Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Review – The Reluctant Cowgirl © Christine Lynxwiler

Title: (McCord Sisters Series) The Reluctant Cowgirl

Author: Christine Lynxwiler

Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc

Main Characters: Crystal McCord & Jeremy Buchanan

Enjoy a front row seat as two reluctant lovers take center stage in award-winning author Christine Lynxwiler's latest riveting romance. New York actress Crystal McCord puts her career on hold to return home to Arkansas to help take care of her family's ranch. When she meets cowboy neighbor Jeremy Buchanan, sparks fly. But when Jeremy's never-before-mentioned family appears on the scene, he drops out of the picture. Will Crystal's country road home turn out to be a dead end? Is it time for a U-turn back to the Big Apple? Or will Jeremy manage to book her for an unlimited engagement?


“On Saturday?”
“All next week. It would be a waste to just fly there and fly back.
Not to mention annihilating my tiny savings.”
“So everyone but you is going to be there.”
She shrugged. “Probably. But they know I can’t make it.”
“Can’t or won’t?” Tina muttered. Before Crystal could respond,
she spoke in a normal voice. “So what’s the problem with Aaron
“He’s Dad’s right-hand man.”
“Don’t some of your other sisters and brothers live nearby?”
“Yeah, but they’re busy with their own lives. Aaron’s been the
main one who takes care of the cattle. And Mama and Daddy
are going on an overseas trip in a week. I think he’s afraid they’ll
“Mission trip?” Tina asked, her voice dry, as she deftly started
on makeup.
Crystal nodded. “With a second honeymoon tacked on for good
“Honeymoon or no honeymoon, your family’s so holy, ‘The
Hallelujah Chorus’ must burst out spontaneously every time they’re
together. I bet they bug you worse than we do about going to
Crystal frowned. “Not really so much.”
“It’s not because they’ve given up on you, honey,” Tina drawled
as she smoothed in the foundation on Crystal’s face.
Heat spread from Crystal’s neck to her face. Tina had an uncanny
way of taking the words right out of Crystal’s mind and speaking
them aloud. She glanced in the mirror and cringed inwardly. Not
much chance her embarrassment would escape unnoticed, since the
pale makeup clashed violently with her red face.
Tina made no comment about the color change. “Your biggest
sin is you’re too hard on yourself.”
“I’m not hard on myself.”
“Yeah, and I’m not from Texas,” Tina drawled as she unfastened
the Velcro at Crystal’s neck and whipped the white cape off her
with a flourish. “Ta-da. The most beautiful homeless woman I’ve
ever seen.”

The Reluctant Cowgirl © Christine Lynxwiler


Crystal McCord is feeling a bit low on the last night of the stage production that she was in, to be honest she was down in the dumps and it had more to do with home sickness more than anything else.

Despite a clear goal all her life to stick to her dreams of playing Broadway – on a sudden visit home she finds herself agreeing to taking on board the family farm for a few weeks when her parents has to go out of town for work/second honeymoon. You would think with a bunch of brothers and sisters there would be someone to chip in, but no - all of Crystal’s siblings are otherwise engaged and although not pleased she reluctantly accept the help of Jeremy Buchanan the next door rancher with the farm for the first few days until she can find her ranch legs.

Jeremy is a new implant to the ranching area of Arkansas but Crystal is only just meeting him because of all the years she has been away. Jeremy has his own baggage and it has literally put is life on hold and he show no signs of going forward in the near future. With a constant air of no hope around him is surprised at the sudden interest he takes in Crystal and the fact that she brings out a side of him that he has not seen in a long time.

Between caring for the ranch and interfering siblings Crystal and Jeremy takes on board each other secrets and challenges and a tight bond forms between the two – however when dreams as long held as Crystal has been are within reach, someone has to win and someone must lose, and when none are willing to fight for what could be a sure thing something had to give.

I had heard so much good thing about this authors writing that as soon as I got the chance to try out her new series “McCord Sisters”, I jumped at it. Ms. Lynxwiler starts off this sweet tale with Crystal in her own element – the path to the life that she has always dream about and there the author introduces us to what Crystal life is all about, the friends she has made and the compromises that she has had to make in order to get some privacy.

Once Crystal gets onto the ranch, the books picks up and her’s and Jeremy’s day and eventual evenings are intertwined for a good stretch of the book. Jeremy is not secretive about his own heartbreaking dilemma but over time he has been relying on himself and doesn’t accept help easily. When he finds himself becoming attracted to Crystal he is amazed that he is able to after all that he has been through – but then Jeremy has never forgotten his Christian value or denied himself from feeling hurt and coming to terms with what he had no control over in his life.

Crystal on the other hand is attracted to Jeremy but she is scared not only by the fact that she is not willing to give up her dreams to do ranching, Crystal had given up on a  whole lot of things, God, family, friends and buried herself in a dream that she is just now willing to really look at and see all the other options out there for her – Jeremy the main one.

The author does a fantastic job with developing the characters , both the main and the secondary ones. Two things about this books stood out for me, one, this is a religious romance but at no point was it forced down my throat it was there in everything the McCord family and their friends did, it was in there hopes, their dreams and their wants; also the fact that as much as this is a first book in a series Ms. Lynxwiler took the time to flesh out all the sibling as individual and I ended up definately loving some more than the others, but despite this the author never forgot that this was Crystal and Jeremy's story and she made those two quite solid in their mould and I really like them as individuals and as a couple.

There are enough realities of life in this books to make you sit up and thing, this happen to me or I know someone that that happened to and this more than anything else made this book a winner for me. A few side stories are present in this book, and these only help to give a better understanding of the dynamics of the family and hopefully  layout some of the foundation for future books.

I am so looking forward to Ms. Lynxwiler next book in the series and am very pleased I got the chance to finally read a book by this exciting author.  


6 Speak To Me:

A Buckeye Girl Reads on 6 October 2009 at 22:20 said...

The excerpt and review made me want to read this book!

Smokinhotbooks on 7 October 2009 at 03:21 said...

Who doesn't like ranches and cowboys? Interesting that this is a religious romance, sometimes if I feel the author "forces" their beliefs it can turn me off. Great that this author was able to pull this off sucessfully.

Erotic Horizon on 7 October 2009 at 08:44 said...

@A Buckeye Girl Reads

I hope you give this one a shot, it was so good...

A pleasure to have read this author..


Erotic Horizon on 7 October 2009 at 08:46 said...


Yup, I know exactly what you mean, and Ms Lynxwiler carries this book off well..

Check her out if you get the chance..


Lori (sugarandgrits) on 9 October 2009 at 02:15 said...

This is a great book! I can't wait to read Elyse's story in ~ Cowgirl at Heart! I chose it as "My Favorite Cover" a couple of weeks back:


Thanks for your great review,
~ Lori

PS - LOVE your header...and your blog!

Erotic Horizon on 9 October 2009 at 05:58 said...

Hey Lori...

I so agree with you - Elyse's story is worth biting my nails waiting for...

The author has popped me a line to say it is due out for Feb2010, I was getting frustrated not being able to find the release date...

That was definitely worth the cover of the month title - So beautiful..

Glad you like the review - this book was really good...