This grew on me – a LOT. I’m really not a fan of MM’s new habit of devoting almost a hundred pages to comedy before our couple even spends any time on the page together, so it took me a long, long time before I became invested in this romance. I’d also use a different (less friendly) word to describe the grumpy cowboy at the heart of it, but he undergoes a complete transformation along the way – and won me over in the process. I loved the chemistry and connection in the back half, and there’s (of course) plenty of comedy throughout. It’s a sweet slow burn that warms up as the story goes on, and I seriously wish that the whole book had been as solid as the second half.
The story follows Rhett, a single dad working on the family ranch. Rhett’s leg is still recovering from an injury, but he insists that he’s fine and continues to overwork it on a daily basis. In an attempt to get Rhett to take his injury seriously, Rhett’s father calls in a favor and has a doctor come stay at the ranch while he’s healing. That just makes the already grumpy Rhett even moodier, and he takes out his frustration on Leah. She’s a definite city girl who is completely out of her element on the ranch, and Rhett takes every opportunity to try her patience. But Leah is stronger than she looks, and it’s not long before the two are forming a connection. Having Leah on the ranch begins to feel like the future Rhett never could’ve envisioned for himself.
I always look forward to MM’s rom coms, because they frequently knock it out of the park. I’ll openly admit that I haven’t been enjoying the direction that their new releases have been heading (outlandish comedy over romance), but there’s still so much to love about their work. And once this opposites attract romance gets the humor out of the way, the heart shines. I loved the sweet family moments with Rhett’s daughter, and I loved seeing him turn into a kind, caring man. The chemistry and playfulness sparkle in the back half, and I would’ve happily rated this as 5 stars if the rest of the book had been that good. It just wasn’t. The first half is a 3-star (at best) read for me, with a buildup that felt tedious and some humor that was kinda mean. I’m very glad that I didn’t abandon ship in the beginning, because the back half was really great. With a stronger start, this could’ve been something pretty special. I received an early copy and am voluntarily leaving a review of this single dad romance.
ATTENTION: If you have been a victim of false advertising, you may be entitled to compensation. If you were ever hired to take care of a fourteen-year-old boy’s knee injury on a luxury ranch in the Middle of Nowhere, Utah, but that fourteen-year-old boy ended up being a tall, rough-and-tumble, muscular, one-hundred-percent all-man cowboy by the name of Rhett Jameson, you may have been put at risk for falling in love. Please seek counsel immediately.
It was supposed to be a simple favor for my very important boss, Frank Kaminsky of the Salt Lake Slammers professional basketball team—go to his good friend Tex Jameson’s luxury ranch and provide personal medical care for his recently injured teenage son.
I thought it’d be a working vacation of sorts—a chance for my city-girl self to experience something I would never otherwise do—but everything is upside down, and absolutely nothing is as I thought it would be.
For one, this patient is not a teenage boy.
He’s a real-life, blue-eyed, tough-as-nails, thirtysomething cowboy who is so darn strong he looks like he could lift a car just for the heck of it.
He’s also stubborn, rude, and we don’t get along…at all.
Add in the heart-melting vision of him as a single father to the cutest little girl on the planet, and I’ve found myself in a whole different dimension of trouble.
Lust. Feelings. A whole lot of enemies-to-lovers-style complication.
Please help me. My name is Dr. Leah Levee, I am a victim of false advertising, and if I’m not careful, this Grumpy Cowboy might just be the death of me.
Gently, I rap my knuckles against the wood, and moments later, an adorable little blond-haired girl comes running down the hall and right toward me.
She pushes the screen door open with one of her cowgirl boots and steps out until she can keep it open with just her hip. With pigtails and dimples and big blue eyes, she just might be the cutest kid I’ve ever see in my life.
Is this Rhett Jameson’s little sister?
“Who are you?” she asks, ignoring any sort of greeting and getting straight to the point.
I grin. “My name is Leah. What’s your name?”
