Claire Moon moved to a small Montana ranch for peace and solitude after barely surviving a tragic fire. A jewelry maker, she used to travel extensively to sell her work, but now prefers only online sales. Her quiet existence is imperiled when escaped cattle tromp through her yard and garden. Claire is unable to avoid meeting her handsome rancher neighbor who arrives to remove the cattle, and when he turns on the apologies and the charm, she’s not really sure she wants to.
Cowboy Wes McQueen feels guilty when his family’s cattle make a mess of his new neighbor’s property, especially when he finds out it’s his fault. But when he tries to make it up to Claire, she’s very shy and resistant. Still, he finds himself determined to make amends, and the two form a tentative friendship—a friendship that unexpectedly blossoms into more.
Despite Claire’s reluctance to rejoin society, Wes is determined to make their relationship work. He realizes that he’s like his father in more than one way—when he finally falls for a woman, he falls hard. And there’s no going back.
Title: The Cowboy Next Door
Series: Once Upon A Western #3
Author: Trish Milburn
Genre: Modern Western Romance
Published: February 5, 2019
Publisher: Tule Publishing
My Rating: 4.5 stars
I was quickly swept into THE COWBOY NEXT DOOR not only because of the romance but also because of the message that is gently but firmly delivered in a wonderful story. Your definition of bravery will be changed after meeting Claire. And you’ll realize that a funny, flirty cowboy who has been the joker of this group has a far more understanding and perceptive side as well.
When describing the mental state of heroes or heroines I will often use the word -wounded- that word is really the only way I can describe Claire when we first meet her. Physically, mentally, emotionally wounded by tragic events she had no control over yet must live with for the remainder of her life. To watch her slowly grow, accept and become stronger was a joy to experience.
I don’t know why it is that in any genre of fiction a man’s physical scars are shown off almost, never completely hidden from the audience – yet, a woman’s physical scars, especially facial scars are usually covered by make-up, her hair is worn to hide the scar or accessories used to draw the eye away. THE COWBOY NEXT DOOR was so much more realistic, more intense and more engaging to me by allowing us to see Claire’s scars and Wes’ reaction to them. That he saw beyond the physical scars to the beauty within says a lot about his character. He doesn’t fluff over them, he sees them but they are not what defines Claire in his eyes. That is what real life, real love does. And I am so grateful that Ms. Milburn gave us this couple to show that truth through.
I was touched, emotionally engaged, I laughed, I cried, I got annoyed and I totally enjoyed THE COWBOY NEXT DOOR. It is my favorite story of this series. I would strongly recommend this story to any reader, no matter your preferred genre, because it is quite simply a beautiful story with truths we should all be reminded of.
*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 for the Kindle