☆☆➹⁀☆ 3.5 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆
What It’s About:
Can a city girl on the run find safety in the arms of a rancher?
Chicago restaurant owner Sabrina Marconi needs to hide. And fast. She just sent a mob boss to prison. A competition to become the cook on a cattle ranch in Nebraska might just be the safe haven this city girl is looking for. With a new name, Laura Marshall, and a new life, everything is going according to plan. Until she meets the ranch owner.
Ranch owner Caleb Kirkpatrick is a single dad with too much on his plate. The latest ranch expansion means he needs someone to cook for his men. His brother’s idea to have the cooks compete for the job might be the craziest thing he’s ever heard. Until he meets Laura, who seems to be the most unlikely candidate to be a ranch cook.
When the competition among the women gets fierce, someone decides to play dirty, and Laura’s cooking skills might not be enough. But if she doesn’t get this job, she has nowhere to go. Not to mention the growing feelings she’s having for her boss, feelings she tries to suppress.
The drama among the competing women is almost more than Caleb can handle. He’s got his hands full with missing equipment and dead cattle. But Laura isn’t like the others, and despite his best intentions, his feelings for her are growing. What is the secret she’s hiding? Will she ever trust him enough to allow them to have a future together? And will her Chicago past chase her down in rural Nebraska?
Love the idea of swaggering cowboys? Julia Daniel’s Saved by a Cowboy is the book for you! It’s got great characters, an interesting premise, and a straightforward plot.
Three very different women come to Nebraska to compete for the job of ranch cook. The women have vastly different motivations for pursuing the job. Some will do whatever it takes to land the position. Only the main character, Laura, is fully developed and given a backstory.
I anticipated that Laura’s backstory would provide more story tension than it did. There was some untapped potential in that story line as the threat was stated but not fully explored. The other main character is Caleb; he is one of the ranch owners. His story is fairly complicated: he is a single dad, his ranch is bleeding money, and equipment and cattle are going missing. This all provided a little more story tension, and it did allow the reader to question whether or not the incidents are related to Laura or Caleb.
Saved by a Cowboy is told in dual POV which gives readers some insight to both Laura and Caleb’s instant attraction and their valiant efforts to keep work and play separate. I enjoyed the romance, but I didn’t feel a strong chemistry between the two main characters.
The bulk of the secondary characters are Caleb’s family. I loved the Kirkpatrick family– Caleb, Josh, Connor and Mary Grace. They’re a warm, close-knit family, and they bring a lot of charm and soul to the story.
The ending is neatly wrapped up. A few plot points were left dangling which was a bit dissatisfying, and some of the resolutions were unrealistic. However, Saved by a Cowboy is fiction and a romance, not a suspense/thriller. Overall, it is an entertaining read. The story, the characters are engaging, and the women are strong and independent. The plot is well paced, and it is clear that Ms. Daniels is familiar with life in Nebraska from the richly detailed description of ranch life.
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