Million Dollar Cowboy
Cupid, Texas #5
By: Lori Wilde
Releasing March 28, 2017
New York Times Bestselling Author Lori Wilde returns to Cupid, Texas with a heartwarming story of a cowboy who comes home to the family ranch for a wedding filled with surprises…
The illegitimate son of a Texas ranching dynasty, Ridge Lockhart left home ten years ago with one goal: to become more successful than the father who never accepted him.
Mission accomplished, but now he’s back at the Silver Feather Ranch for a wedding—three days of best man duty until he can hightail it out. Then he spies Kaia Alzate, and suddenly leaving isn’t quite so appealing.
Kaia Alzate grew up the daughter of the ranch foreman, servants to the mighty Lockharts in the mansion. Back then, she followed Ridge around like a puppy. Now, she’s fighting the attraction she feels for this sexy CEO. She’s determined not to make a big mistake—but when Ridge takes her in his arms she’s stunned…could he be the man she’s waited for all along?
SASCHA DARLINGTON’S REVIEW
Somehow I have never read a Lori Wilde novel before. I almost didn’t read this one because it’s #5 in a series and I have a definite phobia about jumping into the middle of series, especially when people try to convince you that each novel is a standalone.
I am very glad that I tossed aside that notion because Million Dollar Cowboy was pretty outstanding.
First off, Wilde has created characters with depth who are likeable. Both Ridge and Kaia have issues that they wade through in a path toward self-discovery. They bring out the best in each other. Ridge is battling his history and his relationship with his father while Kaia has her own issues, some resulting from a car accident that almost took her life. All of the background characters provide their own unique contribution so the novel is not peopled by unnecessary characters.
Then there is folklore. Really, there is nothing like a nice legend about soulmates to make a romance novel sing. It adds that little spark of fairy tale and otherworldliness in the midst of the regular old world with its hardships.
“You think I’m stubborn?”
“Lockhart, a pack mule in the Grand Canyon threatened with a three-hundred-pound tourist wanting a ride to the top in August heat isn’t as stubborn as you.”
And it’s witty with lots of colorful language and nice moments between the characters.
And only once is it mentioned that Archer, Kaia’s big brother, might not like Ridge dating Kaia and that was because she was 16 to Ridge’s 22. (I’ve never understood this taboo of a guy not dating a friend’s sister; as a romance obstacle it’s really ho-hum.)
And it’s reasonble, as when Ember, Kaia’s older sister, says (my paraphrasing) wouldn’t you rather know if he loves you or not so you can get the mourning over with, if he’s not. You see, this leaves no room for all of the unnecessary angst that make some romances a wee bit over-the-top. Put it out there and see what happens. Love the honesty and lack of games.
And it has cats and dogs and pygmy goats and horses.
So Lori Wilde’s Million Dollar Cowboy has won me over for lots of different reasons, but all of which, when put together, make a great read and I will make certain that I catch up on her other books.
As I may have mentioned, Million Dollar Cowboy works as a standalone. If you want to read a really nice, funny, swoony romance, give this one a try.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
rating: (5 out of 5 butterflies)
Lori Wilde is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 70 works of romantic fiction. She is a two-time RITA award nominee, a four time Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice nominee and has won numerous other awards. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Texas Christian University and holds a certificate in nursing forensics. An animal lover, Lori is owned by several pets, and lives in Texas with her husband, Bill.
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Lumbering up in a battered, blue, Toyota Tundra extended-cab pickup truck and parking catawampus beside the tallest barn on the ranch.
He cocked his head. Who was she?
The woman hopped from the tall truck with the fluid grace of a playful water sprite more at home underneath a cascading waterfall than smack in the middle of the Chihuahuan Desert.
She wore faded blue skinny jeans that fit like spray paint, cupping rounded hips and a firm lush fanny. A neon-pink, V-neck T-shirt showed off a hint of sweet cleavage. Her flat-heeled cowboy boots were scuffed and dusty. From this distance, it appeared as if she didn’t have on a lick of makeup, and her thick dark hair was pulled into twin braids. A gust of hot, lazy June air blew across the sand, and her nimble fingers reached up to tuck a tendril of loosened hair behind one ear.
Ridge had a startling vision of easing the elastic bands from her hair, undoing the braids, and watching that tumble of hair fall over his hand soft and smooth as liquid silk.
What the hell? Why the instant lust? Normally, he went for tall willowy blondes like Vivi. Not petite, shapely brunettes.
That was easy enough to answer. A) The brunette was smoking hot. B) There was something familiar about her, something warm and cozy and inviting. C) He hadn’t had sex in so long he’d almost forgotten what it felt like.
Hope cut into him, gutted him open, leaving him raw and hungry. Hey, who knew? There was a wedding this weekend—alcohol, food, music, slow dancing. Maybe they’d hook up.
Easy Lockhart, getting ahead of yourself.
He didn’t even know her name, or if she was involved with someone, or if she’d even been invited to the wedding.
No, but that didn’t stop steamy sexual fantasies from unspooling inside his head. Nor could he shake an odd feeling that he’d gone fishing for shad and managed to hook a mermaid instead.
The woman opened the extended cab’s passenger side door and bent over, butt wiggling as she ducked her head inside to retrieve something from the backseat. That round wriggly rump robbed the air from his lungs, highjacked his brain as effectively as a gun-toting bandit.
As the owner and CEO of Lock Ridge Drilling, he made snap decisions on a daily basis and he’d honed the skill of sizing up people at a glance.
From the click-quick snapshot trapped in that breathless time of his mind, Ridge knew she was the spunky girl-next-door type. Able to climb trees, make chicken soup for a sick neighbor, organize a charity drive, spike a witty barb at smart-ass-know-it-alls, passionately root for her favorite sports team complete with face paint and logo jerseys, park her butt in the church pew every Sunday morning, and cheerfully answer three a.m. phone calls from friends in need.
She was, in fact, everything Ridge was not—perky, happy-go-lucky, laid-back, a rule-following, people-pleasing team player.
Not his type. Not in the least.
Which probably explained the pounding lust. He had a knack for picking women who were all wrong for him.