the strawberry farm and house left behind. She doesn't realize that Jarrod is going to be her next door neighbor, however, nor that he's been charged with watching over Cassidy's aunt's house while it sits empty. I have quickly grown to love this series and its characters, and plan on going back to read the first one. The characters are charming, and their dialogue and situations were adorable, yet there was still conflict as they strived to work out their past and differences. I enjoyed this story and would recommend it. Thank you so much to Thomas Nelson publishers for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own and were not required to be positive.
Kissed by a Cowboy is book three in a series and I had not read the previous two, however I was able to sort out the characters after a few chapters. I could relate with Cassidy and how she was trying to protect her heart after a divorce. I admired Jarrod's patience and how he never gave up on her, even though he was dealing with his own hurts. I loved the quirkiness of the vet with his pot belly pig and the ladies in the beauty shop. Their humor brought a lightheartedness to the book that was actually dealing with deeper issues such as divorce, betrayal, etc while holding on to your faith. Although underlying the theme to me was in order to move on we need to grant forgiveness. I was given a copy of this book for an honest review by Thomas Nelson & Zondervan Fiction Guild.
Just One Kiss Cassidy Starr wants to press the do-over button for her life. After her recent divorce, she finds herself cleaned out financially and emotionally by her two-timing, ex-husband. She decides to start over with the only thing she has left, an inheritance from her beloved Aunt Roxie. It consists of Roxie's old Victorian home, and some acreage near the small town of Wishing Springs, Texas. Cassidy is determined to do three things: First, she is going to fix up Roxie's house to make it into a bed and breakfast. Second, she wants to plant organic strawberries to supplement her B & B income. Last, but not least, she is never going to get married again, or have any kind of love relationship. Right away, she has trouble with that third item. Unfortunately, her new home is located next door to Jarrod Monahan, her teenage crush. If anything, he is more handsome than the last time she saw him, and still single. However, the last time they were together was quite the event. It included her first kiss, quickly followed by a broken heart--both from Jarrod. Join Cassidy as she attempts to start a new life, and make a living in Wishing Springs. Root for her as she faces danger and mystery when she tries to find out who is involved in some modern day cattle rustling. Laugh when Cassidy finds herself in some unusual circumstances including being stuck in a doggy door, and a run-in with a pig! Experience a bit of small town life, especially when Cassidy attempts to thwart the plans local match makers have for her. The side story of the romance between Rand and Pebble is brought to a conclusion in this volume. I would have liked for those two interesting characters to have had their story expanded on, or even had a book completely devoted to their tale. I have read all the volumes in this collection, The Four of Hearts Ranch Romance series, and have liked them all. Even though you don't need to read the other books to enjoy Kissed by a Cowboy, I suggest them for your reading pleasure, especially book one, Betting on Hope. Like the others in this series, this story is doesn't contain anything offensive, and is told from a Christian viewpoint. I recommend this 5-star book to anyone who enjoys fiction, or Texas romances. Thomas Nelson Publishing has provided bookreadingtic with a complimentary copy of Kissed by a Cowboy for the purpose of review. I have not been compensated in any other manner. All opinions expressed are my own, and I was not required, or influenced, to give anything but an honest appraisal. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
I had mixed feelings about this book from the start - the title (and misleading artwork on the cover) made me suspect it was not going to be my cup of tea. And I thoroughly lost patience with the main character, Cassidy, as she constantly vacillated between loving Jarrod and wanting him to leave her alone. She just seemed so juvenile! But some of the other residents of Wishing Springs were interesting, and if I'd read the earlier books in this series, perhaps the chemistry between them would have made more sense. This book is full of Texas twang and trite caricatures of small town personalities. For me, a little bit of this goes a long way, and it is never a satisfying substitute for realistic conversations and interesting plot twists. I kept thinking that I wanted to like this book more than I did. If you like predictable happy endings all around (the good guys get their gals, and the bad guys go to jail), you may enjoy this volume. I received this book from the publisher via the Fiction Guild in exchange for my honest review.
