Katiebabs is a self-proclaimed present day bluestocking with her head always in a book. She runs her own book blog called Babbling about Books and More!
Stone Cold Cowboy (Montana Men #4) by Jennifer Ryan should please fans of this Jennifer Ryan's series, and those who can't get enough of Prince Charming heroes who come to the rescue of the plucky, yet somewhat Mary Sue type heroine. At first I thought this would be a typical romance where the heroine and hero bond because of the heroine's brother, who's a drug addict and works with some nasty people. But Jennifer surprised me with an opening that may shock readers because it's somewhat disturbing. For that alone, I have to give Jennifer major kudos.
Sadie has a whole lot of stress on her shoulders. Not only is her father dying of cancer, her younger brother is a meth addict who works with drug dealers. One day she follows him because he and his nasty crew have stolen cattle from the Kendricks, a well respected ranching family with some very attractive brothers. But because Sadie didn't think her plan out, she's caught, and not even her brother can save her. One psychotic individual who gets off on pain and suffering, does something horrible to Sadie to prove a point because she fights back. He doesn't rape her but leaves her naked in the middle of nowhere in frozen temperatures tied with barbwire to a tree. She's left for dead. her brother leaves her as well because if he helped her, he would have been killed also.
Rory Kendrick finds Sadie when he searches for his missing cattle. He has noticed Sadie in the past and always though she was pretty. He's also impressed by the dedication to has to her father, her work, trying to get her college degree, and even supporting her lowlife of a brother. Sadie is in bad shape. He takes her to the hospital, shaken up and angry that she was left for dead in such a way. He stays with her, refusing to leave her side. Sadie will now be left with scarring on her body, including some other emotional traumas because of her torture. But Rory will be there to help her because he has now claimed her as his own.
It may appear that Rory has caveman tactics when it comes to Sadie, but he treats her more like a beta hero would. He's tender, protective and supportive. He admires her tenacity to stand on her own two feet, wanting to repay him and his family for her brother's thieving actions. Rory accepts because he wants Sadie close by. He treats her like one of his skittish horses by dating her and not rushing into sex. They have a courtship that's more about getting to know one another rather than acting on their attraction for one another. But as these two bond, Sadie still has a lot of drama in her life. Her father is at death's door, her brother is all but lost to his drug addiction, and the men who left Sadie for death in a sadistic way is still free to roam, leaving her jumpy and constantly looking over her shoulder. But Sadie has Rory to help her and protect her.
Stone Cold Cowboy is big on the importance of family and community. This is shown with Sadie's dedication to her father. We see this with Rory and his brothers and grandfather (a lovable old coot who wants grandchildren in a bad way). There are some surprises with Sadie's brother and the criminals he works with, bringing in the law and FBI, which should hold readers' interest.
Rory is near perfect, perhaps too much so. But is that really a fault? Sadie is everything we can admire in a heroine, although she does enter Mary Sue territory at certain points. But overall I found Stone Cold Cowboy very enjoyable, especially with the chance Jennifer took regarding the start of the story with Sadie.
A solid romance with great characters and a awww worthy HEA.