Cowboy to the Core by Maisey Yates

Cowboy to the Core

by Maisey Yates

Published June 18, 2019 by HQN Books

Goodreads Rating: 4.17 Stars

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Plot:

Jamie Dodge is confident she knows everything there is to know about cowboys. She grew up surrounded by them, after all. But somehow her new boss, champion saddle bronc rider Gabe Dalton, and his brand of cowboy charm have her interested in all kinds of things she never has been before.

There are a million reasons Gabe should ignore his attraction to Jamie. He needs her horse-training skills on his family’s ranch…and the Dodge brothers would happily hurt him for touching her. Forget kissing her. He’d be a dead man. But Jamie’s tough-talking attitude masks an innocence that tempts him past the breaking point…and soothes the restlessness that’s dogged Gabe his whole life. Has this cowboy finally found a place he wants to call home?

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Review:

Maisey Yates flawlessly creates what we believe to be a stable foundation in the beginning of Cowboy to the Core. This is book six in the Gold Valley series, following Jamie Dodge who is the sister to the Dodge brothers and Gabe Dalton. We see Gabe back when Mckenna entered the picture in book 4 but it was only a small glimpse. Oh boy, am I glad Gabe got his own book.

By six books in, I went in under the assumption that I had things figured out. I thought I knew all the characters and by this point, it’s just time to see the single siblings left, find romances of their own. Well, Ms. Maisey Yates quickly showed me how wrong I was. Cowboy to the Core follows two very complicated people. Gabe and Jamie both all throughout this romance are grappling with their individual identity issues. Gabe has this fear of becoming his father who he has been angry at for years, before we gradually see him recognize how he was totally wrong about which parent he identified with the most and why. While Jamie was the sister raised by a widowed father and her brothers. She loves her life, but now that everyone is getting older and she sees her brothers settling down, her Dad has remarried and moved on..she no longer has to be the tough sister, ‘one of the boys,’ chick she has always been. Jamie for a big part of the book is trying to figure out who she is, how to occupy the space she’s in and who she’s becoming.

“They all knew something that she didn’t.”

Jamie begins working for Gabe helping on his ranch with the animals which is obviously where the two get to spend a lot of time together and get to know one another. Which leads to one night at a local bar when Jamie sees Gabe chatting it up with this ‘buckle bunny,’ and realizes she doesn’t want him chatting it up with this chick! This is where things begin to shift.

Gabe becomes the first for a few things for Jamie. It was a very frustrating ride, but we see Jamie knock the walls down that she had built around herself for so long, as her relationship with Gabe began to change and flourish. Gabe however, hits this point where he armors himself and Jamie calls him out on it:

“Don’t kiss me. Don’t kiss me if you don’t love me. Don’t touch me if you don’t love me.” She was shaking, rage pouring through her like a river. “Because I deserve better than that. Because I had to figure out what everything meant. And then once I did I offered it to you. I changed. And I dug deep. And I found a pieces of myself I didn’t even know were there for you. And you want to stand there and tell me everything I don’t know. Want to tell me what I want, and how you have less growing to do. That’s bullshit, and I’m not here for it.”

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I felt on a whole other level the beauty behind how finding love can help you grow as a woman, and help in the process of figuring out who you are and who you’re becoming. I loved seeing the growth in Jamie.

“In life, the only thing we can control is our own choices.”

So much of this romance is about choices, and I think Maisey Yates did a fantastic job of weaving such a complex story together with this theme at the center of it all. It was so damn beautiful and a true love story.

Gabe, oh Gabe. I have already come to accept the fact that cowboys are my thing. I love a hard working man who doesn’t mind getting a little dirty and is totally okay with spending most of his day outside. Gabe just melted my heart, especially with how alpha male he comes across, yet Jamie is totally able to hold her own around him. And until we get into the weeds and seeds of how much of himself he needs to work on.

I am a total sucker for the guy having to go get his girl, so of course I swooned as high as swoons can go at the end of this book. I adored it. I’m so thankful I received the next book from Harlequin. I need to know whose story is next. There were some new characters kind of/sort of introduced in this one, so I’m antsy to see if their presence is shown in the next one.

I can’t recommend this series enough. If you don’t want to go back and read al the previous books, I think you’ll be fine starting off with Cowboy to the Core, but there may be some confusion on certain back stories, like McKenna and the Dalton brothers.

Thanks for reading yet another Maisey Yates fangirl post.

