Tag Archive: Carolyn Brown


From Publisher’s Website

LET’S GIVE ‘EM SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT . . .

If gossip is the lifeblood of a small town, then Lizzy Logan has been its beating heart. After being dumped by her fiancé for another woman, she could have decided to crawl under a rock. But no, she’d rather really set tongues wagging by “moving on” with one of the hottest cowboys in Texas, who happens to live next door at the Lucky Penny Ranch. Those busybodies don’t have to know it’s actually all pretend. And just because Lizzy has no aim to tame her wild, blue-eyed neighbor doesn’t mean she can’t enjoy the ride of her life.

Toby Dawson never was and never will be the settling-down type. But what harm could there be in agreeing to be Lizzy’s pretend boyfriend? They’ll put on a show for a few weeks and be done. Yet the more he gets to know Lizzy-really know her-the harder it is for him to keep his hands off of her in private. Soon this rough-and-ready cowboy is hoping to heal Lizzy’s bruised heart and turn their fake affair into a true romance . . .

My Review:

Hot Cowboy Nights is the second book in Carolyn Brown’s Lucky Penny Ranch Series. So far, of this series, this is my favorite. I loved watching Lizzy rediscover her true self and realize how much of a controlling, emotionally abusive man her ex-fiancé actually was.

I’ve always loved stories with a heroine who knew her worth and was confident in herself and her skills, whatever they might be. Over the past few years, I’ve discovered that I also enjoy stories of heroines who either learn how strong they actually are or rediscover that side of herself, especially if that realization and change is helped by a man who values those traits.

I found myself yelling at Toby. One reason he didn’t want to settle down was because he wanted to always be able to flirt when he was out at the Honky Tonk. He just needed someone to take a 2×4 to the side of his head until he realized that he could still flirt at the Honky Tonk if he settled down. The only difference is that instead of flirting with any female in the bar, he would flirt with his other half.

Since I started reading and reviewing Carolyn’s books, there has been a definite improvement in the story telling. I’ve enjoyed the journey.

While I loved this book, I can’t quite give it 5 Horseshoes. There are some continuity issues in the story. I’m guessing that Lizzy named the kittens with Toby’s help instead of with her sister’s help. There is a conversation with Toby that starts with Lizzy saying she hadn’t named the kittens yet, but by the time they go to pick up Toby’s donkeys, she had. I’m surprised it hadn’t been caught during the final editing, but oh well.

I am really looking forward to the next book in the series, Merry Cowboy Christmas.

I give Hot Cowboy Nights a 4 Horseshoe rating.

 

 

Hot Cowboy Nights is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions. It is also available from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook editions.

 

 

Publication Details:

Author Carolyn Brown
Title Hot Cowboy Nights
Format Ebook
Length 400 Pages
Publication Date May 31, 2016
Publisher Grand Central Publishing
ISBN 978-1-4555-3490-6
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From Publisher’s Website

Can a girl ever have too many cowboys?

No sooner does pint-sized spitfire Jill Cleary set foot on Fiddle Creek Ranch than she finds herself in the middle of a hundred-year-old feud. Quaid Brennan and Tyrell Gallagher are both tall, handsome, and rich…and both are courting Jill to within an inch of her life. She’s doing her best to give these feuding ranchers equal time—too bad it’s dark-eyed Sawyer O’Donnell who makes her blood boil and her hormones hum…

My Review:

Okay, Carolyn, my second favorite couple from your books is a three way tie! Trace and Gemma from Just a Cowboy and His Baby will always be my favorite but Lucas and Natalie from The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby , Finn and Callie from Cowboy Boots for Christmas, and Sawyer and Jill are in a very close second.

One of my favorite romance tropes is friends falling in love. While technically Sawyer and Jill are strangers who become friends almost from necessity, they do go from friends to a couple.

