Monday, September 7, 2009

Review: Once A Cowboy

Title: Once A Cowboy
Author: Linda Warren
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Cowboy Trilogy/Book 3
Published: February 2007

From the author's website ~

Once. And For Always

Brodie Hayes is a former rodeo star, now a rancher-a cowboy, through and through. But when he finds out some shocking news about the circumstances of his birth, he begins to question his identity. Luckily, private investigator Alexandra Donovan is there to help him find the truth about who he is. Along the way, he discovers that even a man who thought he'd be alone for the rest of his life can fall in love.

For Brodie, love was something you did once-and for always. But is Alex the type of woman who can take on a stubborn man like him? Because there's one thing about him that will never change, no matter what they find out about his past-once a cowboy, always a cowboy.

Why did I read this? Because it was free. :) Yep, Once A Cowboy is one of the seventeen free downloads that Harlequin is offering to celebrate 60 years of publishing. What was even better than the price tag was the story. While I didn't download all of the free reads I do plan on trying a number of them. The two historicals look interesting and Hilcia from Impressions gave Raeanne Thayne's Dancing in the Moonlight ,from the Silhouette line,a very positive review.

I enjoyed Linda Warren's voice and her ability to give her characters a strong presence without overshadowing the story. The main characters of Brodie and Alex were easy to like and enough back story was provide that I felt I knew them. If I had any problems with their relationship it was the romance aspect of it moving too slow. The book was only 246 pages and I thought they would get together long before they finally did.

The overall story was different than what I was expecting. The author got into the ramifications of what would happen if suddenly you are not who you thought you were. Warren didn't gloss over how what affects one person can spiral out to affect others no matter what precautions are take. I liked that Brodie showed his concern for his mother, who sorely tried his patience. He was an easy going, likable guy that was content with his life. When his career as a bull rider ended he took to his ranch and made a life for himself there. When he first meets Alex it's for business reasons but Alex soon becomes concerned about Brodie and reaches out to him. He doesn't want her in his life but she is stubborn and continues to look out for his best interest.

The two do eventually acknowledge their attraction and Brodie lets Alex into his life where she quickly makes a place for herself. Alex, for all her tenacity, was a heroine that I saw as good for Brodie. And Brodie was good for her, he's there when she needs him the most. But at first it's loads of drama and the past coming back to haunt Brodie. Alex is good for him in that she knows when to push and when to back off. Alex's own past isn't a bed of roses. Her mother died when she was 2. She's now in her early 30's and lives with her father and grandmother, who don't get along very well. To say her life is pretty much about her P.I. work would be accurate. She's tends to get too involved in some of the cases and becomes emotionally attached. I think it was because she needed someone to focus all her nurturing instincts on and she needed to become independent of her father and grandmother.

All and all, considering this was free it was certainly worth my reading time which isn't easy to come by. The romance wasn't as strong as I would have liked but I'll be looking for more of Ms. Warren's book in the future. Even if this doesn't sound like your type of story, there might be some among the 17 category romances available to enjoy.
Linda Warren has written a number of books for Harlequin. Those books and the excerpts can be found at her website.

Rating: B


  1. Hi Leslie. I also read this story a while back and agree with your assessment. I wish their romance had been more of a central theme. However, like you, I also have Ms. Warren's name on my list of authors to look up. :)

  2. Hils ~ if the book had been longer with more time for the romance I would have been ok with it but the romance just seemed rushed.

  3. Sounds like a great deal :) and it seems to me you're still in a western mood LOL :)

  4. nath ~ my western mood is waning, might have over done it a bit. LOL I think I'm in need of some RS or UF. :)