Review: Heart of a Cowboy by Kristin Vayden

Heart of a Cowboy by Kristin Vayden
Series:  Elk Heights Ranch (# 1)
Release Date:  December 19, 2017
Publisher:  Lyrical Caress
Pages:  188
Source: book provided by NetGalley for review



A stubborn cowboy has sworn never to forgive or forget—but one special woman may find a way to change his mind . . .
Hospice nurse Laken Garlington helps people face the end with peace and dignity, surrounded by their loved ones. But the son of her new patient didn’t come home to reunite with his dad. So why is Cyler Myer back in horse country? It’s clear the sexy, six-three hunk with the steely eyes has a score to settle, and Laken doesn’t plan on being collateral damage . . . no matter how irresistible she finds the prodigal cowboy.

Dying is too good for the father Cyler will never forgive—not in this lifetime.
Showing up at his family’s Washington State ranch is the first step in his plan. But revenge takes a back seat to desire when Cyler meets a bossy beauty who arouses feelings he isn’t ready to face. As they work together to save an ailing mare, Cyler realizes he must decide where his true destiny lies. With darkness . . . or with the woman who offers the promise of redemption with every kiss.


Review:  Heart of a Cowboy definitely has a lot of heart in it.  My emotions were engaged from the first page since the premise for the story is about Jack and his cancer, his need for a hospice nurse and Jack being reunited with his estranged son, Cyler.  There are many layers to the story with both lightness and darkness and I felt laughter and tears as I read.  There is a realism to the story and how it and the characters were portrayed.  I liked that so much of the past was brought in so that we could understand the characters.  The story takes a few twists and turns but all the story lines are interwoven nicely.  Watching Jack and Cyler come to terms with each other was both heartbreaking and heartwarming especially as Cyler lets go of his hate a little at a time.

The book has a nice cover and characters that were well developed with a lot of depth to them.  We learned about them a little at a time.  Three of the characters had very unique names – the hospice nurse, Laken, Jack’s son, Cyler and Laken’s best friend, Kessed. Laken and Cyler were good for each other but didn’t expect to fall so hard.  She brought out the best in him and they were so good together.  Their chemistry is off the charts.

There are family and friends, opportunists, Margaret the horse, the ranch and its surroundings, lots of coffee, hate, bitterness, anger, sorrow, sadness, illness, romance, loving and love.  The descriptions of the land, the river and the ranch were vivid and made me feel that I was there.  There is wonderful closure especially with the epilogue.  I loved the passage from Ecclesiastes that was given.  As this is the first book in the Elk Heights Ranch series, I can’t wait to return for more!

Vayden is a new to me author and I enjoyed her writing style.  I will be adding a few of her other books to my always growing TBR pile.

Favorite Quote:  Laken grinned, taking his hand.  His warm gaze melted her from the inside out.

And she knew that he wasn’t just holding her hand.

He was holding her heart.


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