Until next time, take care of yourselves.

xo.

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Unbroken Cowboy by Maisey Yates

“I don’t know what you’ve done to me,” he said, brushing her hair off her face. “But I’m pretty obsessed with you. Just so you know.”

Ever since reading A Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas by Maisey Yates during my 2018 Holiday Romance Binge, I knew Maisey Yates was an author I needed to add to my list of “I need to read everything she’s written,” list. I’m totally reading her Gold Valley series out of order, definitely need to back track and read the first 3 books in the series, but I’m basically obsessed with what I have read so far.

Unbroken Cowboy by Maisey Yates (Gold Valley #5)

Published April 23, 2019 by HQN Books

Narrated on Audio by Suzanne Elsie Freeman

Average rating on Goodreads: 4.08 Stars

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

 

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Synopsis:

Dane Parker traded in his trailer-park roots for glory as a bull rider. But when a serious injury sidelines him for months, it’s the first time he can’t just pull himself up by his bootstraps. The last thing he wants to deal with is sweet family friend Bea treating him like one of her wounded animals—or the unexpected attraction that suddenly flares between them.

Beatrix Leighton has loved Dane for years, while he’s always seen her as another sister. When she enlists his help to start her animal sanctuary, she thinks it will give him purpose. Instead, it brings all the desire she feels for him to the boiling point. Bea’s father taught her early on that love means loss. But could her forbidden crush turn into a love that will last a lifetime?

 

My Thoughts:

What I loved about Bea and Dane’s romance is how well Maisey Yates captured first love, and how in some ways it never really leaves you..especially in Bea’s case. Dane, her first crush, first love..whichever you choose to call it is in so many ways a constant in her life. Their circle of people are the same so there is no way they wouldn’t be in some way, a part of each others lives.

Both Bea and Dane have Dad issues. Bea especially came from a situation where she felt kind of wrote off and associates love with loss so as the relationship between her and Dane grows she makes a decision to keep it strictly about sex. In her mind, it makes total sense. Dane is this rodeo bull rider guy who is completely experienced with women while Bea has never went there with a man. But I felt that Bea’s infatuation with Dane was written so well. I as the reader could feel how much this man who in her mind never noticed her, meant to her.

“there was something about the way Dane inhabited his skin that made her want to get closer to him.”

 

I can’t express how full my heart was when things started to heat up between these two. I was internally screeching with excitement because Bea felt like a girlfriend of mine who finally got her guy. 

“This was why people needed to have love affairs.”

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I really enjoyed reading Bea as a character and seeing her evolution as the girl with a love of animals living in her cabin in the wood. She is the nice girl whose strength gets underestimated at times. I love that she continued to pursue the things she loves and capitalize on them. Her pursuing her dreams is definitely inspirational.

Dane, in the beginning is this pissed off yet sexy grump because he’s been hurt doing what he loves the most. For both of these characters, they checked off  a ‘character growth’ must have for me. We get to see both of these individuals have to confront their own issues separately before being able to be fully happy together.

This book, just like the previous one, took me be surprise. I saw the cover and it gives me the cozy vibes..but oh how sexy it is!

“He stripped her clothes from her body slowly, so very slowly, taking his time as he kissed the curve of her neck, her shoulder, her collarbone. He avoided the more obvious parts of her, instead of moving straight through the centerline of her body, down to her stomach, stopping just above where she was wet and hungry for him. He kissed her inner thigh, her knee, down. Until she was shaking. Until she felt like every kiss was a gunshot. Piercing her skin and going deep. Adding to that endless pain in her chest. He stood, stripped the rest of his clothes off slowly. Her mouth went dry.”

The sex scenes were descriptive just enough. It gave me what I needed without being overly done and yes, I was excited. Yates wrote Bea and her crush for Dane so well, that when she finally has sex with him I was like,”Yes, finally.” I as the reader could feel how she never expected this, never thought she would find herself in the situation in which she did.

I couldn’t give this book any less than 5 stars for the emotions it stirred in me. It really made me think of the importance of first love and how it can be so important for the emotions it stirs. There was this sweet combination of innocence yet hot and intense when it came to Bea’s feelings for Dane and when you begin to realize his feelings for Bea have grown it’s almost as if you question if they are now stronger than his feelings for her. She tries so hard to remain strong and stick to keeping it strictly physical. It was an ode to love finding it’s way though, and I loved it!

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