"A steamy, action packed, can't stop read!"
Reviewed by Annetta Sweetko
Posted January 5, 2019
Romance Western | Romance Erotica Sensual
Samantha Ryder had spent the first 16 years of her life in
the little town of Deerhaven, California and hero worshiping
and antagonizing Hunter Steele, well at least antagonizing
his dates. She moved away and though she visited her aunt
and the townsfolk she had gotten on with her life to become
a cop in Detroit. When she finds out her aunt has died of an
"accidental overdose", she comes back ready to find the
truth, because there was no way that happened. She should
have known Hunter would still be there and is now the
sheriff. She's not about to let him stop her and to her
surprise he doesn't plan to. He has other plans.
Hunter had always adored Samantha or "Pixie Pest" as he
called her and when he sees her all grown up he is floored.
Something about this not so "pixie" woman sets him on fire.
A distraction he doesn't need right now until he realizes
she understands his world and she could be an asset, Of
course, this helps as he tries anything and everything he
can to make her stay. Offer her a job and a very warm bed
could be a good start. But can he protect her from the hell
that is coming their way?
I have said a number of times in reviews that you will not
want to put a particular book down -- that is not the case
with ONE TOUGH COWBOY -- in this case, you cannot put it
down. Authors Lora Leigh and Veronica Chadwick throw you
right into the action, and you go non-top to the last page.
Samantha and Hunter have a sweet history but now that they
are grown up they burn up the pages together while trying to
work out the death of her aunt, his uncle and another member
of the small town they both grew up in. It doesn't take long
before they realize it is beyond anything they could have
imagined and Sam's ex-fiance is a surprise part of the danger.
The pages are action-packed, with characters that make you
want to move to a small town to feel the love and others
that make you glad you didn't. There is also one character,
Jacob, that I really would like to see more of as he is an
intriguing, secretive, good guy.
If I gave stars for reviews I would have to give this five
plus because when I did manage to put it down I was
wondering what was going on in the town, would Sam give in
to the emotional and physical pull and would they manage to
work together when she tended to make everything a contest,
and she hated to lose. ONE TOUGH COWBOY will stay with you,
make you think, make you sigh and make you want more.
First in a brand-new series from #1 New York
bestselling author Lora Leigh and Veronica Chadwick
about one man’s pursuit of justice—and unbridled
LAW AND ORDER.
For as long as Samantha can remember, Hunter—a man as
as steel, with a heart of gold—has been her hero. It came
no surprise to Samantha when she found out that the
ranch-hardened cowboy who always protected her from bullies
went on to become the town’s sheriff. What does
surprise her is how incredibly hot he still is. And how
much she still wants him…
PRIDE AND PASSION
And, lo and behold, Hunter still has feelings for Samantha.
The long-smoldering heat of their innocent flirtation has
grown into a full-raging fire. But when tragedy strikes,
their small-town community is shattered, Hunter vows to do
everything he can to keep his childhood sweetheart safe.
can Samantha trust that Hunter has her best interests at
heart…and that, after all these years, his love is true?
ExcerptHe hadn’t changed much. He seemed bigger, his shoulders
broader. His signature thick, black hair was cut in a
shorter style. As he got closer, Samantha noticed his face
had changed quite a bit. Any boyish softness he’d once had
was all gone and had been replaced with hard planes and
angles, except for his full, well-defined lips. There were
fine laugh lines fanning out from the corners of his steel
gray eyes. Those eyes were more intense, hard. The easy
laughter that lit them when he was younger seemed to be
“Ms. Bell.” He nodded in greeting to the diminutive lady.
“Good of you to come by, Sheriff. Little Samantha is
handlin’ all this by herself.” She winked and patted his
arm. “She could use a little help, I’m thinkin’.”
Samantha wanted to walk away. She also wanted to throw her
arms around Hunter and hold on for dear life. Not just
because he still made her heart pound, but because he was a
part of her life she thought she’d lost. She wanted to hold
on to a stable, warm part of her past where she was happy
and safe. Seeing him again brought those memories and
emotions all rushing back. “Hey, Sam.” The smooth, deep
bass of his voice was quiet and soothing.
“Hey, Hunter.” His name left her lips with more com- posure
than she felt.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t make it to the funeral, but I wanted
to come by to extend my condolences, and to see how you’re
doin’.” He stepped closer and rubbed her bare one tough
upper arm. “You holdin’ up okay?” His hand, a bit rough and
callused from real work, was warm, reassuring.
