Summer Nights with a Cowboy (Kittredge Ranch: Book 3) by Caitlin Crews

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

Date of Publication: March 29th, 2022

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Western

Series: Kittredge Ranch

Secret Nights with a Cowboy—Book 1

Sweet Nights with a Cowboy—Book 1.5

All Night Long with a Cowboy—Book 2 (review here)

Summer Nights with a Cowboy—Book 3

Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible | B&N | WorldCat

Goodreads Synopsis:

USA Today bestseller Caitlin Crews returns with Summer Nights with a Cowboy, another emotional romance in her stunning cowboy series Kittredge Ranch….
He doesn’t believe in love…

Traveling nurse Janie Atwood has come to Cold River to uncover old family secrets and maybe, if she’s lucky, find a new home. That the gorgeous, glowering sheriff next door thinks her caring for his elderly neighbor is a nefarious scheme is a bonus. Having never been anything but a good girl, Janie finds Zack Kittredge’s simmering suspicion an excellent reason to try being a little dangerous instead…

She doesn’t believe in squandering it…

Sheriff Zack Kittredge is okay with being… intense. He takes his loner status as seriously as he takes his responsibilities to protect Cold River. And he thinks cheerful Janie might be a threat to the town. But the more he gets to know her, the more he faces the truth―she’s brighter than sunshine and he’s like a moth to her flame. When Janie suggests he could use a few charm school lessons, he surprises them both by accepting. He doesn’t need help. But it’s clear he might need her…

Because the only thing hotter than the summer sun in the Rockies is the forbidden passion that burns between them…


First Line:

Janie Atwood had never met the sheriff of pretty little Cold River personally, but she was already aware that he hated her.

summer nights with a cowboy by caitlin crews

Romances are among my top 3 genres to read. I love all types of romances: erotica, shifter, contemporary, historical, western…etc. So, when an invite for a romance novel is in my email, I almost always accept it. With Summer Nights with a Cowboy, I was already familiar with the series (Kittredge Ranch) and the universe in which the book took place. So, yes, I decided to accept it before reading the synopsis. I knew that it was about Zack and that it took place in Cold River. That’s all I needed to know before I said yes.

Summer Nights with a Cowboy is book 3 in the Kittredge Ranch series. It can be read as a standalone book, but I highly suggest (as I always do) that you read the first two books before picking this one up. The main character of this book makes numerous appearances in that series. Even better, check out Cold River Ranch for the backstories of several of the secondary characters in this book.

Summer Nights with a Cowboy’s plotline interested me. Zack is the sheriff of Cold Creek, and he takes his job very seriously. Janie is a free-spirit traveling nurse who has moved into her client’s house. Janie and Zack’s paths cross when she accidentally trips and dumps her latte down the front of his shirt. And their ways continue to cross because Zack is her client’s next-door neighbor. After another rude encounter, Janie suggests that Zack needs etiquette classes and offers to teach them. To her surprise, he takes her up on her offer. As they get to know each other better, Janie has a secret that could derail their fledgling relationship. And Zack has deep-rooted scars from his traumatic childhood. Will Janie come clean to Zack about her secret? Can Zack accept it? And will Janie help Zack heal?

I loved that the author gave Zack a book of his own. He was such a presence in the Cold River series and in his brothers’ books that I wondered if it would happen. I expected his character to be a little less rigid than what he was portrayed in the other books. But, alas, he wasn’t. But you know what, it worked for me. I loved seeing him gradually (and sometimes it was at a snail’s pace) come to terms with what happened during his childhood. I also loved seeing him happy and relaxed when he was with Janie. The only thing I disagreed with was when he warned Janie about the Halls. I thought it was not cool (mainly because of what she was looking for) and a little selfish of him. Other than that, I loved him.

Janie was awesome. She was precisely the type of woman that Zack needed. She was awkward but sweet. She also was as clumsy as heck. Throughout the book, she was constantly tripping over one thing or another. I kept thinking, “Girl, how can you do your job?” I also loved how she went about gathering information about her secret. Her interactions with Zack, her friends (via text), and the other townspeople had me in stitches.

The author thoroughly explains Zack’s childhood in the book. It was alluded to in the previous two books but never explained. All I have to say is shame on his mother. What an awful thing to subject your children to. I had some sympathy for her, but at the same time, I was outraged. Her actions caused her children to have issues that took years (and the love of a good woman) to fix. I was irritated with his father, but my irritation turned to sympathy after what his mother revealed.

I loved how the author chose to reveal Janie’s secret and how she explained everything behind it. It brought tears to my eyes and made me laugh simultaneously. Janie finally had explanations about things that her grandparents had told her.

Janie and Zack’s romance was sweet. It wasn’t HEA. Zack didn’t like Janie when he first met her. He was suspicious of her and thought she was a klutz. Janie was intimidated by Zack and his manliness (yes, laugh, but it is true), and he made her very nervous, making her clumsy. But the more they got together, the more Zack started to see her for who she truly was and started falling in love with her. The same went for Janie. Their relationship was natural and evolved as it would have in real life. Which means there was no HEA. Maybe lust on Janie’s end but NO HEA.

The chemistry that Janie and Zack had was off the charts. The author built up that chemistry and let it linger until the middle of the book when they kissed for the first time. Then, she built it back up again and let it go until they had sex for the first time. I enjoyed that the author chose not to have them having sex rule the second half of the book. Instead, it was graphic once and then mentioned or alluded to a few times afterward.

The end of Summer Nights with a Cowboy seemed almost dreamy to me. The author gave me the impression that the book was Zack looking back at how he met and fell in love with Janie (with scenes cut in with Janie looking back). The way it was written gave me that impression. I thought it was a perfect way to wrap up the story.

I would recommend Summer Nights with a Cowboy to anyone over 21. There is mild violence, language, and sexual situations/scenes.

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