Like all of Carolyn’s heroines, Jill is smart, sassy, and isn’t afraid to kick ass. I love that being “dolled up” isn’t a priority. Like me, she is happiest in her Wranglers and boots. While very independent, Jill understands that being in a couple is about being partners and taking care of each other. It was a hard lesson to learn but she did. Sawyer needs a partner not a princess.

Jill came to Burnt Boot to help her two aunts out but quickly finds herself the center of attention in the the Brennan and Gallagher feud. One of her aunts, Gladys, has property that sits smack dab between the two feuding families, and has water rights that both families want. Bring on the hard core wooing and one up-man-ship. I’m sure Quaid and Tyrell are nice men but their courting skills need serious improvement. Hopefully they will find women, that they truly want, who will show these cowboys that money and land size doesn’t matter.

Sawyer is part of the O’Donnell clan that we met in the Spikes and Spurs series. He is the cousin of Finn and Gemma. This hard working cowboy comes to Burnt Boot originally to get away from his ex girlfriend, and to spy on his cousin Finn, but he ends up getting a foreman job on Gladys’ ranch. Because the feuding families want the ranch so bad, they each send a single lady after Sawyer so that Quaid and Tyrell have a shot at the heir of the property.

I was sad that we didn’t get to see Honey Brennan in this story. In Cowboy Boots for Christmas, Honey was sent after Finn. Her nemesis, Betsy Gallagher was in this story. I think the women in this feud spend more time fighting each other than actually wooing the cowboy they have been unleashed upon.

The feud between the Brennans and the Gallaghers crack me up. Probably because it is very easy for me to image a small town divided by one. Having grown up in a farming and ranching community that had one primary family, I’m sure that at some point in the history of the town there was a feud. But no feud will ever be as epic as the Brennan and Gallagher feud.

Sawyer and Jill make a great team. They truly complement each other well. Once they settle their minor dispute, they are a united front against the onslaught of wooing.

There were a few minor editing errors and the cover model doesn’t have the “soft black hair covering his bare chest”. (As Jill says: “… Little boys have bare chests. Men have hair. Hunky cowboys have just the right amount…”) Plus, I’m still baffled by the reasons the feuding families did a couple of things to Sawyer and Jill. However, this book deserves the rating I’m giving it.

The Trouble with Texas Cowboys is the second book in Carolyn Brown’s Burnt Boot series.

I give The Trouble with Texas Cowboys a 5 Horseshoe rating.

Publication Details:

Author Carolyn Brown
Title The Trouble with Texas Cowboys
Format Print
Length 332 pages
Publication Date January 6, 2015
Publisher Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 978-1-4022-9608-6

From Publisher’s Website

Tis the season for…
A pistol-totin’ woman who’s no angel
A tough rancher who doesn’t believe in miracles
Love that warms the coldest nights

After a year in Kuwait, Lucas Allen can’t wait to get back to his ranch for Christmas and meet his gorgeous Internet pal in person.

When he pulls in, there’s Natalie Clark right in his front yard with a pink pistol in her hand and a dead coyote at her feet.

Lucas is unfazed. But wait…is that a BABY in her arms?

My Review:

Recipe for a great Christmas season romance:
Ingredients:

  • Snow
  • Holiday Decorations
  • A Sexy Cowboy
  • A Gun Toting Sassy Cowgirl
  • An Adorable Baby

Shake until well mixed. Sprinkle in three ranchers who want to have babies around the ranch. Finally, enjoy the wonderful story that Carolyn Brown has written.

While Trace and Gemma from Just a Cowboy and His Baby are my favorite characters that Carolyn has written, Lucas and Natalie are not far behind. Actually I could easily see Natalie and Gemma being best friends (too bad it’s 300 miles between Savoy and Goodnight)!

Natalie is a handful. She is a woman who can handle ranch chores, raise a child alone, cook killer meals for the men on the ranch, and shoot better than most men. But she has been lonely since her best friend died in Kuwait. Luckily, Lucas was more than willing to fill those boots. After eleven months of chatting online, they are finally meeting. Lucas’s tour in Kuwait was done and he was coming home.

