April Grayson is the responsible one in her family of wild, barrel-racing rodeo stars. After years of keeping her sisters out of trouble, she’s finally earned some time to let loose. She indulges in a one-night stand with the cowboy she crushed on in high school. It’s as hot as it is memorable, but the next day she finds out Cole works for her new accounting client. He’s dead set against having one of the “Wild Grayson Sisters” working on Three Sisters Ranch.
Last Stand rodeo youth director Cole Lockwood loves horses, kids, and cowgirls—not necessarily in that order. Even though his night with April leaves him wanting more, his parents’ medical bills have him working 24/7. He’s tempted to go back to his professional gambling ways and enter a high-stakes poker game, but April warns that’s a loser’s bet.
Cole and April strike a deal: she’ll teach him about managing his family’s finances if he helps her overcome her fear of horses and learn how to be a little more reckless. Can this cowboy make a cowgirl out of her?
This is an adult 18+ story that may contain language, possible violence, or sexual situations geared to an adult audience.
(This series is part of the Last Stand, Texas group of connecting series. Think Marietta, Montana– Tule Publishing’s other large set of somewhat connecting series set in a fictional town. Our Last Stand, Texas page can be found here.)
Title: A Cowboy for April
Series: Three Sisters Ranch #4
Author: Jamie K. Schmidt
Genre: Modern Western Romance
Published: May 27, 2021
Publisher: Tule Publishing
My Rating: 4.5 stars
A Cowboy for April continues the Three Sisters Ranch series with a story that touched my heart and has layers to it that enhance the romance between Cole and April in so many ways. No one’s perfect but sometimes we find that perfect someone for us – it’s just going to take a bit of bartering and opening up to possibilities before Cole and April acknowledge that they are, in fact, perfect for each other even in their imperfections.
When April is laid off from her accounting job and receives another desperate call from her mother for help – once again April will return home to regroup. She’s the dependable one of the “wild Grayson sisters”, the one who bails out everyone else she loves. But right now she’s cutting loose with a night out and a one-night stand with her high school crush. That one step in finding her “wilder side” will result in complications, running into Cole once more, and perhaps setting them up for a future together… if they can get beyond what each is facing right now. I liked April, she’s seeing her life with clearer eyes these days and while taking a walk on the wild side might not really fit her personality it does make for interesting situations to arise for her. A second chance romance might be a stretch since they’d not really acted on their feelings back in high school, but it certainly felt like this couple is getting another chance to find happiness together… eventually.
While I enjoyed April there were times when I really wanted to set her down for a stern conversation. There were times when her stubbornness went a bit too far, but we only learn by making mistakes. April and Cole barter for adventure in life and for expertise in finances, what they’ll find in the long run is a future both can depend on.
I adored and understood Cole a bit more though. He’s beyond burning the candle at both ends with his numerous jobs, and dealing with the medical needs of his family, always putting the bills, revamping the ranch, and the health of those he loves above everything else. It’s tempting to attempt to go back to his professional gambler ways to get the funds needed to put his world to rights again. But will that decision cost him far more than he gains?
A Cowboy for April drew me in and never let go. There’s that sizzling chemistry between Cole and April, a few twists, and turns along the way, the chance to run into folks we may know from the earlier books in this series, and the hard-fought-for happy-ever after for two stubborn, determined people. I didn’t always agree with how they solved problems, but I cheered this couple on from the beginning to the final page. Up next, it’s June’s turn to find happiness in A Cowboy for June.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher. 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.*
**This review first appeared on my Keeper Bookshelf website and has been slightly updated from its original May 2021 posting.**
Available for your favorite e-reader