“Joey,” she answers, her small hands moving with her words. “Well, Josephine, but everyone calls me Joey.”
“That’s a very pretty name.”
“And you’re a very pretty lady,” she says, and her eyes move up and down my body, taking in my hair and my face and my dress and my shoes. “Maybe the prettiest lady I’ve ever seen. Are you in movies?”
“No, I’m not in movies,” I answer on a soft laugh. “But you know what’s funny?”
“You’re the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen in my whole life.”
She giggles, and then her eyes get big. “Wait…oh my goodness! Are you here to teach me how to braid my hair?” Her button nose crinkles up in the most adorable way. “My granny told me she’d teach me how to do it, but I think she can’t remember, and is that why you’re here? Because you know how to do it?” she asks, and her short legs bounce up and down ever so slightly.
“Uh…” I pause, completely entranced by this sweet little human, but also utterly confused. “Actually, sweetie, I’m not here to teach you how to braid your hair. I’m here—”
“Aw, shucks.” She swishes one fist from her right hip to her left hip, and her tiny mouth points down at the corners.
Immediately, I feel like the worst human being alive, and it takes everything inside me not to step inside the house and ask her to get me a hairbrush.
But I rein in the emotion and offer up something I hope will soften her disappointment.
“How about this? Since I’m going to be here for the summer, I’ll make sure someday very soon, I teach you how to braid your hair.”
“Yeah?” Her big blue eyes light up like the sun. “Ya promise?”
Truthfully, I’m just assuming this young girl lives here on this ranch, but I have no idea.
I don’t know if she’s Tex’s daughter or someone else’s daughter. I don’t really know much of anything. Haven’t known much of anything since I told Frank Kaminsky I’d take this job.
But so far, feeling out of the loop appears to be par for the course.
The girl steps out of the house on her tiny cowgirl boots and wraps her arms around my waist. “I’m so excited, Leah!”
I’m shocked at first by her instant affection, but it doesn’t take long before I’m putty in her teeny hands.
“Me too, Joey.” A tickled laugh emerges from my lungs, and I pat her head tenderly.
Eventually, she steps back and puts one hand to her hip. “So, if you’s supposed to be here all summer but it’s not just for my hair, why are you here?”
“I was just about to ask the same thing, Joey.” A deep, raspy voice fills my ears, and that’s when I realize someone else has joined our conversation at the door.
My eyes move up, up, up past Joey and land on a pair of perfectly worn-in jeans, over a shirtless and firm set of abs and an even firmer chest, and they don’t stop until they meet aqua-blue eyes that are pointed directly at me.
This rugged, fine-as-hell specimen standing right behind Joey isn’t just any man; he’s the manliest man I’ve ever laid eyes on. His body is stretched tight with the kinds of firm muscles that do not come from protein shakes and a gym membership to LA Fitness. No. These are real muscles, made from hard, sweaty work on a big-ass ranch like this.
If you typed the words “hot cowboy” into Google, I’m pretty sure this guy would be the number one search result.
And he looks so damn strong, so physically capable of anything, I honestly think he could lift a car just for the fun of it.
With brownish-red hair that looks almost gold in the sunlight, a sharp jaw that’s peppered with some scruff, and full lips that are set in a firm line, I can’t help but wonder who is this guy?
Rhett Jameson’s…older brother? His uncle?
Some kind of familial male figure?
He clears his throat, and that’s when I realize just how long I’ve been standing here staring at this slightly irritated, but also handsome-looking, cowboy like a moron.
Uh…hello? Earth to Leah? Now would be a really great time to remember how to speak…
About the Authors:
A duo of romance authors team up under the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling pseudonym Max Monroe to bring you sexy, laugh-out-loud reads.
Max Monroe is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of more than ten contemporary romance titles. Favorite writing partners and long time friends, Max and Monroe strive to live and write all the fun, sexy swoon so often missing from their Facebook newsfeed. Sarcastic by nature, their two writing souls feel like they’ve found their other half. This is their most favorite adventure thus far.
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