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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Recent Kindle One-Clicks

Looking for something to one click for your Kindle? One clicking for me can get pretty dangerous. I instantly will find myself down a rabbit hole of scourging Amazon to see what else is out there and before I know it I have more downloaded than I can probably handle..But I wanted to share some of my recent one clicks with you in case you needed some ideas.

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First up is A Lesson In Thorns by Sierra Simone, a new favorite romance author of mine. I wanted to devour everything she’s written ever since I read Priest.

A Lesson In Thorns

With an average rating of 4.37 stars on Goodreads, my hopes and expectations for A Lesson in Thorns are a tad high, but I have started it already and it is giving all the dark, atmospheric Sierra Simone vibes I need.  It follows Poe, a librarian who goes to Thornchapel for work, determined to stay away from the tortured owner, Auden. Poe also wants to find out what happened to her mother, 12 years ago. While she works in the library, keeping her head down..she assumes it should be easy to track down why this remote manor would be the last place her mother was seen.

My next one click, I don’t know much about, but a friend posted it on Instagram and I had to have it.

My Life in Shambles

My Life in Shambles has an average rating of 4.13 stars on Goodreads and a damn gorgeous cover to it. I want to go into it a tad blind so I’ll share part of the blurb with you..

When Valerie Stephens made the resolution to say yes to new adventures, she never thought she’d end up in the tiny town of Shambles, fake engaged to one of Ireland’s top rugby players. But there’s a first time for everything.

 

My next one click is one I have actually started making my way through and am loving!

Petal Pluckers

Petal Plucker is hilarious so far and I’m only on the third chapter. It has an average rating of 3.98 stars on Goodreads and I’m loving it. It follows Dani, short for Dandelion *her Mom was tripping*  and she is now running her family’s flower shop..when one day, the guy who stood her up on prom night walks back into her life. The banter between Dani and her family is giving me life right now and I can’t wait to see where the romance goes.

And my most recent one click is a duo author new release..like the night before I typed this new..

Imperfect Match

With an average rating of 4.62 stars on Goodreads, and written by Melanie Harlow *a Fave* and Corinne Michaels who I have had on my authors to be read list..I feel it in my core that I’m going to love this book. The cover alone gives me all the feels! 

Rule number one for a professional matchmaker?

Don’t fall in love with your client.

Enough said.

 

Those friends, are my latest one-clicks on Amazon for my Kindle. Let me know what you have one clicked recently if you’re an ebook reader. Hope all is well with you, until next time..xo.

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Journaling on Bad Mental Health Days

I wanted to share some prompts I’ve used on bad mental health days. On those days when my mental health sucked the absolute most, regardless of the funk I was in, I think those are the moments I need to write the most. I did 2 wonderful weeks of Outpatient Therapy at a local hospital and after lunch there were 2 hours of art and journaling time. A few of these are prompts I found and wrote my responses to while there.

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  • Describe a time in your Life when you failed & what you learned from it.–This one was tough. Who wants to dwell on failure?..but it was the second part that got me. What did I learn from this failure? I wanted to focus on a time when things didn’t turn out how I expected or hoped..and what I took away from that not happening.
  • What does your ideal life look like?–Looking at life and goals for my life, especially during such a dark period really helped boost my hope for the future.
  • What lessons have I learned from having depression?–Determined to not allow this piece of my life to kick my butt, I jotted down what finally calling it what it is, seeking help and managing day to day with it had taught me.
  • What are 3 things that made you happy today?–When life feels so redundant and when you live with this cloud following you around, I know me personally, I forget to reflect on the happy moments. So I jotted down one day what had made me happy. Don’t give all the negative your energy.
  • Write the words that you need to hear–This prompt was really important to me, because when I hit my really dark period it was after years of having never giving my “monster,” a name. So it was really new for me..and also new for my loved ones. I think with it being this new thing we all needed to learn to live with,  no one really knew what to say to me. And things they were saying weren’t always the right thing. A lot of people in my life, some of the most important ones definitely have the ability to make things about them. So writing what I needed to hear in that moment was refreshing and uplifting.
  • Jotting down “triggers,” and what I can do to combat them–For a few weeks my therapist gave me an assignment to jot down when my moods take over, what I’m doing and how it made me feel so that at our following session we could sit and discuss them. This got me to thinking and wanting to write down triggers. Focusing on my triggers and coming up with my own ways to combat them felt very powerful. It took some strength but I knew that was only the beginning of the battle..I’d have to actually use the techniques I came up with when the time came. There was something moving about owning it and taking that responsibility.

 

So these were just a few writing prompts that I used during some of my darkest mental health days. I do have a specific journal just for my mental health journey which I love and prefer and would recommend to you as well. It has a little bit of everything in it..music lyrics, quotes, poems, art work and writing.

