I love love loved the first two Maisey Yates Copper Ridge cowboy books- Part Time Cowboy and Brokedown Cowboy- so of course I requested Bad News Cowboy the instant I saw it.
Here's the summary from Amazon:
Can the bad boy of Copper Ridge, Oregon, make good—and win the rodeo girl of his dreams?
Kate Garrett keeps life simple—working hard, riding her beloved horses, playing cards with her brothers. Lately, though, she feels a bit restless, especially when family friend Jack Monaghan is around. Sexy and shameless, Jack is the kind of trouble you don't tangle with unless you want your heart broken. Still, Kate could always use his help in learning how to lasso someone a little less high risk…
Jack can't pinpoint the moment the Garrett brothers' little sister suddenly stopped seeming so…little. Now here he is, giving flirting tips to the one woman who needs zero help turning him on. Love's a game he's never wanted to play. But he'll have to hurry up and learn how before the best thing that ever entered his life rides right back out again…
Right up my romance loving alley, right? Guys, I struggled so hard with this one. I never really liked Kate at all (in this book, I liked her quite a bit in Part Time Cowboy.) Jack falls hard for her and while she's willing to admit that she really likes him, she's really scared of making a commitment, and more generally, becoming an adult. She has a messed up past, with a mother that abandoned her and a father who drunk himself to death and she desperately wants to remain solo and unattached so that she can't screw up her own life too. By the end of the book I did understand this, but as it's happening Kate is just so unlikable. It's not explained well, even when Kate's internal monologue is explaining it, and if I'm being honest I put the book down for a month before guilt got the best of me.
That said, Jack is so great. He has issues unrelated to Kate that he grows up and resolves in this one. And when it comes time for honesty and loyalty, he never waivers, even when he knows Kate's brothers are going to come after him. In fairness, Kate does recognize these things when no one else does, which makes it all the worse when she ignores it for her own fear.
A few days after the publication date my feelings of guilt got the best of me. I knew I was around 65% and I told myself I was going to dedicate myself to this book and get it down. I sat down to read and imagine my shock when the book ended around 70% and the rest was a novella! I knew it seemed off to be having this big climatic scene at 65%... score one for a paper book, I guess. (Tho I've been fooled by paper too!)
Overall, not a great entry to the series, but I'm still going to keep Yates on my "must read" list.
Bad News Cowboy came out on July 28.