Breakaway Cowboy by Barbara Dunlop

Posted February 21, 2023 by Marsha in 2023 New Release Challenge, ARC, Harlequin, Harlequin Desire, Modern Western Romance, NetGalley ARC, Series, Sexual Content, Small Town Romance / 0 Comments

He’d been down for the count…

but hadn’t counted on her.

After an injury destroys his rodeo career, the last thing Dallas Hawkes wants is to train a new ranch hand.

Sierra Armstrong has zero experience with ranching—little does Dallas know that she’s secretly been hired to help him work through what he’s lost.

As Dallas inducts Sierra into ranch life, her sunshine threatens to crack his grumpy exterior…and maybe even his heart.

When he learns the truth, will his pride be trampled, or will Dallas get back up to love again?

Titles in the High Country Hawkes series include — Breakaway Cowboy —♥— From Highrise to High Country —♥—

This is an adult 18+ story that may contain language, possible violence, and/or sexual situations geared to an adult audience.

NetGalley ARC

Title:  Breakaway Cowboy
Series:  High Country Hawkes #1
Author:  Barbara Dunlop
Genre:  Modern Western Romance
Published:  February 21, 2023
Publisher:  Harlequin Desire
My Rating:  4.5 stars

Breakaway Cowboy begins the High Country Hawkes series with an emotionally intense romance between one cowboy who seems to have hit rock-bottom in some important parts of his life and a woman who has just had her life upended by a man who was supposed to love her forever.  Country man, city woman – so many reasons why this couple should not work, yet they’re about to prove that notion completely wrong.

Just when I’d thought that I had already met the grumpiest, stubbornest, most bull-headed cowboy this month… along comes Dallas Hawke to prove me wrong.  If you looked up stubborn in the dictionary, you’d find Dallas Hawke’s name… in bold print. *grin*

Dallas is back home, the last place he wants to be with a bad shoulder injury, the kind that ends a rodeo career faster than growing too old.  He’s grumpy, denying that this injury will make him pick a different kind of life and barking out at anyone who dares to cross his path with unwanted advice.  This is one reason why his sister didn’t come clean about inviting her friend, Sierra, a wellness coach, to the ranch to help him deal with it all… because Dallas would have refused to even meet her, let alone allow her to help.  But the convoluted tale these friends did come up with has holes large enough to drive a herd through – fortunately, no one is paying close attention… yet.

Breakaway Cowboy easily drew me into the lives of the Hawke family in this introductory story.  There are reasons why Dallas hates being at the ranch.  We get hints throughout, but the final definition of those fears comes near the end of this story.  Add to that reluctance you have an injured man who doesn’t really know what to do with himself if he can’t rodeo anymore.  He’s hurting, not willing to admit it, and being a grump is so much easier than dealing with any of that, it seems.  Sierra’s trying so hard to help Dallas in a roundabout way, but since she and her friend have lied so much about exactly who she is and what she professionally does… well, there’s only so much she can try to do except wait him out, get him to trust her just enough to give him some encouragement, some ways to help himself.  Unfortunately, she and Dallas’ sister wait too long before telling the truth.

If you love a well-written romance full of emotions, good intentions, cowboys, and friends who try to help a situation, then you’d enjoy Breakaway Cowboy.  I loved this couple, but they are almost equally stubborn, and it shows.  I look forward to continuing the series because these are some seriously stubborn siblings.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are my own – good, bad, or indifferent.*

Available in print or for your favorite e-reader



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