Thursday, May 5, 2016

4 stars--Outlaw Cowboy (Big Sky Cowboys #2) by Nicole Helm

Ahhh cowboys! Love me some cowboys. Some sexy times. Some drama. A second chance sort of romance and watching two damaged people grow and heal? Yeah. Nicole Helm had my attention from page one of Outlaw Cowboy and threw me all through a wringer...and it was quite the ride!

The quick of it is that Delia has come back to town to save her baby sister from a bad situation and needing to hide out she pretty much squats on Caleb's land in an old cabin. That is until Caleb discovers her. And then all sorts of growly sexy goodness begins. He may be attracted to Delia but dammit! Caleb does not need the trouble that always follows Delia around. Not when he's trying to turn his life--and ranch--around. A battle of wills...they're gonna have. And it's gonna be messy.

Alright so Delia and Caleb. Whew boy, yall. These are two characters that make you work for it. Delia was a handful. She's pretty much feral and would be so very easy to dislike. She reminded me of an abused animal that lashes out in fear and is just unpredictable and wild. But damn if I didn't feel for her and the horrors she's been through that turned her into that. And Caleb. The guy is trying so hard to survive. He hit rock bottom a while back and everything in his life right now is about staying clean (he's an alcoholic) and trying to save the family ranch that's in dire straights. I liked him. I really did. And his battles for being good enough and proving himself tugged at my heart.

There was a lot of push and pull between these two. Holy hell. These two are so fucked up! Love, romance, peace, life in general are battles for these two. Nothing comes easy and they really had to fight for everything.

Their drama. I'll give it to them. Their drama is brutal. Seriously brutal. She went through years of extreme abuse as a child and everything she's done since then has been trying to save her sisters who are still stuck in that hell. She's barely scraping by--like malnourished, has nothing, etc--and like I mentioned she's feral in both her reactions and her need to save her family. And Caleb's family has been in it's own hell--abandoned by their mother then dealing with an angry injured father, their home ranch being near bankrupt and trying to claw their way back and being vulnerable to others. You could feel both of their desperation and how very thin their hold on everything was.

In the end I enjoyed Outlaw Cowboy. The characters weren't easy and their lives far from perfect but they tugged at my heart and won me over. It was quite the journey and full of bumps and bruises and frustrations (on their part and mine). Worth it though. I wasn't sure they'd be able to pull it all off but they had me rooting for them and so very happy seeing them grow and heal and find the peace and love they so very much deserved.

And just so you don't think it was totally depressing and heavy. There were some very sexy moments and oh gah some hilarious ones too. This had me rolling!

He pushed out of bed. The room was cold and his feet were freezing, but he needed to find the source of that noise first. Before it woke up Dad. Unless it was Dad.

His pace quickened, another bang sounded as he stepped out into the hall. He was almost certain it came from the door to the rickety old second-story porch. No one had been out there in ages.

He inched his way toward it. Probably an animal or the wind, but...

Bang bang. 

It sounded awfully human. Standing to the side of the door, he tried to peer out of the gap between the window on the door and the curtain. A shadow lingered, but without any kind of light he couldn't make out what it was. Tree? Raccoon? Bloodthirsty thief?

He rolled his eyes at himself. Because bloodthirsty thieves were known for banging on doors. It couldn't be a person. It was a second-story porch. He unbolted the door and pushed it open.

"It's about time."

The sound that came out of him was decidedly unmanly, and it was only thanks to his grip on the door that he didn't sink to his knees.

"The fuck, Delia?"

"Let me in. I'm f-freezing." 

Ever since his father’s accident, Caleb Shaw vowed he’d mend his wild ways, and he means to keep his word. He’s a changed man. A better man. And he knows he should want absolutely nothing to do with his crazy old life…or the maddening temptation that is Delia Rogers.

Because Delia? Is nothing but trouble.

Delia’s been stealing her sisters away from their violent father ever since she was old enough to fight back. But now with the police on her trail and all her bridges burned, there’s nowhere left to run but back into the arms of the one cowboy she knows she shouldn’t need. Caleb has always been too good for her, no matter how bad he claimed to be. Yet when close quarters turn into something more, Delia and Caleb are forced to decide what really matters: mending their reputations or healing their wary hearts…
*covers link to Amazon

Challenges: Pick Your Genre (contemporary) | Goodreads

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