"Finding love and purpose in cowboy country"
Reviewed by Monique Daoust
Posted February 25, 2019
After her life in LA imploded, Eden Rafferty went back home
to Wildcat Bluff County to recoup. She never expected Shane
Taggart to be one of the first people she would encounter;
he looks even better than he did eleven years ago. They had
been childhood friends, but Shane always hoped for more, and
now might be the occasion to finally convince Eden that they
belong together. Eden is not so sure; there are things that
need her attention, and a future to reevaluate. Eden's and
Shane's friendship is as strong as ever, their attraction
hasn't dimmed in the slightest, but adult preoccupations and
unforeseen complications could put a quick end to any sort
Kim Redford has the magic touch when it comes to creating
heroes after my own heart. Shane is a rancher, a part-time
firefighter, a real manly dude who is not afraid to
acknowledge his feelings. He is patient, kind, generous, but
does not press the object of his affection for more than she
is willing to give at any given time. Eden had a real rough
time in California, but she is not the "woe is me" type. The
spirit of Texas has not deserted her, and she cowgirls up
when the chips are down. In her desire to rebuild her life,
she gets a little carried away, which threatens her
relationship with Shane.
The author's depiction of Wildcat Bluff County feels so
authentic, that I thought the small Texas town was real.
Firefighters are an integral part of the
Smokin' Hot Cowboys series, and the brush fire that
has the town on high alert is so accurately described, I
think I can still smell the smoke! There are quite a few
secondary characters in HOT FOR A COWBOY, all superbly
well-rounded; I immediately took to Wildcat Jack, the
elderly DJ; I loved the aging hippie Morning Glory, as well
as her twelve year- old grand-nephew, Ben, who fit right in.
HOT FOR A COWBOY is tightly plotted, impeccably paced, and
rich in detail and Texan history. I particularly enjoyed the
parts about ranch radio, about which I knew nothing. It's so
nice to see a contemporary romance depend on more than
physical attraction and on the couple having sex. Shane and
Eden are not ensconced in an erotic bubble separate from the
outside world. They lead full lives and still manage a
passionate, but realistic relationship.
Two flames burn way hotter than one...
Eden Rafferty has lost it all: big time career, high-profile
marriage, and just about everything she owns. Coming back to
Wildcat Bluff with her tail between her legs, the only
person who can help her heal is cowboy firefighter Shane
Taggart. But nothing is simple, and their high-octane past
is just the beginning of their current problems...
ExcerptShane felt Eden shiver and wondered if she was cold but
hoped she was responding to his touch. He raised his head
and looked into her blue eyes turned dark with desire. Not
cold. Response. This was midnight on Lovers Leap all over again.
But what had it gotten them? Nothing. Where had it gotten
them? Nowhere. Was it worth taking a chance again? Yes.
"Oh," she said, gazing deep into his eyes, "I forgot. You
made me forget. I'm supposed to make sure you drink, eat,
and lounge in the hot tub."
"When you're dressed like that?"
She glanced down, jerked up her towel, and tied the corners
together as she backed away from him. "Don't say another
word. Just get in the hot tub. I'll take the tray over there."
"It's not like I'm going to forget what I saw."
"Not another word. Just get in the water."
He nodded in reluctant agreement and trudged over to the hot
tub. Hedy's brilliant plan was disintegrating before his
very eyes. He'd have to tell her later that she was nowhere
near a master strategist. For now, he simply got in the
water and sat down, letting the water bubble around his
chest. Maybe the hot tub wasn't such a bad idea after all.
It did feel pretty good after such a challenge of a
But it didn't feel nearly as good as Eden looked when she
sashayed over to him, set the tray down, tossed off her
towel, and slid into the water beside him. He'd have to be
comatose not to respond to her every single allure—all of
which were now emblazoned on his mind like delicate curls
and whorls etched into stained glass. He took a deep breath,
wondering how he was going to keep his hands off her while
she helped him or if he should even try.
"I brought sparkling water and spring water. Which would you
like to drink?"
"Either one." He began to suspect she wasn't going to give
him a choice about hands-on or hands-off.
"Let's go with plain first, since I don't want to irritate
"Fine." How the hell had he managed to get Eden into a
swimsuit, into his hot tub, and still get treated like an
invalid? He'd mismanaged a major part of the strategy at
some point, but he was clueless about how, where, and why.
He might as well blame Hedy and be done with it or
acknowledge that he could fight a fire but not woo a woman.
It was a sad testimony to his life.
"Here you go." She held out a blue glass in a hand with
"Where'd you get that?"
"In the upper right cabinet where your mom always kept these
"I haven't seen them in ages."
"What've you been using?"
He realized too late that he'd taken another wrong turn, so
he just grabbed the glass and tossed half the water down his
"Really, Shane, what have you drinking out of?"
"Let's see." He just shook his head, knowing where this was
going and unable to back out. "If it comes in a bottle, I
drink out of it. If it comes in a can, I drink out of it.
Any other questions about how I drink liquids?"
"No." She appeared to shrink in on herself. "I just wondered
and wanted—never mind. I guess that was rude of me."
"No." He downed the rest of the water and handed the glass
back to her. "Maybe you know the house better than I do. I
could tell you what's where in the cattle barn or the horse
barn, but household stuff is not at the top of my
"Right," she said briskly. "That's as it should be, with all
you have to do around the ranch."
He hoped she meant those words, since they were true, but
also true was the fact that the place had needed a cowgirl's
touch for a long time. He missed those homey splashes of
warm cookies served on pretty plates at the family table,
inside or outside. But he wasn't about to do it for one lone
cowboy or even firefighters when he invited them over for a
cookout. Paper and plastic ruled the day when he served up
beans and beef. Paper towels were better than napkins any
day. Still, Eden reminded him of what life had once been
like on the Rocky T Ranch. Only now did he realize how much
he'd missed it.
"Here. Enjoy." She held out a red-bandana-design paper plate
and matching napkin toward him.
"Thanks. I will."
He looked at the fun plate with its pretty arrangement of
food, but he'd lost his appetite for anything except her. He
could blame her for making him lose every last bit of sense
he ever had when he was with her, but he wouldn't place all
the blame on her, even if he did feel like he'd been kicked
upside the head by a horse when he was with her.
He abruptly stood up, water cascading down his body back
into the hot tub. He looked down at her. It was a bad angle.
He had to get away, or he was going to grab her and meet the
expectation in her blue eyes. He suddenly felt protective of
her. How many men in LA had bird-dogged her, wanting simply
to be with her or take what was quick and easy? How many
ways had her ex connived to con her? How many times had her
innocence been used against her? She deserved better—from
him, at least.
"You stay. Enjoy the hot tub. I'm going to my room," he said
with his last bit of self-control.
What do you think about this review?
1 comment posted.
Re: Finding love and purpose in cowboy country
Okay! Love this trope! Thanks for the review!
(Kathleen Bylsma 4:36pm February 26)
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