Divorcee Cassidy Starr comes back to her hometown of Wishing Springs, Texas to try to heal and rebuild her life after getting out of an emotionally abusive relationship. Burned by love, she has no interest in getting involved with any men ever again, only wants to run the farm and B & B she inherited from her great aunt Roxie. What she doesn't count on is her old friend Jarrod still being in town. Jarrod runs the Four of Hearts Ranch, raising cattle, fighting off cattle rustlers and helping take care of his grandfather who is battling Alzheimer's. Jarrod has his own reasons for having emotional walls up, but is willing to let them down around Cassidy. Cassidy is a different story though. She feels a pull to open up to Jarrod as well, but her past pain doesn't want to let her unconditionally trust anyone again. There's some past romantic history between them as well, a hint of something that got bungled up that drove them apart years ago. "Jarrod had a few regrets in his life and Cassidy was one of them." It's never made all that clear what all happened except that Jarrod gave her one kiss one time and then ran off spooked. I feel like there'd be more to the story to that, given Cassidy's slight iciness at the memory, but that backstory isn't explained too well. There is also a smaller, secondary storyline regarding the relationship between longtime friends (and maybe almost old flames?) in their "golden years", Rand and Pebble. This is #3 in the Four of Hearts Ranch series. I haven't read any of the others, but I feel like this can do perfectly well as a stand-alone since I didn't feel in the dark about anything while I was reading. The story here is not too bad, my trouble with it is I found it to be pretty formulaic and predictable. Jarrod as a character was cute and charming but after awhile Cassidy got on my nerves a bit (I give props for Clopton making her a redhead though!). I get why Cassidy wants to swear off men but the constant "I am woman, hear me roar" attitude -- I mean, even when some guy just wants to be neighborly and help her carry something -- got really old. Honestly, I found myself more entertained by Jarrod's brothers and sisters-in-law, with their country encouragements and sass. Cassidy really lost my support after the first scene where Jarrod has to potentially face cattle rustlers that may or may not be armed. He's trying to explain how dangerous it is and she can't get past the "I don't need a man telling me what to do!" ranting. He wants her to stay back and when she refuses she claims he just can't handle her bucking his authority. As a woman I was wanting to scream NO! He maybe just cares about you and doesn't want you to get shot! UGH. I also have to say the dialogue in this book drove me bananas. WHY does everyone in this town have to talk like their on that Hee Haw show?! I lived in Texas for a few years. There actually whole cities of people who don't sound like they stepped off the set of Lil' Abner. So yeah, I'd have to say this had it's cute moments but overall it's pretty much your generic romance with the typical HEA you'd expect. Not bad, but didn't leave me all swoony either. FTC Disclaimer: TNZ Fiction Guild kindly provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions above are entirely my own.
I received this book free for an honest review from Fiction Guild. I love Debra's books and this was another one of those books. When Cassidy has to come home to the house that her Aunt Roxie left her in her will. It was the one play that Cassidy was able to come to while she was growing up to find love and understanding when her parents were going through their many divorces. She has just gone through a bad divorce of her own. What she really didn't expect was when she gets there that the one guy that she had a crush on was the one that was going to be her saving grace. She kissed him at 18 and he got scared and when he wanted to get back to her he got caught in a snow storm in Montana and she married her ex. Jarrod owns the ranch the meets up next to Cassidy aunt's farm and he wants to help but she is trying to prove that she can take care of herself and does not want to get married again. His brother's and sisters-in-law think he needs to find someone and not to be alone. He drives Cassidy crazy but he really does care for her. Then you have all the wonderful characters from town that knew her as a girl and were her aunts really good friends. I loved this book
