on July 17th 2017
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
Three years ago, artist Emily White's grief and survivor's guilt sent her to the small Wyoming town of Fly Creek. Since then, she's kept her emotions safely tucked away—until she meets the new rancher at Sky Lake Dude Ranch. Stetson in hand, the gorgeous cowboy's arrival in her store immediately shakes up her world.
Adam Conley is only in Fly Creek for as long as it takes to fulfill his promise to his late cousin. The small town brings up too many memories of the life he left behind years ago. He knows his task won't be easy, but the last thing he expects is the instant attraction to the reason he's in town. Emily is beautiful, vibrant, and completely off-limits. He's there to keep his promise—not fall in love.
But Adam's secret will crumble everything Emily's life has revolved around.
Emily turned to catch a look of confusion written all over Adam’s face.
He shook his head and grabbed her hand. “You seem a very surprising woman today. Wondering just what got into you.”
I’m trying to live again.
“I’ve changed my mind,” he said abruptly.
Her smile faltered. Had she done something wrong? Was she so rusty she was downright off-putting?
“Seeing you soon.”
“Oh.” Emily tugged at her hand, but Adam held firm. If this was his way of letting her down easy, he was failing spectacularly.
“I want to see you now. Or as now as can be. Is the shop open today?”
Excitement burst through veins and not used to the giddy rush, she swayed. Concern swept across Adam’s face and a hand came to cradle her cheek.
She brought her free hand up to cover his. “I would love to see you now, but I do work. And so do you if I recall.”
He leaned his forehead against hers. “I’m done at three.”
“I close at four.”
“4:01 it is.”
They both laughed, and Adam swooped in with a tantalizing kiss. She clung to him. “I’ll need time to freshen up.”
“How about you come to me? I can take you on a trail ride.”
Emily stiffened. Go out to Sky Lake?
“Do you ride?”
She shook her head, unable to speak through the cottonmouth that had taken up residence.
“Even better. You’re going to teach me to paint, and I can teach you to ride.” Adam rubbed his hands up and down her spine. The contact soothed and reassured her, releasing some of her anxiety. “I promise it will make you feel alive.”
“Sounds perfect for a day like today.” She brushed a sweet kiss on his cheek and stepped past him. “See you this afternoon.”
“You most certainly will, Emily White.”
As she walked the few steps to her truck she pep talked herself. She could do this. Sky Lake was just a place. A ranch. A ranch she hadn’t been to and neither had Drew. It was a symbol, nothing more. Now maybe it could be a symbol of her new path. Sliding into her truck, the beginning of a smile tugged at her mouth. Adam Conley on a horse seemed a pretty fine way to spend some hours living this afternoon.
~~Reviewed by AnnMarie~~
Her Cowboy’s Promise is the debut novel and the first in the Fly Creek series by Jennifer Hoopes.
Emily White moved to Fly Creek 3 years ago, pretty much to grieve for her fiance who died in a canoe accident. The small town seemed a perfect place to be able to isolate herself, not so many people to try to keep away from. She has an art supply shop, and also sells paintings, some on commission. Apart from dealing with customers she doesn’t socialise, she doesn’t let anybody in. Her grief is overwhelming.
Adam Conley has gone to Fly Creek with the sole intention of fulfilling a promise he made to his cousin. A promise that involved Emily. The last place on Earth he wants to be is in a small town again, not after having escaped his miserable life in another small town when he was growing up. He didn’t in his wildest imagination think that the moment they met each other there would be an instant rapport between them. But that’s what happened.
Emily was practically dumbstruck at her reaction the the sexy cowboy, and it started her thinking that maybe it wouldn’t hurt to get to know Adam some more. With that in mind and despite trying to talk herself out of it, she went to the local bar, knowing he would be there, and they ended up having a slow dance together. Her mind was in a whirl at the fierce attraction she felt while dancing, yet at the same time feeling guilty because of her grief. Adam was equally stunned, he was only in town because of his promise, and that did not involve wanting to be intimate with Emily.
And that’s all I can say about the plot of the book because I don’t want to give any spoilers. Suffice to say that the couple have many heartfelt moments wanting and needing each other, and yet fighting the attraction. Emily has to let go of her grief without guilt, and Adam has to get over his hatred of small towns, because if they are to have any future together he will have to live in Fly Creek. That’s if they have any future once she finds out what really has brought him to town.
I am in two minds about how I feel about this book. It’s a sweet, emotion filled book, well written, and dealing with the reality of grief all the way through it. The amount of Emily’s grief is realistic, maybe too realistic for my liking because at times I felt a little down reading it, and I hate to feel like that too much in a story. I know there were some light hearted moments, but at the heart of them you still know that there are bad times to come when Adam’s secret is out. I think the author has done a great job with the characters, all of them, really capturing a small town mentality. I just like more light in my books than dark. I think if you like your books realistic and less let the good times roll, then this will be a perfect book for you. Will I read the next book in the series, you bet! I don’t think the next one will involve a similar story line involving grief, and with such a great author, the series is hopefully going to just get better and better.
I voluntarily read an advanced readers’ copy of this book.