Constrained by her life as a Society widow, Lady Olivia Xavier finds escape in two unusual ways: as the owner of a successful brewery, and as a secret reader of penny dreadful Western novels. But Olivia’s beloved brewery is being threatened, and she has no ally in her fight. Until a mysterious cowboy steps out from the London fog, saving her from a terrifying brawl. Suddenly, Olivia isn’t just reading about the Wild West, she’s living it.
Colorado cowboy Will Coffin has made the long journey from his Rocky Mountain home to discover his birthright. While searching for his family, he encounters the beguiling Olivia. Will’s never met a real English lady before—certainly not one as lovely and courageous as Olivia—and he can’t resist coming to her rescue.
Olivia is powerfully drawn to the rough but honorable cowboy. She proposes a most scandalous arrangement: in exchange for helping protect her brewery, she’ll help Will find his family. Even more scandalous is that he’ll be sleeping under her roof. The entire arrangement sets Society’s tongues wagging. Meanwhile, the danger to the brewery, and Olivia herself, keeps escalating. But nothing’s as dangerous, or seductive, as the growing desire between the lady and the cowboy…
This blurb came from the author’s website here.
I have read and enjoyed several of Archer’s books in the past so when she mentioned this one to me I was intrigued. I looked at the blurb and thought that Lady X’s Cowboy would hit several of the tropes that I tend to enjoy. According to the blurb, which didn’t lie, it has a cowboy, England, a very determined widow and physical danger so I eagerly accepted the review request. Archer provided me with an entertaining story in a completely different package then I expected.
Starting off with Olivia reading her penny dreadful Westerns and hoping to avoid the very sanctimonious and proper leader of a charity mission was just perfect. I absolutely loved the dichotomy of having a brewery, run by a woman, directly across the street from a women’s charity mission. It was like having your complete opposite rubbed in your face each time you looked outside. When Olivia was accosted by some thugs-for-hire while waiting for her coach to arrive, her hero arrived. When Olivia realized that he was a real cowboy she thought that all of the stereotypes she had read about cowboys were real. It was very entertaining to watch as she was forced to discard most of them as she grew to know Will.
Will was a lot of fun too. He had his fair share of stereotypes, which were a bit more accurate then Olivia’s. He also felt that he shouldn’t have anything to do with her because of his place in society compared to Olivia’s. He didn’t want to do anything that would harm her reputation or embarrass her in public. The actions he took to avoid her embarrassment were very sweet and just melted my heart along with how he demanded that other men treat her with respect. He was certainly willing to back up those demands with his fists, knife or pistol depending on the situation.
While Olivia and Will were getting to know each other they also had to deal with the threats to her brewery which then escalated to include threats to Olivia’s life. I liked how different tactics were used to try to convince Olivia to sell. There were a couple of villains in Lady X’s Cowboy. The first was the person who really wanted Olivia’s brewery. He pretty much believed that because of his family’s position he could do no wrong while suffering from Narcissism. He really didn’t change much but it was great to see him get his towards the end. The hired assassin was a piece of work. Not stupid but certainly had a few screws loose. He obsession with cowboys was a lovely counterpoint with Olivia’s interest in cowboys.
Without giving away a major spoiler I just loved how Archer didn’t take the easy way for Olivia and Will’s HEA. I was slightly concerned for a little but she didn’t let me down. In fact Archer actually increased the stakes which made the ending that much more satisfying for me. I was thoroughly engrossed in Will and Olivia’s story. I enjoyed the lack of a Season, Almacks, and the reversal of a cowboy in England instead of the English lady dealing with the American west.
I give Lady X’s Cowboy a B+
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