What’s better than a story about a cowboy who sits tall and strong in the saddle looking good in his Stetson? And who better to write the perfect cowboy story than Author Debra Clopton. Kissed by a Cowboy is Book Three in the Four of Hearts Ranch Romance series. It is filled with a plethora of loveable characters! Three brothers Jarrod, Tru and Bo Monahan work hard to keep their Pops’ Four of Hearts Ranch in Wishing Springs, Texas, in the black. Jarrod is the oldest and the only hold-out in the bachelor department. Cassidy Starr has inherited her Aunt Roxie’s home in Wishing Springs, and after an ugly divorce she plans to move in and open a bed and breakfast. She intends to remain single and independent like her Aunt Roxie, but what will she do with the feelings neighbor Jarrod stirs up. It’s been years since she’s seen him but she remembers the teenage crush she had and the kiss before he ran off to Montana, and she married Jack. Will Cassidy ever be able to forgive and forget her past and move forward? Will Jarrod be able to convince Cassidy he is different and wants her happy? As they work together to find cattle rustlers, the adventure is non-stop. This is a story of learning from past mistakes, faith and forgiveness. Each book is stand-alone, but you’ll want to follow each of the Monahan brother’s stories. I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Cassidy Starr returns home to Wishing Springs after a difficult marriage and divorce, having sworn off men and love. Neighbor rancher Jarrod Monahan is focused on making his ranch a profitable business with no time to spare. Feelings from long ago complicate matters as Cassidy is determined to not depend on a man, but make Jarrod that much more determined to change her mind. From snakes to rustlers, this book moves along quickly, and is a sweet read I couldn't put down. Kissed by a Cowboy has it all; a realistic amount of action, and a cowboy pursuing his childhood friend. Both Cassidy and Jarrod must overcome the past in order to move forward, but can they? I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, which I've provided. I've not read any other books in the Four of Hearts Ranch collection, but that didn't stop me from enjoying this book the least bit. I'll definitely be seeking out more of Debra Clopton's books in the future!
cassidy has ben divorced and feels that she will never love again. she inherits a farm, and decides to make the bests of it and renew the strawberry fields. jarrod had a near miss with marriage, but he finds cassidy drawing his inrterest. he sets out to win her heart. romance, and humor are what makes this story wo enjoyable.
Debra Clopton in her new book “Kissed By A Cowboy” Book Three in the Four of Hearts Ranch Romance series published by Thomas Nelson brings us into the lives of Cassidy Starr and Jarrod Monahan. From the back cover: Cassidy was looking for a home and a place to belong . . . not for a cowboy to steal her heart. Having lived through her parents’ endless string of “matrimonial bliss gone wrong,” Cassidy Starr knows when the odds are not in her favor. Divorced and humiliated, her faith on rocky ground, Cassidy is through with love. She’s been bucked o_ that horse far too many times. Instead, she returns to Wishing Springs, Texas, and the rundown farm she’s inherited from her great aunt Roxie. She’ll reopen the strawberry farm and a bed & breakfast and follow in her aunt’s footsteps, remaining forever-independent, happy . . . and single. Rancher Jarrod Monahan’s hands are full running the ranch, looking after his ailing grandfather, and chasing down a group of rustlers on the loose. He’s pushed his longing for a family to the bottom of his list of priorities. Besides, he was in love once but ran scared and lost his shot at happiness. But suddenly, the biggest regret of his life has moved in next door with a wounded heart, determined to become a spinster . . . and that’s a challenge that Jarrod can’t pass up. Jarrod sets his mind to breaking down the walls around Cassidy’s stubborn heart. How can he show her that a cowboy’s kiss lasts forever? For the good folks of Wishing Springs, falling in love has never been so much fun to witness. I think Debra Clopton is an amazing author who really knows how to tell a good romance. Cassidy has kind of had it with romance while Jarrod has decided that Cassidy is his one and truly. It is the sparks that fly when these two come together that make up all the fun. Jarrod is looking out after his ranch and going after outlaws but he sets aside time to court Cassidy and make her realize that he is the one God intended for her. This is where all the interest lies how is Jarrod going to win her over? Cassidy and Jarrod are a lot of fun. How do you deal with someone who has closed their heart to love because of the pain she endured? Ms. Clopton does a great job of answering those questions without being preachy. Cassidy and Jarrod are wonderfully crafted characters that we draw very close to and root for them to succeed. “Kissed By 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 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.”