My hope is that even if not one of these prompts, this post gives you the encouragement needed to do some writing on the days when nothing feels possible. and know I’m here rooting for you.

Until next time, take care of yourselves. xo.

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My “Why”: Why I started My Romance Blog

In a nut shell, why not..?

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I had too many “I have time to do that later moments,” in my 20s..so my Dirty 30s are all about seizing the most out of every moment I’m blessed with. I kept making excuses and finally just Went for it.

As a woman of color occupying a teeny tiny piece of this very white female online book community who also reads the red headed step child genre (yet the genre making the most money) the odds can feel VERY against me but who gives a sh*t about *odds*?

Romance was the genre I thankfully began reading and fell in love with months before the darkest mental health moment I’ve had in my life. Once I sought help, while at every group meeting, during outpatient therapy, every doctors appointment..I always had a romance novel with me. Always. I felt the genre and it’s authors became companions for me and helped pull me through a tough time..so it’s only right I do my part, regardless of how big/small to show them love.

Romance is such a huge genre, I truly believe there is something out there for everyone..you just have to find the right book. I’d love for someone who maybe never read a romance to find a new favorite book due to reading my blog or seeing an Instagram post.

I work full time. I’m a mom of 3 littles and *fingers crossed* will be going back to school in the next few months. I wanted something I could give my attention to that truly felt like mine. Blogging and my Instagram (falling4romance) are mine. They keep me motivated to make time for myself both to read and blog. It’s having my blog that gets me out of bed on the weekends to go visit a coffee shop, sip a delicious latte and get reading done.

I love when I hear what someone’s idea of what they think a romance reader looks like. While in some cases I know someone who can identify with their idea..I am typically not it. Being in the military and a police officer in the military, it is very much a man’s game. Women in our career field tend to be one of the guys..not what you would expect to be a romance reader. I hope my being here gives that young lady/woman at home who is torn because she doesn’t think she’s the right demographic..she’s not what people would expect..she’s not sure where she’ll fit in, that girlfriend push to just go for it!

There it is Friends. My ‘Why’ behind starting my blog. I’d love to know yours..

until next time, take care of yourselves. xo.

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19 questions.

 

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How many books are too many in a series?

Depends on how much I’m loving the series. I am new to the world of series reading and the most I’ve had to read was 7ish books, but could’ve definitely read more.

 How do you feel about cliff-hangers? 

I understand their purpose..they definitely put me on the edge of my seat and have me super anxious to find out what’s coming next but if being honest, I’d rather a book wrap all it’s loose ends with one book.

Hardback or paperback?

Paperbacks but the struggle to wait for their release is too real sometimes.

Favorite book?

There’s no way I can narrow it down to one..Winter Sea by Susann Kearsley, Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne Du Maurier, Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins..Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Just to name a few.

Least favorite book?

Girl, Wash Your Face was absolute trash.

Love Triangle… Yes or No?

This is one plot device I don’t mind at all.

The most recent book you couldn’t finish?

I downloaded a Mariah Stewart romance and knew instantly I wasn’t in the mood for it. Maybe another time.

A book you’re currently reading?

I just started The Affiliate by K.A. Linde thanks to the Audible Romance package.

The last book you recommended to someone? 

I recommended Next Year in Havana to someone wanting to read When We Left Cuba who hadn’t read the first book yet.

Oldest book you’ve read (based on publication date)? 

Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

Newest book you’ve read (based on publication date)? 

California Girls by Susan Mallery

Favorite author?

Susanna Kearsley

Buying books or borrowing them?

Both. Although my hauling has slowed down a bit, I love the excitement of ordering a book and getting home from work to open the package. I love perusing the bookshelves at my local used book store or B&N but I am a huge library user. I always have an audiobook downloaded through Overdrive!

A book you dislike that everyone else loves? 

Girl, Wash Your Face. 

Bookmarks or dog-ears? 

Both.

A book you can reread over and over?

Lullabies by Lang Leav

Can you read while listening to music? 

I’ve tried it once. It was instrumentals, Chillhop on Youtube and it wasn’t as difficult to concentrate as I expected, but I’d prefer silence.

Multiple POVs or one POV? 

Both are fine as long as the story is easy to follow.

Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days on average? 

I hardly ever read a book in one sitting unless it’s a poetry collection or a short audiobook. 

 

Those are my answers, please feel free to chat with me about any you’re the same on or different. I’d love to know.. and if you’re up for it, do the tag and let me know! Until next time, take care of yourselves. xo.

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The Breakfast Club Book Tag

Hello friends! It is tag time. Sara @ The Bibliophagist is who I saw do this one in particular, and being a total Breakfast Club Stan, I had to do it.

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Princess

A book that is very popular and pretty on the outside, but you thought was uninteresting on the inside

99PercentMine

 

Sorry, not sorry. 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne didn’t do it for me. I wasn’t feeling Darcey whatsoever. My fingers were crossed that good ol’ Tom would redeem the story for me, and was greatly disappointed..and her brother?! *insert eye roll emoji..please* Darcy’s brother was so immature. Before you ask..No, I haven’t read The Hating Game. One day, I do plan to give it a try but with how disappointing this one was, I’m in no particular rush.

molly

 

Criminal

A book that looks/sounds rough and bad, but ended up completely stealing your heart

PRIEST

One word honey, PRIEST.  It’s so damn wrong but is so damn perfect all the while. Sierra Simone crafted this very atmospheric, totally forbidden, so sexy, romance. I was hooked from beginning to end.

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Brain

A book that made you think

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When We Left Cuba really made me think.  My mind was all over the place while reading this book, thinking of Beatriz, and her role as a woman during the time period the book is set. It was one of those reading experiences that really had me questioning “what would I do?” I liked how Chanel Cleeton bought to light that not all women just sat by as things were happening. So many actually took action and did their part.

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Basket Case

A book that people would call you crazy for reading

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The reason I chose Midnight at the Wandering Vineyard for this one is because, readers I’m close to are big on, “Don’t read it, if you’re not feeling it.” I completely roll with this, if I’m hating the book. I didn’t hate this book, but it sure as heck lost my interest to the point, for a while I was reading yet had absolutely no idea what was going on.

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Athlete

A book that made you struggle/work to finish

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I had to go with Women of the Dunes by Sarah Maine for this one. Was it entirely the books fault..? Not necessarily, however it did play some part in it. Once upon a time, about 3 years ago, historical fiction was my jam! Honestly, it feels like I woke up one day and no longer had any interest in reading it. So, I was a little nervous in picking this book up and once I began reading it, it wasn’t doing it’s best to rekindle my historical fiction flame. I do however think if you are a historical fiction fan, and are especially fond of Scottish history, you’ll love this.

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Feel free to answer these questions if you’re up for it. I’d love to see your responses. If you decide to do it, let me know so I can see your answers. xo.

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thank U Next: 3 Books I Didn’t Like

Let’s get this out of the way: Very rarely do I read a book I don’t like. I usually find something in a read that I enjoy, but not liking does occasionally happen. I was sitting here thinking of fairly recent ones that I wasn’t a big fan of and came up with three.

First that came to mind was Dark Witch by Nora Roberts. What saddens me about my experience reading Dark Witch is that it was my first Nora Roberts romance ever!

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The cover to Dark Witch is absolutely gorgeous and the synopsis on the back has some buzzwords that immediately wanting to read it! old legends. blood and magic. falling head over heels. Despite the fact that the summary of the book totally grabbed my attention, I just could not get into the actual story. I think a big part of my distaste for the book was that I listened to the audiobook and this was the first audiobook experience where I couldn’t vibe with the narrator. Oh well, my fingers are crossed that hopefully I enjoy the next book in the trilogy.

Next is one I read for the Barnes and Noble Book Club. Keeping up with their book club picks gives me a chance to sit in real life and chat books with other readers which I enjoy but I haven’t read one pick yet that blew me away..

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The Only Woman In the Room by Marie Benedict has this stunning cover and tells the real life story of classic Hollywood Starlets, Hedy Lamar. The book starts off strong in my opinion. It was written in a way that as the reader I felt trapped in this life that had become Hedy’s everyday experience. However, although I think the book starts off really strong, I also felt that too much of the book focused on Hedy’s life before she became the Hedy she is known for..which was fine, but then the ending felt so abrupt. I was left yearning for so much more. Guess I went into this one with expectations that were a tad too high.

My last one hurt a little bit. I just knew I was going to love this book..

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Sorry, not sorry to all the Sally Thorne fans out there. I haven’t read The Hating Game yet and actually listened to an interview she did on a Podcast recently and enjoyed what she had to say so much that I am willing to read whatever else she puts out..but 99 Percent Mine was dreadful. I didn’t like Darcy at all! She just felt so fake to me. I was over the whole “I’ve always been sick so I live on the edge,” vibes she was constantly trying to give off. Her brother was so unbelievably immature, I couldn’t stand it..I thought Tom would redeem the story for me, but that didn’t happen. I will eventually get around to reading The Hating Game though, (fingers crossed that’s a better experience!) but after my experience with this one, sadly I’m in no rush.

Have there been any reads recently that you didn’t enjoy that you care to share? Let me know. Until next time, take care of yourselves. xo

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