Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Cowboy's Convenient Bride

Laura Jessup is used to the rumors—everyone in tiny Gibson, Montana, thinks she's a home-wrecker. And Laura can handle that if it means protecting her daughter from her sweet girl's father. Only hunky EMT Tanner Hudson seems immune to the gossipmongers. The solution he proposes—a marriage in name only!—might just be crazy enough to work…if only Laura can keep her heart out of it.

Tanner wasn't sure Laura would accept a platonic marriage, even though it would stop the rumor mills and get his own family off his back. But as the wedding draws closer, Tanner worries that his plan is working a little too well. He's falling for Laura, hard. They thought they were ready for marriage, but are Tanner and Laura prepared for real love?

The Cowboy's Convenient Bride 
Published January 5th 2016 
 by Harlequin 
4 Stars

Donna Alward brings us a sweet romance that will warm your heart
She has developed complex characters with very real issues that will easily worm their way into your heart from page one.  
Laura Jessup grew up in the small town of Gibson, Montana and left soon after graduation.  Her return unfortunately was harder than she has planned though.   A lapse in judgement has cost her not only her reputation, but also her peace of mind.  
Tanner Hudson has a reputation for being the town "bad boy", but he knows most of what is spread about him is nothing more than gossip.  He's a hard worker on the ranch and a volunteer EMT, but longs to have a home and family to come home to. 
This is a story that will pull at your heart for both characters and make you hope for a happy ending.  
I really enjoyed this story and could easily see Laura and I as friends.  She was a person that would always put her child first and deal with the fall out later.  Tanner is a character that appears to have it all, but the one thing his heart wants.  The characters are detailed and perceptive.  Friendship is conveyed in a very genuine way. There's good flow and pace that kept my attention.  
This is a book I would recommend to anyone who loves a good romance.  

Tanner Hudson was getting sick of the bar scene.
Unfortunately, the other option was to hanging out at home, which was nearly as bad. Particularly when his older brother, Cole, and his girlfriend, Maddy, always sat around making googly eyes at each other.
Tanner lifted his glass and took a sip of his Coke, listening to an old George Jones song on the jukebox. He scanned the room for a friendly face. The last thing he wanted this evening was a woman. His lips curved in a wry smile. He was sure that no one would believe that for a second. He knew his reputation. Cole was the steady, reliable one. Tanner was the younger brother who worked hard and played hard and liked the ladies. He set down the Coke and scowled at it. On the surface, people were right. But deep down, well, that was another story. He was pretty darn good at keeping up appearances.
Rylan Duggan walked into the Silver Dollar, dusting a few flakes of spring snow off his hat. Tanner perked up. Rylan was a friendly face, and they had a lot in common. When Ry scanned the room, Tanner lifted his chin in a quick greeting, and Rylan grinned.
Tanner got up and met his friend at the bar. Rylan ordered a beer, and as he was waiting, Tanner put a hand on his shoulder. “Hey, buddy. Am I glad to see you.”
Rylan chuckled. “Why? You want to try to win back the money you lost last time?”
When they happened to be in the same place at the same time, Tanner and Rylan would often shoot a game or two of pool. Last time, Tanner had lost a twenty.
“Sounds fine to me. Slow in here tonight.”
Rylan took his beer and looked at Tanner, as if trying to puzzle him out. “Kailey’s off to some potluck supper and candle party or jewelry or…well, I wasn’t really paying attention. I thought I’d drop by for a burger. What brings you here? The Dollar isn’t usually your speed.”
Tanner shrugged, the dissatisfaction nagging at him again. “Bored, I guess. Hell, Ry, I live in a house with my parents and big brother.” He shook his head. “I should get my own place or something.” His own life, perhaps.
“Why don’t you?”
They made their way over to the pool tables. Tanner was kind of embarrassed to answer the question, actually. It came down to two things: money and convenience. The convenience thing was understandable, so he went with that. “I’m working the place with Cole and Dad. It just makes sense to, you know, be close.”
Rylan nodded. “I get it. And it can get claustrophobic, too.” He started setting up the balls. “I lived in my RV until Kailey and I moved into Quinn’s old place. The last thing I wanted was to be under the same roof with Quinn and Lacey, especially when they were newlyweds.”
Tanner selected a stick and chalked the end. “Tell me about it. I love Maddy, I really do, but she and Cole are all in love and everything, and they’re around a lot.”
“I get it, bro.” Rylan removed the triangle and reached for a stick, testing the feel of it in his hand. “Maybe you should settle down. Could be that’s your problem. Restless feet.”
Tanner laughed. “Right.” Rylan’s statement hit a little too close to home, though. Truth was, Tanner was pretty sure there was more to life than this.
He lined up and broke, balls scattering over the table.
“Naw, I’m telling you,” Rylan said. “Married life is pretty good. I never wanted to settle down, either, until Kailey. Now I know what I was missin’.” He grinned, a little sideways smile that made Tanner roll his eyes.
Tanner missed his next shot, so it was Ry’s turn. As Tanner watched, he let out a dissatisfied sigh. Everywhere around him, people were in love and telling him how wonderful it was. And it wasn’t that Tanner wasn’t happy for his brother. He was. Maddy was a great woman, with adorable kids, and he was pretty sure wedding bells would be ringing for his brother really soon.
Tanner just wasn’t sure he was built that way. Or that he was the marrying kind. He was, as his ex put it, built for fun, but not for a lifetime.
Fun he could do. Because he sure as hell wasn’t interested in having his heart stomped on again. 

Available at:
Barnes and Noble 

Meet Donna:

While bestselling author Donna Alward was busy studying Austen, Eliot and Shakespeare, she was also losing herself in the breathtaking stories created by romance novelists like LaVyrle Spencer, Judith McNaught, and Nora Roberts.  Several years after completing her degree she decided to write a romance of her own and it was true love! Five years and ten manuscripts later she sold her first book and launched a new career. While her heartwarming stories of love, hope, and homecoming have been translated into several languages, hit bestseller lists and won awards, her very favorite thing is when she hears from happy readers.
Donna lives on Canada’s east coast with her family which includes a husband, a couple of kids, a senior dog and two crazy cats. When she’s not writing she enjoys reading (of course!), knitting, gardening, cooking…and is a Masterpiece Theater addict. 
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