She crossed her arms over her chest. “I’m okay, Hunter,
thank you.” She cleared her throat. “Everyone brought food.
The dining room table is overflowing. Help yourself.”
He followed her through the living room to the din- ing
room. She turned and almost jumped back. He was standing
inches away, looking down at her. His brows furrowed, his
gaze sharply assessing her. He smelled in- credible, and he
stood so close she could feel the heat from his body.
She opened her mouth to say something but forgot what she
wanted to say. She must look completely ignorant gaping up
at him like that.
“Are you sure you’re all right?” Sympathy and con- cern
shadowed his expression, softening the harsher lines of his
“It’s been a long day. I’m fine, really.” She was a bas-
ket case, and not just because of her aunt’s death.
Hunter gave her a gentle smile and pulled out a chair. “No
doubt. Sit and talk to me for a while. I haven’t seen you
in what? Ten years?”
Samantha welcomed the chance to get off her feet and get
away from the crowd for a bit. “Yeah, about ten years, I
He pulled out the chair beside her, turned it toward her,
and sat, staring at her solemnly. “I’m real sorry about
“Me too.” She looked into his eyes, assessing whether she
could or should continue. “I really didn’t get enough time
with her. I’ll always regret that.”
Hunter shook his head. “Sam, you know Dottie thought the
world of you. She knew you loved her and she loved you.”
Had she? Samantha couldn’t help but question the ob-
servation. School, her career, and far too many emo- tions
had seemed to always get in the way of returning to
“Yes, I know, but I look around at these people and think
of how some of them probably knew her even better than I
did, her own niece.” Samantha frowned and gestured toward a
blue-haired woman sitting on the couch sobbing, clutching
another woman’s hand. “Mrs. Holt is devastated.”
She obviously had not talked to her aunt on the phone
enough either, because Dottie had never mentioned the other
A small smile touched Hunter’s far-too-sensual lips as he
lowered his head and leaned closer. “Sam, Irene Holt never
even met Dottie. She attends any and all fu- nerals and
wails and carries on like that at every one of ’em.”
Amusement touching his gaze.
Samantha looked at him incredulously until he raised his
hand and said, “Hand to God. Every one of ’em.”
“Wow.” No wonder her aunt Dottie had never men- tioned the
“Yep.” Hunter’s smile broadened. “As for the rest of them,
they’re just being neighborly or nosy. Most of ’em still
remember your family and you. You were pretty hard to
forget . . . Pixie Pest.” His brows lifted playfully.
Samantha narrowed her eyes. “Ugh. That nickname.
I don’t know which is worse, that or Sami Jo.”
She protested it. Just as she always had. That flare of
warmth she felt whenever it passed his lips was still
“You earned it.”
“Psh, whatever.” She’d actually worked at it at the time.
Hunter chuckled and she nearly sighed. Lord, she’d missed
his laugh, his smile, even the way he’d tease her. She’d
“Aw, you know I was always fond of you, Pixie. You were a
great kid, even if you were a pest that was con- stantly
following me around and giving my girlfriends hell.”
She had been such a tomboy with wild, young girl fantasies
of being swept off her feet by the cutest boy in Deerhaven,
or the whole wide world, for that matter. He’d called her
his Pixie Pest whenever he’d seen her and tugged at her
long, tangled hair.
“I’m not a kid anymore.” She held his gaze and couldn’t
imagine how she’d gotten so bold.
Hunter’s gaze traveled over her body, a single black brow
arching slowly in acknowledgment. “I’ve noticed. I’m trying
really hard to remember what a pain in the ass you used to
Samantha lifted a brow. “I can still be a pain in the ass.”
“I bet you can.” The look in his eyes was making her feel
way too hot, way too needy.
She didn’t want to go there. Not now. After Tom No- vak,
the very last thing she needed was another relation- ship.
Besides all that, she was here to get answers, not to get
Clearing her throat again, she changed the subject to the
one on which she had to keep her focus. “Hunter, what
really happened to Aunt Dottie?”
What do you think about this review?
1 comment posted.
Re: A steamy, action packed, can't stop read!
Wowsers! What a great review! Thanks!
(Kathleen Bylsma 5:48pm January 8)
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