Cash, Jace, andSawyer: Three cousins sharing an inheritance of five hundred acres of prime California ranch land—and a whole lot of surprises . . .
Cash Dalton is no rancher. He’s an FBI agent—or at least he was, until he left a haunting case behind him and a load of guilt in front of him. Now it turns out he’s also a father—to a twelve-year-old girl he didn’t know he had. Clearly, it’s no time for a new romance, especially not with Aubrey McAlister, who’s renting the cottage on Dry Creek Ranch. She doesn’t even seem to like him. Still, there’s nothing wrong with looking . . .
After calling off her wedding, Aubrey is trying to focus on her interior design career and avoid the fact that she’s the center of small-town gossip. Clearly, it’s no time for a new romance, especially not with brooding Cash. Though she does find him sexy as hell. And he has softened since his daughter arrived—enough for Aubrey to help decorate her room—and even try to get Cash to open up about the chip on his shoulder. Once he does, both their hearts might just follow—but will their futures sync up as well?
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Fly Girl’s Review
So I wanted to read this series when I saw the blurb for Cowboy Tough, but realized I probably would be better off if I started it from the beginning. I’m here to say, “Thank goodness, I did.” I would have missed an awesome story and a lot of back story of the three cousins and Dry Creek Ranch. This place sounds heavenly, but the men are dreamy and to die for. Nothing like a little law enforcement professional to help a girl out.
Stacy picks the right name for this one because Cash needs to Cowboy Up from page 1. He’s sitting around feeling sorry for himself because he lost his job with the FBI, for being a standup guy, and finds out he has a 12 year old daughter he didn’t know about. Well buddy, sometimes life hands you some curveballs and you just have to suck it up and go for it. Stacy makes him do that around 1/3 of the way in. Cash accepts his 12 year old daughter with open arms and discovers he loves being a father to her, even if it is overprotective. He doesn’t Cowboy Up about his job until much later in the book, but he eventually does that. He also Cowboy’s Up about accepting his grandfather’s death and the fact his cousins don’t want to sell the ranch they all inherited, even though he does. Again, she shows us that sometimes you get lemons when you don’t want them, but you can still make lemonade in the middle of winter and enjoy it.
Aubrey on the other hand has to Cowgirl Up on several issues of her own. The fiancee she wasn’t in love with, her career in the toilet because of ex-fiancee, her reputation in tatters because of gossip mongers. She does these throughout the story but not until after she realizes how much it is going to hurt her best friend, Cash’s cousin. It seems like she’s letting others take over control of her life including her career because she won’t stand up for herself. She finally gets her single legs under her and pushes forward with making the rumors stop. Cash helps a little bit when he manages to help expose the ex-fiancee in a cattle rustling-property short sale scheme. This gives Aubrey her control back over her life and takes it out of the hands of the gossip queens in town.
For small town life, there sure is a lot of stuff happening and the Dalton brothers seem to be in the middle of it all the time. Cash finally take a cattle rustling investigator position in the end, so I can really see him playing further roles in the next two books. Can’t wait to read and review those also. This book went much deeper emotionally than previous ones I’ve read by Stacy which was a little surprising. I thought it was going to be a sweet romance and it was a bit gritty. I loved it anyway. The emotions from Cash, Aubrey, and Ellie are well done and deep down I think that is how I’d feel put in the same situation. Stacy also gives Ellie her own voice in this one which I thought was very good and gave the story even more depth than if it were just Cash and Aubrey. I’m giving this a 4.5 of 5 and hope the next two are just as good.
4.5 of 5 Propellers
And here’s the rest of the Dry Creek Ranch series:
Connect with Stacy Finz
Stacy Finz is an award-winning journalist. After more than seventeen years covering notorious serial killers, naked-tractor-driving farmers, fanatical foodies, aging rock stars and weird Western towns for the San Francisco Chronicle, she figured she finally had enough material to launch a career writing fiction. In 2012 she won the Daphne du Maurier Award for unpublished single-title mystery/suspense. She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband.