REVIEW: Anything for a Cowboy by Jenna Bayley-Burke
NOTE – This may be bought separately or as part of the NotMy1stRodeo Anthology.
When veterinarian Jacy Weston changes her location on her western dating
website profile, she thinks it’s no big deal. Opal Creek…Myrtle Creek…what’s the difference? As little white lies go, this one barely qualifies. Besides, since her brothers have chased off every guy within a hundred miles, the expiration date on her virginity is way past due.
Ray Mitchell is not inclined to waste his time on something as unnecessary
as dating, but it’s much easier to take a woman to coffee than to explain to his mother why he’s in no hurry to get married again. Despite NotMy1stRodeo.com’s promises, he doubts he’ll find any woman willing to find herself stuck on a remote ranch raising rodeo stock.
But Jacy is different. She isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. Or to get down and dirty. Ray’s thinking he’s found the one, until the truth comes out…and he realizes the divorcee from the next county he’s been dating doesn’t exist.
Dear Ms. Bayley-Burke,
I had so much fun reading this novella. My reading notes say “Funny, vet + cowboy novella about trust, sex, lies and foals.” I didn’t have the space to add warm, comfortable story about two people immediately at ease around each other, obviously made for each other who will have to quickly work through some tough issues because the word-count time clock is ticking.
Let’s delve into this a bit deeper. Jacy and Ray both sign up at the online dating site “NotMy1stRodeo” for different reasons. Ray reluctantly did so as a present to his mother with a promise to go on at least one date a month while Jacy’s reasons were a bit more complicated but include a profitable and large family ranch and 4 over protective brothers all of which have played a part in her now being almost thirty and a virgin. Her intense focus on her vet studies and then throwing herself into a world where she feels more at ease also figured in.
But once she and Ray get together under the eagle eye of a café owner who immediately reports back to his mom and with strict instructions for her to fill her best friend in on the results, they know it’s something special. Who else would think the way they flirt about livestock and ranches is fun and sexy? Only someone who lives the life and doesn’t think twice about what’s on their boots. And that’s the part that rules me out as the selfies with water buffaloes and the info about the pig’s website is hilarious to me while the boots part …. not so much.
Things are going so well but the seeds of the conflict have been sown and they sprout right on time. I totally get why Ray doesn’t trust anyone who lies to him or who even just shades the truth a mite and absolutely get why Jacy felt the need to see if there was a man who could love her for herself before her brothers messed up her chance but it’s clear the story is working under a deadline when this all blows up.
What brings me around is how Jacy has the ovaries to go for what she thinks they have in the face of everyone telling her different. And how it’s Ray’s family, who we know care about him deeply, who urge him to be honest with himself over what he’s feeling and why this one hurts so much. Knowing that they both realize getting over this will not be an overnight thing but are willing to work to get back to the truth they felt before the ugly truth reared its head makes me happy with their final HEA and the novella as a whole. I’ll be watching for more stories from you. B