Natalie and Lucas thought they knew each other after all the hours they spent chatting online but they quickly learn that there are things you can only learn about a person when you are together. They learn to navigate through a meddling ex-girlfriend, Lucas’s male relatives, Natalie’s mother, and assistance from the ghost of Lucas’s grandmother to find love.

I loved this book. I’ve read bits and pieces multiple times since I finished it. This will be one that I will re-read regularly, not just during the holidays. I’m hoping that Carolyn will give us glimpses of these two in the other books of this series. Life for this couple will be filled with fireworks and love.

The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby is the second book in Carolyn Brown’s Cowboys and Brides series.

I give The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby a 5 Horseshoe rating.

The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions and from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook.

Publication Details:

Author Carolyn Brown
Title The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby
Format Ebook
Length 346 pages
Publication Date September 24, 2013
Publisher Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 9781402280498

From Publisher’s Website

‘Tis the season for…

◇ A matchmaking grandma on a long-distance mission

◇ Mistletoe Temptation in every doorway

◇ A sexy cowboy with a killer smile

When Gran Presely agrees to sell Creed Riley the Rockin’ C Ranch for a song at Christmastime, he can hardly believe his good fortune. There’s just one little catch — her tantalizing granddaughter Sage is part of the deal…

My Review:

This was a fun holiday book. A plotting grandmother who wants to sell her ranch and see her granddaughter married to the man she is selling the ranch to. This had one of my favorite winter story tropes; boy and girl are isolated from everyone due to being snowed in. Their first night, Creed was a charming and accommodating cowboy, while Sage was being a shrew. Sage really doesn’t want her grandmother to sell the ranch and plans to do anything to run this cowboy off.

Sage is an artist and needs to create art in order to not go crazy while being snowed in. Ms. Brown did a wonderful job of describing Sage’s creative process and describing the paintings. Just from those descriptions, I would love to own some of Sage’s work. I enjoyed the regular appearance of mistletoe in the story. Each time we see the plant, it adds inspiration to Sage’s work and to her relationship with Creed.

Gran Presely really knows how to make a match that will last a lifetime.

I give Mistletoe Cowboy a 4 Horseshoe rating.

Mistletoe Cowboy is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions.

Mistletoe Cowboy is also available from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook editions.

Publication Details:

Author Carolyn Brown
Title Mistletoe Cowboy
Format Print
Length 333 Pages
Publication Date October 2012
Publisher Sourcebooks Casblanca
ISBN 9781402270154

From Publisher’s Website

She’s Got Her Eyes on the Prize…

Gemma O’Donnell wasn’t the first woman to win the ProRodeo buckle for bronc riding, but she was darn well going to be the second. What she didn’t count on was her main competition sweeping her off her feet.

He’ll Do Whatever It Takes To Win…

Trace Coleman isn’t really after a title—he needs the cash prize to buy his dream ranch. But one sexy, determined cowgirl keeps getting in his way. In his effort to take her out of the running, he risks losing both the title—and his heart.

My Review:

I have read many books by Carolyn Brown, but this one is my favorite. I have found that Ms. Brown’s writing improves with each book she writes. With this one, the writing is exciting, compelling, and makes the reader wish for more.

I have read this book three or four times. Only books that have a great story line, and characters, cause me to reread it many times. I love the characters in this story. Gemma has always been my favorite of the O’Donnell clan. I’ve loved her spunky, kick ass attitude and view on life. If something scares her, she tries harder. I was not surprised when she decided to chase the bronc riding dream. If any woman can do it, it would be Gemma. I wish she was a real person, because I would love to be her friend.

Trace is an amazing cowboy. He doesn’t want the national title for the ego boost. He wants the title just for the money so he can buy his own ranch. While competing, a woman he spent a long weekend with shows up with a baby saying it was his. Instead of signing paper work that would allow the woman to put the baby up for adoption, he took on the task of raising the child himself. But soon discovers that he needs Gemma’s help.

