Cowboy Tough by Michelle Beattie

There’s no such thing as a coincidence…

Ryker Granger can’t believe his luck when he meets a beautiful woman stranded on the side of the road outside of Last Stand, Texas. Normally this rancher and part-time mechanic would be too reserved to jump into a relationship, especially since his family is still reeling from questions surrounding their father’s heart attack. But his life’s a tangled mess and Shannon is a welcome distraction.

Shannon Smith set out to meet Ryker Granger. Her staged car breakdown was only the beginning of her plan. Meeting Ryker is her chance to right the wrongs his father inflicted on her family. Her plan skews wildly off course—she only meant to score a date, not fall in love. And Ryker’s a straight arrow; he’ll never forgive such blatant deception. But how can she walk away from the man who has claimed her heart?

As Ryker solves the mystery around his father and learns why Shannon came to Last Stand, he faces his toughest choice yet. Forgive a lie or lose the woman he loves forever?

Titles in the Tangled up in Texas series include — Cowboy Up – Cowboy True – Cowboy WildCowboy Tough

(This series is part of the Last Stand, Texas group of connecting series.  (think Marietta, Montana– Tule Publishing’s other large set of somewhat connecting series set in a fictional town.  A listing of the connecting series and their stories can be found on our Last Stand, Texas page)

Title:  Cowboy Tough
Series:  Tangled Up in Texas (Last Stand, Texas connection)
Author:  Michelle Beattie
Genre:  Modern Western Romance
Published:  September 24, 2020
Publisher:  Tule Publishing
My Rating:  4.5

Cowboy Tough is the fourth title in the Tangled Up in Texas series, a part of the Last Stand, Texas line.  This time around we have Ryker’s romance which begins with a lie that turns into something quite different… just when it might be too late for that happily ever after.

I have loved this series, yet there are answers finally coming our way.  Some make more sense of events – others simply open the door for more questions.  All the answers I’m craving will probably be in the next story, but for now, we have shy, quiet Ryker meeting Shannon, a determined woman on a quest that begins with a bald-faced lie.  Not exactly the best way to meet the person you’ll fall in love with – but it worked, eventually, once those answers were given, and explanations were accepted.

I liked Shannon, yes, even if she did begin all of this with a lie, it was also for a very good reason.  Could she have accomplished that goal with a different approach?  Oh, definitely.  But then we wouldn’t have two people meeting, falling in love, and mending differences within families.

We’ve met Ryker in the earlier books.  His relationship with their father (Joe) is a bit different and there is a distance between the brothers because of that.  He’s straight-arrowed, shy, but still strong in his own convictions about life.  And he fell hard for a woman with her own agenda – and it hurt when the truth finally is disclosed.  Watching this couple open up to each other enough to begin falling in love, only to see the possibility of heartache when Shannon’s lie is uncovered was an emotional journey on so many levels.

I enjoyed my time back in this world, and I think to say much more would reveal spoilers you should discover firsthand for yourself.  I do believe this is a series best read in order (if you can) to get all the nuances and the building of information from one book to the next.  I’m definitely looking forward to answers in the next book, but in the meantime, Cowboy Tough was an excellent romance that gave me some answers, and a lovely happily ever after for Ryker and Shannon.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher, Tule Publishing. That does not change what I think of this story.  It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*

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