Cowboy Take Me Away
by Jane Graves
- Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
- Publisher: Forever (April 30, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1455515191
- ISBN-13: 978-1455515196
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0
Release date: April 30, 2013 | Series: Rainbow Valley
FIRST LOVE BURNS HOTTER
Rainbow Valley, Texas, has always been a refuge for animals, and Shannon North, director of the local shelter, intends to keep it that way. But with donations drying up and more pets in need of a loving home than ever before, Shannon's beginning to fear she's not the savior the shelter needs. When a tall, dark, and handsome cowboy from her past comes to the rescue, she knows that accepting his help may come with a high price: her heart.
THE SECOND TIME AROUND
Bad boy Luke Dawson shook the dust from this little town off his boots years ago. He walked away from everything . . . except the memory of the one night of passion he shared with Shannon. Now, a few wins away from becoming the world bull-riding champion, Luke's headed for fame and fortune. But then a crisis calls him back to Rainbow Valley, and Luke is reunited with the good girl who stole-and broke-his heart. As their rekindled relationship deepens into desire, old secrets resurface, and Luke must choose between the future he's always dreamed of and the only woman he's ever loved.
Shannon was raised with ‘expectations’ to do all the right things, get the good grades and ultimately marry into society and win her mother’s approval. As a teen she’d been attracted to the bad boy in town, Luke. They grew close as co-workers, then friends and finally shared a night of passion. But the magic was shattered when Shannon’s mother showed up to pull her home. Shannon’s heart was shattered when Luke disappeared from town the next day.
Luke was the son of the town drunk and ended up living up to the trouble people expected from him. He never received help or encouragement from anyone except his boss at the shelter and Shannon as they became friends. He and Shannon shared a passionate encounter but Shannon appeared to turn her back on him. That was the night he turned his back and left town for good.
Luke has taken a lot of bumps and hits as a rodeo bull rider. Finally the work and pain has paid off as he is in the lead to win the National Championship. In between events he makes a stop back to Rainbow Valley where he tries to face his past to finally put it behind him. As he is frozen at the door of his dilapidated home he falls through the porch and injures his knee. Now he is stuck in Rainbow Valley to recuperate. To make ends meet he takes on the caretaker job at Rainbow Valley Animal Shelter.
Luke still has a rough reputation in town and many, including Shannon’s mother, still see him as trouble. Shannon’s mother is all in favor of another suitor, the proper, society raised town dentist. There are good reasons for Shannon and Luke to stay apart - the pain of their past and the fact that Luke will be leaving town in a few months. Yet it is really difficult for them to work together and to resist the electrical pull that still flares between them.
This was a very easy, smooth read from beginning to end. I was quickly pulled into caring for the characters even, or maybe especially, with their flaws and vulnerabilities. The dialogue is very natural and the storyline sweetly believable. The secondary characters, including a few quirky animals, are a fun element. Luke’s rapport with them and children is heart warming. The romance sizzles in a nice sexy way. Ms. Graves delivered a happy ending with a wonderfully engaging path to get there. The author's website reflects her creativity and strong imagination. This is the first time I have read Ms. Graves and I would be glad to read more of her writing.
Growing up, Luke had always felt the irony of living a black and white existence in a place where rainbows happened more often than just about any other place in the country. But as he looked at this rainbow now, it was as if that black and white existence had faded away and his life had exploded in Technicolor splendor. P426
I received this book from Forever, Hachette for an honest review.
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