Casey Walsh and Boone Murphy had a bright future together until family betrayal and tragedy tore them apart. Now, more than a decade later, the beauty school dropout runs Meadow Valley’s family tavern and steers clear of the boy who once stole her heart—no small feat in such a small town. When Casey’s car breaks down on the way to an important interview, she’s rescued by none other than Boone himself—on what was supposed to be his wedding day…
Boone Murphy was finally going to put Meadow Valley in his rearview mirror. Except when it came time to say “goodbye” to his hometown and “I do” to his new life, he couldn’t do it. Now he’s back home, and his only dream is winning back the girl he’s always loved…
Titles in The Murphys of Meadow Valley include — Holding Out for a Cowboy —♥—
This is an adult 18+ story that may contain language, possible violence, and/or sexual situations geared to an adult audience.
Title: Holding Out for a Cowboy
Series: The Murphys of Meadow Valley #1
Author: A. J. Pine
Genre: Modern Western Romance
Published: November 29, 2022
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
My Rating: 4
Holding Out for a Cowboy begins The Murphys of Meadow Valley series with a rocky romance that gets a second chance to fix the mistakes of the past… if they can, and that ultimate decision lies in the hands and heart of one woman who was so wounded by Boone’s actions a decade ago that she may never forgive a man who still loves her.
I was firmly in Boone’s corner in this story, and I’ll admit that I never warmed up to Casey at all. Small-town living means that your romantic mistakes are never far from sight, something that both Casey and Boone know quite well. A decade ago, they were a couple in love, planning a future until it all fell apart. Now, Boone was determined to leave Meadow Valley and start his life somewhere else… but he couldn’t do it, couldn’t live a lie for the rest of his days. The simple fact was that he still loved Casey, and if there was any way to mend their fences then he was going to do just that. Unfortunately, that was easier said than done.
While I couldn’t like Casey, I did fall for Boone. Each reader will see this couple differently, but it’s difficult for me to hope for a happy ending when I dislike the actions of one member of the romantic couple. However, what I enjoyed most about their story was Boone’s issues, how they were slowly introduced into the story, how he handled himself, and how he found his coping mechanisms through therapy (and was still in therapy). Any type of mental health issue that is realistically addressed in a fictional story will grab my attention because it’s something that is so often overlooked in the romance genre. No one is perfect, and sometimes the mental issues do not lie with the ultimate villain… they exist for the hero (or the heroine), and I enjoyed the realism of Boone’s journey thus far.
My reasons for enjoying this story might be different from yours, but I would encourage you to pick up Boone and Casey’s story for several reasons. It begins a new series with ties to the Meadow Valley series, and we’ll see some familiar faces here (if you’ve read that series). We’re introduced to some characters that I really want to know more about; hopefully, they’ll get their stories told one day. And lastly, I’ll always love a story that gives me a realistic character, one that I can believe is experiencing everything I’m reading about. I might have been firmly in Boone’s corner, but his story is a good one.
*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, audio, or for your favorite e-reader