Cowboy, Cross My Heart (Heart of Texas: Book 2) by Donna Grant

Cowboy, Cross My Heart (Heart of Texas, #2)

3 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Date of publication: August 28, 2018

Genre: Romance, Suspense

Series: Heart of Texas

The Christmas Cowboy Hero – Book 1

Cowboy, Cross My Heart – Book 2

My Favorite Cowboy – Book 3 (expected publication date: February 26th, 2019)

Where you can find Cowboy, Cross My Heart: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant takes you deep inside the Texas rodeo scene, where danger and desire ride side by side. . .

Naomi Pierce isn’t the type to let a cowboy sweep her off feet. It’s not her first rodeo, after all. But when she returns to her Texas hometown, she can’t help but be swept up again in the rough-and-tumble world of hard-riding, bronco-busting good-ol’-boys she loved as a girl. She might be here to photograph her Rodeo Queen best friend. But it’s one fine-looking cowboy who really captures her eye…

Brice Harper is all man, all muscle, and all heart. From the moment he rides into the stadium, he can’t help but notice the beautiful stranger with a camera watching him from the stands. It doesn’t take a zoom lens to see the sparks of instant attraction. But things really heat up when he meets Naomi up-close–and he discovers that someone is stalking her friend. Brice wouldn’t be any kind of cowboy if he didn’t offer to help the ladies out. But can the rough-rider keep this spirited shutterbug out of danger–without risking his heart?

My review:

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I am beginning to like country western romances. I wasn’t a huge fan of them when I started reading. I didn’t see the appeal in them. Then I started reading them and started to see exactly why women like these books. Something about a man in tight jeans who is an Alpha male is appealing to 90% of women. Me, included. So, yeah, I started liking them. And if I continue to get books like Cowboy, Cross My Heart, I might be completely won over by them.

Cowboy, Cross My Heart is Naomi and Brice’s story. Naomi is back in town after years of not being there. She still carries the guilt of a car crash that killed one of her best friends when she was a teenager. That guilt kept her away from her hometown. But she is back to support her other best friend as she competes in a Rodeo Queen competition. She catches the eye of Brice while he is competing. Naomi is attacked by the animal pens by a man who is trying to get her camera. Brice, hearing her screams, swoops in to help her. That isn’t the end of the attacks. Brice is attacked and is roping hand injured shortly afterward. After talking to her best friend, Naomi realizes that there is something sinister going on with the Rodeo Queen competition. Something that has put Naomi in the crosshairs of a ruthless group of men. Men who will do anything to silence her. The only thing standing between her and those men are Brice and his family. Can Brice protect Naomi? Will their new relationship hold up under the pressure? Or will everything come crumbling down?

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I am going to be honest, I didn’t feel that much of a connection to both Naomi and Brice. While I liked both of their characters, there was nothing there to make me think “Hey, they would be cool to hang out with” or “I would date him“. They weren’t as fleshed out as they could have been. They didn’t feel real life to me. I couldn’t imagine them in my world, interacting with people. Which disappointed me because I wanted them to be more fleshed out. I didn’t want them to be so blah. That had a huge effect on my rating for this review too.

There is Instalove in Cowboy, Cross My Heart. My stance on Instalove has become more forgiving but I still don’t care for it. The connection that Naomi and Brice was wonderful, though. I wish that the author spent more time exploring that connection instead of having them fall in love with each other after a week.

While the sex scenes were hot, I had a disconnect with them. Mainly because I was disappointed that they slept with each other so soon after they met. Don’t get me wrong, they were wonderfully written. I couldn’t picture Naomi and Brice going at it like rabbits.

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The whole suspense angle of the book was great. The author didn’t hide who was behind the attacks on Naomi and Brice. You knew who was doing all the ordering. What wasn’t clear was why those men started doing what they did. I also was expecting them to be more dangerous than what they were. Other than that, I liked it.

The secondary characters were great. I did think that Whitney acted like a witch with a b towards Naomi. But when it was revealed what happened, I felt awful for her. I also loved Abby. Having had 2 high-risk pregnancies myself, I understood how irritated she was. Ms. Biermann, I didn’t like from the beginning. So I wasn’t surprised when it was revealed that she was involved with everything that went down.

The author did a wonderful job of combining all the main and secondary plotlines at the end of the book. I will say that I thought something different was going to happen. There was no twist either.

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The end of the book was fantastic. I was happy with how the author ended the story. There is a surprise in store for the readers. Not going to say what but I had a huge smile on my face at the ending.

What I liked about Cowboy, Cross My Heart:

A) The suspense angle

B) The secondary characters

C) The storyline

What I didn’t like about Cowboy, Cross My Heart:

A) Little connection with the main characters

B) Instalove

C) Sex scenes didn’t do it for me

I gave Cowboy, Cross My Heart a 3-star rating. While I liked the book, I had almost zero connection with both Naomi and Brice. Because of that, I felt that the scenes were off. And there was Instalove. What kept me from giving this book a lower rating was that I enjoyed the suspense angle, the secondary characters, and the storyline.

I gave Cowboy, Cross My Heart an Adult rating. There is sex. There is violence. There is language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I am on the fence if I would reread Cowboy, Cross My Heart. I am also on the fence if I would reread this book. I would be willing to read other books by the author.

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Cowboy, Cross My Heart.

All opinions stated in this review of Cowboy, Cross My Heart are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**