Gemma and Trace are amazing together. They are able to compete against each other but not hold the outcome of each contest against each other. Very few couples can do that. I’m hoping we will see some more of Gemma and Trace in future Spikes and Spurs books.

I give Just A Cowboy And His Baby a 5 Horseshoe rating.

Just A Cowboy And His Baby is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions.

Publication Details:

Author Carolyn Brown
Title Just A Cowboy And His Baby
Format Print
Length 324 Pages
Publication Date December 2012
Publisher Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 9781402270185

From Publisher’s Website

A marriage made in Vegas…

Hunky cowboy Ace Riley wasn’t planning on settling down, but his family had other plans for him…The only way to save his hide, and his playboy lifestyle, is to discreetly marry his best friend, Jasmine King.

Can’t possibily last…

Fiesty city–girl Jasmine as just helping out her friend—that is, until their first kiss stirs up a whole mess of trouble, and suddenly discretion is thrown to the wind.
One hot cowboy, one riled up woman…

And they’ll be married for a year, like it or not!

My Review:

I think that this book is my favorite of the Spikes and Spurs series. I loved Jasmine in . We do meet Ace in the same book, but it wasn’t until this one that I really fell in lust with the man. Who wouldn’t want a sexy cowboy who would go to almost any lengths to keep his ranch, but doesn’t expect to fall in love with his best friend.

One of my favorite romance tropes is the best friends falling in love. Two people who have been there for each other through thick and thin. Then all of the sudden they discover they feel more than they thought for each other.

I loved the character growth for both Jasmine and Ace. Ace moving beyond his man-whore days and Jasmine casting off the demands of her mother. They both grow individually as well as together as a couple. It was a fun read.

I give One Hot Cowboy Wedding a 4 Horseshoe rating.

One Hot Cowboy Wedding is available from Amazon Print and Kindle editions.

Publication Details:

Author Carolyn Brown
Title One Hot Cowboy Wedding
Format Print
Length 384 Pages
Publication Date April 2012
Publisher Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 978-1-4022-5364-5

From Publisher’s Website

He’s One Hot Cowboy. . .

Raylen O’Donnell is one smokin’ cowboy. He could have any woman he wants, but he’s never been able to forget a certain dark-haired girl who disappeared from his life. So when she suddenly returns to the ranch next door, Raylen’s not fixing to let her get away again . . .

And She’s Out For a Sizzlin’ Christmas

Raised in a traveling carnival, Lizelle Hanson thought all she wanted was a house that didn’t have wheels and a sexy cowboy for her very own. But when settling down’s going to take some getting used to, and catching Raylen, the hotter-than-hell cowboy next door, might just take a little holiday magic. . .

My Review:

In Darn Good Cowboy Christmas, we meet up with youngest son of the O’Donnell family. We met the oldest, Rye in Love Drunk Cowboy. I think out of the O’Donnell boys, Raylen is my favorite. He is a hard worker on his parent’s horse farm and then turns around to help others.

Liz was a fun character, a carney turned Texas ranch owner. I found myself telling the voices in Liz’s head to shut up when they tried to convince her that she wasn’t meant to live a non gypsy life style. Her excitement for the holidays and for decorating, reminded me of my own love of decorating for the holidays (a love that has gotten side tracked in my own life).

Liz and Raylen complement each other very well. They had strong chemistry and a fun relationship. I enjoyed the banter they shared and their passion sizzled off the pages.

However, there was a scene that I felt wasn’t needed in the telling of the story. Unfortunately, I find this very commonly in Carolyn’s books. The scene added very little to the story. The main point of the scene was to give the history about a specific holiday decoration. The information provided could have been done in another way, via a note with item or during one of the many conversations Liz had with her uncle.

