Book Review: "For the Love of a Cowboy" by Sandy Sullivan

April 13, 2016

Paige Tyler didn’t want to be the preacher’s daughter anymore. She wanted the freedom to live her own life, do what she wanted and find the man of her dreams. What she didn’t expect to find was that man drunk off his ass and needing her assistance to handle three guys wanting to beat him up in a bar fight.

Jacob Young’s life was a mess. Finding solace in a bottle of booze was the answer to his guilt-ridden conscious until an angel in leather pulls him up by his boot straps, brushes him off and convinces him life is worth living.

Do opposites really attract? Can a cowboy with a wounded heart be the answer to her prayers? It’s all in For the Love of a Cowboy.

Genre: erotic romance
Length: 202 pages

This is the first time I’ve read anything by Sandy Sullivan, but it probably won’t be the last. I’m not afraid to admit that I do love a good cowboy story from time to time, and I liked this one from Sullivan, too.

For the Love of a Cowboy is the third book in her “Cowboy Dreamin’” series and follows the lives of Jacob Young and Paige Tyler. Jacob has been lost in booze for the past few months and when he gets into a fight, Paige is the one to save him from a severe ass-kicking. Paige is the daughter of a preacher, yet she’s anything but innocent. Dressed in leather and riding a Harley, she’s trying to break free from her father’s oppressive rules.

Both of these characters are damaged in some way. Not having yet read the previous two books, this was my first introduction to Jacob Young, but from what I can tell, there have been little snippets about him in the other two books Make Mine a Cowboy and Healing a Cowboy’s Heart. A guilt-tortured soul, he’s trying to come to grips with not doing enough to stop something terrible from happening in his recent past.

Generally a decent guy, I felt for Jacob as he tries to come to grips with the aftermath of his decision/lack of action. He has a great family and seven other brothers to help him get through his days. Although he has pushed them away repeatedly, he knows they’ll always be there for him.

Paige on the other hand is swimming in a sea of resentment for her father, but she feels torn with this animosity. She shouldn’t be angry with her father, but his strict rules and expectations are suffocating her. Rebelling in the only way she knows how, Paige goes to bars—not to get drunk—but rather just to spend some time in the company of people her own age. She feels as if she's been forced to take over when it comes to being the "Preacher's Wife" after the death of her mother nearly fifteen years ago.

But what Paige is really running from is her fear; although, she has conflicting ideas about wanting to get married and have kids, she still wants to have a relationship with Jacob, but only on her terms. This sometimes makes for a frustrating read as you want to reach into the book and slap some sense into the woman who keeps pushing this great guy away.

Sullivan has done a pretty good job with this book. I thought the first half was better paced than the second with some really good background building and character development. Through her descriptions, we’re able to learn how Paige and Jacob tick and how their lives are lived.

There were a few things that I had a little difficulty with. Perhaps not reading the previous books has been a disadvantage for me, but sometimes I felt like the characters motivations could have been bolstered a little more with internal thoughts and/or history to justify why they reacted how they did. 

I think this could have been achieved through better pacing, giving the reader a better overall understanding of the characters. Also, so of their sexual proclivities and actions seemed a little unrealistic, if not impossible, at times.

Having said all that, I will be reading more from Sullivan. She has a gift for story-telling, and I’m curious to know where she’s going to go from here. Obviously in book #4, she’ll take us on another journey with another one of the Young men, and I’m looking forward to finding out more about this family, and also about how the previous characters are going, too.

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