It was their parents’ ranch, through the good days and the bad. But if they want to hang on to their land, their pride, and their family, the three Sorentino sisters will have to reinvent it from the ground up–and one of them just may reinvent herself in the process…
Cowboys have never been good for Amy Sorentino. First her hard-riding father bankrupted the family farm. Then her all-hat-no-cattle boyfriend sold her out on national television, ending her promising career as a chef. Now she and her squabbling sisters have partnered up in a final attempt to save their land by starting an inn and local restaurant. So it figures that with everything on the line, Amy’s key supplier is just the kind of Stetson-tipping heartbreaking bad boy she’s sworn to avoid. But Kellan Reed has a few secrets of his own–and cowboy or not, Amy can’t resist this kind of wild ride…
This blurb came from the author’s website here.
Don’t forgot to check out today’s early post which is our Debut Author Feature and Giveaway with Melissa Cutler.
I am a fan of small town, family linked series, cowboys, cooking, and romance so when I read the blurb, as seen above, on the review request, I had to give it a try. Cutler provided all of that, as well as dysfunctional families, unscrupulous individuals, an obsession with chopping celery and really nice kitchen knives. I got a kick out of the opening of The Trouble With Cowboys with Amy desperately looking for fresh produce, the kind that has a satisfying crunch when chopped, to help relieve her stress. Everyone has their own individual methods of stress-relief, I just never considered chopping produce *makes mental note* as one. It is in the only store open before 10am that the Amy and Kellan first meet and not only does Amy see someone who hits all of her buttons, but she finds out he can supply her with fresh produce, and he is the person she needs to set up a contract for fresh local beef. Obviously, Amy’s instant attraction makes things slightly complicated. After being made a fool on national television by a “cowboy”, Amy has a new life rule that says “resist temptation by staying away from cowboys.” Not to mention the possible complications of mixing business with pleasure, especially when there aren’t any other local beef suppliers if things don’t work out. However, fighting that attraction is made even harder with Kellan’s own interest in Amy. He also knew that they shouldn’t but he was really really tempted.
Amy didn’t have calm and peaceful interactions with very many people. Or maybe it is fairer to say that the Sorentino sisters didn’t tend to have peaceful interactions with anyone. Their dealings with each other ranged from rare all around good nature, to sniping to some pretty impressive food fights. Despite their discord the three sisters were united in fighting to save their parents’ ranch while caring for their mother. Both tasks would be challenging enough but throw in the very shady owner of a large oil drilling company and planning for the inn and restaurant conversion become almost the easy part. Even with their bickering it was never enough to make me grow annoyed at the sisters because you could see that they loved each other. It was that very love that made it so effortless for them to push each other’s buttons. Such as framed pictures of a cow named Tulip with a wreath of flowers around her neck continually appearing in the bathroom.
Cutler provided a great cast of supporting characters to add humor, wisdom and depth to her world. I think my two favorites were the lawyer Matt and the retired Navy chef Mr. Dixon. They seemed to provide positive male role models despite their very opposite ages and positions in relation to Amy. She needed them both to provide a balance to her tumultuous relationship with Kellan. They also had a steadying influence on the other members of the Sorentino family and I wonder if Matt will show up in future books * crosses fingers *. All of the other supporting characters also helped flesh out the small town feeling with rumors started at the very beginning continuing through the end. I enjoyed that sense of continuity as I read.
Kellan and Amy had a rather intensive relationship. They started with their mutual physical attraction seasoned by the knowledge that acting on their attraction was probably a bad idea. Then they started developing a friendship and Kellan discovered that he had a secret, which had the potential to completely ruin their growing relationship. I was slightly irritated at his delay but I could also understand it because he was trying to find a way to minimize the damage and he didn’t want to lose his adopted hometown. I did love how he prepared for the big reveal only to have to deal with the knowledge that Amy had recently found out. Despite her obvious and understandable anger Kellan didn’t just abandon Amy as things got tougher. His very insistence to be there for her when he was needed made my heart melt even as he gave her the space she demanded on everyday matters.
Cutler also provided some hints as to the possible relationships for the other two Sorentino sisters. I am looking forward to seeing what happens with them. Not to mention progress on the inn and restaurant conversion along with the motley crew of employees. I found The Trouble With Cowboys an entertaining read full of emotional ups and downs yet providing the sense of hope for the future. I am eagerly looking forward to the next Catcher Creek story.
I give The Trouble With Cowboys a B+