Also, I did find myself impatient for the story to wrap up toward the end. The couple declared their love for each other, the big family event happened, and there was still another 50 pages to go. I know that Carolyn wanted to get the story to Christmas day, but the main build up of the story was to the big carnival family Thanksgiving party. To be a true Christmas story, the time line of the novel needed to be adjusted closer to Christmas so that is the important part of the book.

Overall, I enjoyed the characters and the story that was told. It was an enjoyable read.

I give Darn Good Cowboy Christmas a 4 Horseshoe rating!

Darn Good Cowboy Christmas is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions. Also from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook.

Publication Details:

Author Carolyn Brown
Title Darn Good Cowboy Christmas
Format Print
Length 379 Pages
Publication Date November 2011
Publisher Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 978-1-4022-6157-2

In My Mailbox #1

I’m not usually one to share the books I’ve been sent to review, but over the past few weeks my electronic and postal mailboxes have been over flowing with books for review in October and November! Some of these I’m extremely excited about, so I wanted to share with you!

First in my Electronic Mailbox….  I have received the second book by A ‘Jeeper’ Wade and Shiloh Walker’s 5th Grimm Circle book.  I also received The Worker Prince by Bryan Thomas Schmidt, but alas no cover image to share.

In my Postal Mailbox, I have received 8 books from Sourcebooks! Unfortunately, my cell phone camera doesn’t do these covers any justice. They are beautiful.

I used Random.org to choose the two lucky people to receive Red’s Hot Cowboy. The winners are….

Ladies, I have given your information to Carolyn to send to Sourcebooks Casablanca.

Thank you to everyone who entered!

Carolyn Brown is the author of 50 romance novels. Her first romance sold in 1997. This past July, she made the New York Times Best Sellers and the US Today Best Sellers list for the first time with Love Drunk Cowboy. She resides in Southern Oklahoma with her husband Charles. For more information, please visit http://carolynlbrown.com/.

PonyTails (PT): Red’s Hot Cowboy is the second book in your Spikes & Spurs Series. What made you want to write about Henrietta, Texas and the people there?

Carolyn Brown (CB): Howdy, everyone! It’s a pure delight to be here today where everyone loves western romance!

I love writing about small towns. The first book in the series, Love Drunk Cowboy, was about Austin and Rye. One of Rye’s close friends is Wil Marshall and Pearl’s friend is Austin. When Pearl inherits the motel in Henrietta it’s only natural that she’s bound to run into Wil. However, she meets him much sooner than expected when he comes to her motel the night that the lights go out in Henrietta.

Small towns have a heart beat and a pulse all of their own. They say in a small town that everyone knows everyone and everyone knows what everyone has done; and they read the local paper to see who got caught.

PT: Your website shows that you have 50 published books with 8 coming soon. How have you found the time to write so many books in the past 14 years? And how do you keep your stories straight when you are writing more than one at a time?

CB: I am a fortunate enough that I can write full time so my daily work is writing! I have tunnel vision and I only work on one book at a time. Unless of course I have to stop and do edits or final read throughs. So I actually seldom work on two books at a time. However, I do keep my idea book handy (this is a small spiral notebook) where if an idea pops into my head I can record it right then. It’s amazing what can materialize out of a one sentence idea.

Once I got a whole trilogy out of an email conversation with one of my author friends. It all started when she sent me this cute little thing about what one friend would do for another. I wrote back and told her that one thing got left out…that I kept two shovels in the garage in case my friend ever needed to get rid of evidence. Her reply was that she could see me sitting on a porch with the sheriff on the way. So I wrote a historical trilogy, The Black Swan Series, from that conversation.

PT: Your website, also, says you have a very large family that comes home to visit on Sundays. Is your family your inspiration for the Sunday dinner with family scenes in your books?

CB: I’m sorry to say my kids now live too far for all of them to come for Sunday dinner but they do come for Easter and Thanksgiving. We have a big egg hunt in the back yard and everyone can hunt eggs no matter how old or young. My twenty two year old granddaughter still brings her little wooden Easter basket that Husband made her when she was two years old and hunts Easter eggs with the three year old granddaughter and all the ones in between. And yes, ma’am, the kids are an inspiration to me. If I need to know about an attitude or a mannerism, all I think about a grandkid in that age bracket.

PT: You write both Historical and Contemporary Romances. Is there a genre that you would love to try writing?

CB: Oh, yes, ma’am. I’m presently in the business of trying my hand at women’s fiction! I’m very excited about it and will stand on the roof top and shout when my first one sells.

PT: Why do you write about cowboys?

CB: Cowboys! Look at ‘em! Look at the cover of Red’s Hot Cowboy! Gotta love ‘em. They’re honest. They take care of their women. They listen to their women when they talk and they are just so damned sexy with those boots, tight jeans, muscles and even a little barbed wire tat around that big old bicep

PT: Do you plan your stories or do you just put pen to paper and see what happens?

CB: I’m a pen to paper writer. I tried that plotting and planning and putting all my characters in a box. Whew! That didn’t last long. Lord, they clawed their way out of the box and demanded I tell their stories like they really happened and that didn’t have a dang thing to do with plotting. When I figured that out we had a great time!

PT: What are your go to resources when you write? Favorite books, websites, technology, etc?

CB: Internet for things like: Were there fly swats in 1919? How to make watermelon wine from scratch? What’s the first step to make moonshine? How does one go about making lye soap? And how many shots of whiskey can a woman hold before she passes plumb out?

Other than that, I go to the place I’m writing about, take dozens of pictures and sketch if I can’t find a map, talk to the people in the area and then go home and hope I get it right. A few weeks ago I signed copies of Love Drunk Cowboy at the Watermelon Jubilee in Terral, Oklahoma and since then I’ve gotten several fan letters saying I nailed it. That’s about as good as it gets – well, other than that NYT and USA Today list day!

PT: Love Drunk Cowboy hit the New York Times Best Seller’s List and the US Today Best Seller List in July. How has that affected your writing? Do you feel under pressure to produce another Best Seller?

CB: I was so excited about that! Found out I’d made the lists while traveling so I was in a Nashville, Tennessee hotel and they probably thought a hippo had been set loose on the third floor when I started dancing around.

No, I don’t feel under pressure. I just let the stories unfold for me and tell them like they happen. I would do my hippo dance again if I got the news, dear hearts. It’s a big, big honor!
I don’t think it’s affected my writing at all. Maybe if I had about ten on the list, I would begin to feel pressured!

But right now I’m just having fun with my Spikes and Spurs cowboys and hoping that the women’s fiction sells (which by the way does have a hot cowboy in it, too)!

Thank you to Carolyn for coming to PonyTails today! Also thank you to Sourcebooks Casablanca for sponsoring the giveaway!

Sourcebooks Casablanca has generously donated 2 copies of Red’s Hot Cowboy for a giveaway. This giveaway is open to US and Canada residents only. Please fill out the form at the end of the post. I will close the sign up on Friday August 19, 2011 at 11:59pm EDT. I will use Random.org to select the winner and will announce the winner here on Monday August 22!

About Red’s Hot Cowboy:

HE WASN’T LOOKING FOR TROUBLE…

Wil Marshall is only looking for a place to stay after a winter storm knocks out the power at his ranch. The sexy cowboy never imagined he’d get entangled in a murder investigation – or that events will ignite irresistible passion between Wil and the motel’s fiery proprietress…

BUT TROUBLE WAS LOOKING FOR THEM BOTH…

Pearl Richland never expected to find herself in a middle-of-nowhere Texas town as owner of her great-aunt Pearlita’s vintage motel. But in the midst of chaos, this spitfire is about to learn a thing or two about fate and love, the silent majority that always has the final say…

If you click the book image it will take you to my review of Red’s Hot Cowboy.
Red’s Hot Cowboy is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions. Also from Barnes And Noble in Print and Nook editions.