Author: A.J. Pine
Rating: 4.5 Stars
From "a fabulous storyteller" (Carolyn Brown, New York Times bestselling author) comes a western romance about a cowboy who isn't afraid to break the rules.
All designer Ivy Serrano wants is a fresh start. But instead, her Meadow Valley homecoming includes an electrical fire, a trashed custom dress, and a very handsome fireman who knows how to push all her buttons. Lieutenant Carter Bowen may set off sparks of his own, but the last thing Ivy needs now is town gossip . . . or to risk loving another firefighter.
New to small-town living, Carter is determined to prove himself, both at the station and at the fledgling dude ranch where he volunteers. That means no mistakes, no distractions, and definitely no Ivy. Yet there's something about the sassy shop owner that he just can't resist. As things heat up between them, Carter's more certain than ever that she's the one. But can he convince her they have a future worth fighting for?
Look for the first novel in the all-new Meadow Valley series, MY ONE AND ONLY COWBOY, on sale December 2019!
Please enjoy this excerpt from
Cowboy To The Rescue
Ivy Serrano smelled smoke. Not the Ooh! Someone must be having a bonfire kind of smoke or the Mmm! Someone is grilling up burgers kind of smoke. She smelled the Shoot! Something’s burning kind of smoke right here, in her new shop, on the day of her grand opening. She glanced around the small boutique, brows knitted together. She’d been about to flip the CLOSED sign to OPEN for the very first time when it hit her. Something was burning. After two years of putting her life on hold due to a family tragedy from which she thought she’d never recover, here she was, back home, starting over. And of all things, she smelled smoke. It didn’t take long for the smell to be accompanied by sound, the high-pitched wail of a top-of-the-line smoke detector. Although, if anyone was keeping score, she’d noticed first. One point for the Ivy, zero for technology. Except then she remembered that each detector was wired to the next, which meant that in five, four, three, two, one…a chorus of digital, ear-splitting screams filled eight hundred square feet of space. Her senses were keen enough, though, that it only took a second to register that the first alarm came from the back office. Her design sketches! And samples! And Oh no! It was opening day! She sprinted through the door that separated the shop from her office and storage. The only appliance she had back there was a mini refrigerator, because every now and then a girl needed a cold beverage and maybe even a healthy snack and ohmygod this was not happening. She gasped when she saw the charred cord and the licking flames dancing up the wall from the outlet. Items on her desk were turning to kindling as the fire reached paper. She grabbed the extinguisher from its prominent space on the wall and, amid the incessant shrieking, snuffed out the fire in a matter of seconds. She yanked on the part of the cord that hadn’t been completely cooked and unplugged the appliance. Problem solved. Except the design drawing on her desk, the one she’d been working on for the past week, was partially burned and now covered in foam. No big deal. She’d simply start over—on the first piece she’d been brave enough to attempt that reminded her of Charlie. And now she had to muster that courage again after—of all things—a fire. Or it would be, once she remembered how to turn the alarms off. Did she rip the battery out of the first one and all the rest would follow? Or did she have to somehow reset each and every one? She spun in a circle, panic only https://mobile.twitter.com/AJ_Pine/now setting in, because she knew what happened once the first alarm triggered the rest. She ran back to the front of the shop and pushed through the door and out onto First Street. Sure enough, an emergency vehicle had already pulled out of the fire station’s lot, siren blazing. She dropped onto the public bench in front of her store and waited the fifteen seconds it took for the truck to roll down the street. “It would have been faster if you all had walked,”she mumbled. Four figures hopped out of the truck in full gear. One who she recognized as her best friend Casey’s younger sister, Jessie, started to unfurl the hose while another—yep, that was Wyatt O’Brien—went to open the nearby hydrant. The third was Wyatt’s younger brother Shane. Ivy stood and crossed her arms. “Fire’s out already.”The last one—the one she hadn’t recognized yet—strode toward her, his eyes narrowed as he took her in. “Sorry, miss. But we still need to go inside and assess the situation, figure out what type of fire it was, and if you’re still at any sort of risk.”She shrugged and cleared her throat, trying to force the tremble out of her voice. “It was an electrical fire. Probably caused by faulty wiring in a mini fridge cord because I had this place inspected a dozen times and know it was up to code. Used a class C extinguisher. I have smart detectors, though. Couldn’t get the fire out before you guys were automatically called. Sorry to waste your time.”The fire was out. That wasn’t the issue. Fire didn’t scare her after the fact, especially now that she was so prepared. It was—them. She didn’t want them here, didn’t need them here, and certainly didn’t require anyone’s assistance. Just seeing their uniforms made it hard for her to breathe, made it impossible not to think of how Charlie wearing the uniform had cost him his life.
Ivy Serrano and Lieutenant Carter Bowen could have the romance of a lifetime. And they both know it.
They have in fact, known it since the day that the dashing fire fighter tried to fight the fire that our "not so damsal in distress" had already conquered.
To be exact.
In her shop.
Started by the faulty wiring in her mini fridge.
A fire that she then put out with her fire extinguisher.
Carter too is haunted by his past. A transplant to both the Meadow Valley Fire Department, and the newly opened dude ranch on which he volunteers. A man seeking home, roots, and a place to belong.
A.J. Pine brings readers the perfect blend of small town romance meets second chance ever after. In Cowboy To The Rescue. The first offering of the Meadow Valley series. And the first time that readers meet and fall in love with a couple that are doing all they can NOT to fall in love with each other.
Mostly due to the fact that Ivy has not yet healed from the death of her brother. Veteran fireman, Charlie. In a tragic building collapse.
A fate that Ivy fears will befall Carter.
A chance that she and her still devastated heart may not be ready to take.
This however is a case of "heart over head and body to follow."
And follow it does.
The sex here is steamy yet sweet. Providing the perfect bridge between friendship and relationship in a very intimate way.
This is a very quick and enjoyable read. Although somewhat predictable in places. There is a slight issue with the transition from platonic to other.
It seems rather rushed. But not to an extent that will detract too much from the overall quality of the story.
This is a wonderful story and this reviewer can't wait to read more.
About A. J.
A teen librarian by day and a romance writer by night, A.J. Pine can’t seem to escape the world of fiction, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s the author of the If Only series (Entangled Embrace), the Only You series (Berkley/Intermix), the Kingston Ale House series (Entangled Select), and the Crossroads Ranch series (Forever Romance). When she finds that 25th hour in the day, she might indulge in a tiny bit of TV where she nourishes her undying love of vampires, superheroes, and a certain high-functioning sociopath detective. She hails from the far off galaxy of the Chicago suburbs.
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