________________________________________ *My Thoughts* You know those days when you just NEED a book that will make you giggle until your sides hurt? You just want to smile and laugh and cry and just feel until your family asks what's wrong with you? I have them a lot. And now that I've read Kissed by a Cowboy, this is absolutely one of those go-to books! I won't give any spoilers but I WILL say that less than a chapter into the book, I knew I would LOVE it. It was engaging, romantic, sweet, deep, perfectly paced, and just FUNNY! I read stories like this often. Those stories where either the hero and heroine hate each other or they have a rocky past and they have to get past the hurts and pain to see a bright future...I have a strange addiction to them. That's one reason I loved this book so much. Well, that and the fact that even though I have never stayed at one, I'm in love with the charm of bed and breakfasts! ;) Long story short, I adored Jarrod & Cassidy, it was definitely one of the funniest books I've ever read, and it's swoon worthy. Go read it! ____________________________________________________ *My overall thoughts* Such a fun cowboy romance, don't think for a second that there isn't also a beautiful message to be heard. I really do wish there was so much more to come in this series but I can't wait to see what Debra does next! _______________________________________________________ *My Rating* I give Kissed by a Cowboy by Debra Clopton... 5 stars!! _______________________________________________ *I received this book from 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.
Anytime I can spend time inside a Debra Clopton book, I know I will be richly rewarded! There is laughter, great characters, sweetness and a wonderful storyline that has me coming back for more....and wishing the book had just "one more chapter". This book was no exception. I was especially grateful that there was an epilogue so I could revel in the "aftermath" of the end of the series. I will miss the Wishing Springs characters. I want to visit there! The people became so real to me! In this last book, Cassidy comes back to Wishing Springs just looking for something warm and familiar after her painful divorce and a concussion that made her evaluate what she wanted for her future. Her Aunt Roxie was the only one who gave her love & support when she was growing up since her parents were always such a "train wreck". Her memories of Wishing Springs and the people there are what are going to get her on a path to her future. She inherits Roxie's house so she's going to make a B & B out of it. She doesn't need a cowboy next door to steal her heart. She's done with men! She's known Jarrod since she was young and he broke her heart once before so she's not going back there again! Jarrod, on the other hand, has seen his brother find wives and settle down. He's starting to see how lonely he is and then Cassidy comes back. He knows things didn't end well with them when he ran off to Montana. This time he hopes he can change her mind. He just can't understand why she's being so stubborn about it........ I loved these two characters and their story! I also loved all the other characters of Wishing Springs. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of this book.....then sit back and dive into the pages of a great story!
Kissed by the Cowboy by Debra Clopton A Four of Hearts Ranch Romance Series Book Three Jarrod Monahan feels the weight of saving the ranch on his shoulders, he feels responsible for not knowing their dad had almost gambled it away. Now that Bo and Tru have found their soul mates, he's feeling how empty his life is. He has his work...but is lonely. And then he gains a new neighbor. Cassidy Starr feels like she's failed. She couldn't keep her marriage together, just like her flighty parents. Thankfully her great aunt Roxie left her home to her. She plans on a new start. She's going to raise strawberries and open a bed and breakfast. No men. Especially not the man she fell in love with as a young troubled girl. The same man who kissed and walked out of her life. Another great series by this author. Not much gets past the people in the small town of Wishing Springs, Texas. Especially not possible matchmaking opportunities. Along with Jarrod and Cassidy is the story of Rand and Pebble that started in the first book; Betting on Hope and continued in book 2; Counting on a Cowboy and ends in this book.
Kissed by a Cowboy ( A Four of Hearts Ranch Romance ) By: Debra Clopton Kissed by a Cowboy is book four in A Four of Hearts Ranch Romance Series. Clopton’s characters she weaves are so warm , real like, and it feels like you are right there with them. I really enjoyed this good western romance. Clopton did not disappoint me. When I got starting reading Kissed by a Cowboy i did not want to put it down till the end, I was hooked. This story could be read as a stand-a-lone, and still have no problem following the story. Cassidy Starr inherited a rundown farm from her great aunt Roxie. She is through with love and ready to start over. She wants to start a Strawberry farm and open a B & B. Jarrod Monahan is looking after his grandfather , trying to catch rustlers, and save the ranch. He has no time for women. Cassidy is his neighbor, can Jarrod change the heart of a wounded woman, who does not want to change? I really loved Cassidy and Jarrod , these two made me laugh and sometimes i caught myself holding my breath. I was given a copy of this book by the author and Thomas Nelson Publishing for my honest review.