Former FBI agent Cash Dalton has come to Dry Creek Ranch to work through a botched case that still gives him nightmares. The rundown 500-acre spread left to him and his two cousins is a good place to lose himself while he figures out his next move. Then he gets a call that changes everything. Thirteen years ago, he unknowingly fathered a child. The girl’s mother is dying and Cash must step up to raise a daughter he never knew, finding help from an unusual ally—the local pariah. 

Aubrey McAlister is the talk of the town when she dumps Dry Creek’s favorite son just weeks before their wedding. She has her reason but to protect a vulnerable friend swears never to tell. Keeping her secret doesn’t prove easy, though, when a nasty rumor threatens everything—and everyone—she cares about, including Cash’s family. As the two grow closer Aubrey realizes the only way to stop the gossip is to give Dry Creek something real to talk about . . . a romance to rival the rumors.

Titles in the Dry Creek Ranch series include – Cowboy Up

Title:  Cowboy Up
Series:  Dry Creek Ranch #1
Author:  Stacy Finz
Genre:  Modern Western Romance
Published:  July 23, 2019
Publisher:  Kensington Books
My Rating:  4.5 stars

If you love a small-town romance with all the craziness, all the townsfolk knowing each other’s business, one nasty piece of work to loathe, one life-changing surprise, and two people who connect on levels they never expected — then you’re going to love COWBOY UP.  Add to that lineup should you enjoy getting in on the beginning of a series then you’ve hit gold with this one.

Aubrey and Cash have chemistry right from the start, it shows in their bantering and maybe even in their annoyances with each other.  Cash has been away from home long enough to not know all the talk of the town, so he’s not really sure why Aubrey is championing him or the situation he’s found himself in.  When the rumors start flying, and the talk begins to have an effect on his family he’ll learn why – and return the favor Aubrey’s done for him.

It’s not easy to face down rumors, talking behind backs or outright lies, but both Aubrey and Cash need to do just that in order to find their way to each other.  There is a villain who you will loathe and then some.  An innocent young girl who has had her life turned upside down in a heartbeat.  A man who has lost his direction only to find it in two females who will mean the world to him.  And one brave woman who did what was the right thing fell in love with a man and his daughter and will fight tooth and nail to make them all a family full of love and hope for the future.  Sure, there’s sizzle, some danger, but at the core, COWBOY UP is the heartwrenching tale of two people who life has thrown some nasty crap in their direction, yet who are finding their way to something, someone better than they ever expected.

I was easily caught up in the lives of Aubrey, Cash, and Ellie – and I’m definitely waiting to return to Dry Creek Ranch for more adventures with Jace and Sawyer.  Love a good romance with intriguing characters and a love that nothing can stop?  Then you’ll want to check out COWBOY UP for yourself.  I’d not hesitate to recommend this one to any reader who simply loves a good love story.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. 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.*

Available in paperback and for the Kindle