The Cowboy Takes a Bride (Thorndike Romance) Hardcover – Large Print, 6 Jun 2012
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"A wonderful story... The ending will leave readers with the desire to make return visits to Jubilee, Texas."--RT Book Reviews, 4 stars
"Full of colorful characters...as satisfying as a glass of lemonade on a hot day."--Publishers Weekly
Lori Wilde has created a rich and wonderful story about the charm of small town life combined with the power and passion of first love. Delicious!--New York Times Bestselling author Robyn Carr
"Wilde fills this series launch with fun repartee and tugs at the heartstrings...Her fans will be eager to visit Jubilee again."--Publishers Weekly
Full of colorful characters...as satisfying as a glass of lemonade on a hot day. --Publishers Weekly"
A wonderful story The ending will leave readers with the desire to make return visits to Jubilee, Texas. --RT Book Reviews, 4 stars"
Wilde fills this series launch with fun repartee and tugs at the heartstrings Her fans will be eager to visit Jubilee again. --Publishers Weekly" --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
From the Back Cover
Ex-champion bull rider-turned-cutting-horse cowboy Joe Daniels isn't quite sure how he ended up sleeping in a horse trough wearing nothing but his Stetson and cowboy boots. But now he's wide-awake, and a citified woman is glaring down at him. His goal? Get rid of her ASAP. The obstacle? Fighting the attraction he feels toward the blond-haired filly with the big, vulnerable eyes.
When out-of-work wedding planner Mariah Callahan learns that her estranged father has left her a rundown ranch in Jubilee, she has no choice but to accept it. Her goal? Redeem her career by planning local weddings. The obstacle? One emotionally wounded, hard-living cowboy who stirs her guilt, her heartstrings, and her long-burned cowgirl roots . . . --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.See all Product Description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In the first book of Lori Wilde's New Series, Jubilee, Texas, we meet Ex-champion bull rider-turned-cutting-horse cowboy, Joe Daniels, who wakes up to see this little blond spit-fire staring down at him while he is lying half-naked in a horse trough. Talk about a HELLO!!
Mariah Callahan has nothing left, no job, no money, no home in Chicago and her mother is a newlywed living in Argentina with Iggy, the love of her life. What else is Mariah to do but head to Jubilee and claim the Ranch that her estranged has left her. She plans to sell the property as soon as she can and finally get her own Wedding Planning business off the ground, but how can she think about anything but a certain emotionally wounded, hard-living cowboy who stirs her guilt, her heartstrings, and her long-burned cowgirl roots.
OH BOY.....did Lori Wilde start out with a bang in Jubilee, Texas.....You know its the Horse Cutting Heartland....haha....you will get it once you read it. I was tearing up within the first few chapters, maybe even the first few pages. I FLEW through this book, page after page, wanting to know what would happen next. This book touched my heart and held on tight. I would definitely compare this book to a Kristan Higgins Novel, which ALWAYS has me bawling like a baby.
I think Joe Daniels has crawled into a little spot of my heart and I'm not sure that I'll ever let him go. I think I'll remember Joe and Mariah for a long, long time. If you have ever lost a loved one, or have lost the one that you loved more than anything, then you will be able to relate to Joe and what he is going through. I was in love the second that Mariah started to worm her way into that hole left in Joe's chest where his heart used to be. The build-up of the romance between them was sweet, and sexy, and sometimes STEAMY...like those hidden kisses against.....oh wait...sorry...almost gave it away.
I have to say that I did LOVE Mariah Callahan from the start. She was vulnerable, sweet, at times a spit-fire and she never backed down when it came to Joe Daniels and his grief, but she wasn't going to be a replacement for what he lost and she wasn't going to be with someone who would just leave her, just the way her father did all those years ago.
Oh...SO MUCH EMOTION, so much pain and grief, so much regret and sorrow, you can't help but feel for these two, who if they just let go of all the pain could really love each other and love each other good!!
So my recommendation is to READ THIS BOOK!! I adored it!! I couldn't put it down and for that to happen...you know its GOOD!!!
If you haven't read anything by Lori Wilde, try The Cowboy Takes a Bride....you wont be sorry!!!
Mariah comes to Jubilee, Texas, after she inherits a ranch from the father who abandoned her and her mother when she was seven. Her father had to follow his obsession with cutting horses and left his family behind. Mariah was raised by her mother who worked as a housekeeper for rich Chicago families. Mariah has learned to blend in no matter what the social situation but has never felt like she belonged anywhere or had anyone but her mother to love her. She has worked for eleven years as the assistant to a society wedding planner and likes seeing other people's dreams come true. Her mother has found her own true love and has moved with him to Argentina. So when Mariah's dream job falls apart and she is fired and blacklisted she jumps at the chance to go to Jubilee. She hopes to quickly sell the ranch and get back to her "real" life in Chicago.
The first person she meets in Jubilee is Joe Daniels. When she first meets him, he is lying drunk and almost naked in a gold-plated watering trough in front of his home. Joe is using alcohol to dull the pain of the loss of Mariah's father Dutch who was his mentor. Coincidentally, Dutch died the same day that Joe lost his beloved young wife two years previously. He isn't doing well dealing with the grief of either loss. Mariah resents the closeness that Joe and Dutch had; Joe is angry at what he sees as Mariah's neglect of her father.
Mariah bears some physical resemblance to Joe's wife Becca but she quickly shows that her personality is very different. They are attracted to each other but seem to have so many obstacles in the way of a romance. Mariah thinks of herself as being in Jubilee only temporarily; Joe is the fifth generation to live on his ranch. Joe is as involved with cutting horses as Mariah's father was; Mariah is a wedding planner and sees herself as a city girl. Mariah fears that Joe is just like her father and will abandon her for horses like her father did. Joe is just afraid to risk his heart again after having it so badly broken by losing his first wife.
The book makes lots of allusions to Sleepless in Seattle. There are quite a few parallels between the movie and Joe and Mariah's situations. It takes hard work on both their parts before their romance can be successful. I liked both Mariah and Joe and thought they were realistic and well-rounded characters. I thought the secondary characters were also interesting people with stories I want to hear. I haven't read anything else by Lori Wilde but I know I will be adding her books to my stack.
"Are you sitting down?"
"Sit down," Joe commanded.
"Just tell me," Mariah said, bracing for the worst.
"Dutch is dead," he blurted.
Mariah blinked, nibbled her bottom lip, felt...hollow. Hollow as a chocolate Easter bunny...
"I'm fine. It's not like my life is going to change," she said quickly...
"Wait," he said. "Don't hang up."
Her hand tensed around the cell phone. "What is it?"
"Dutch left you his ranch."
When Miriah called back her father's number she wasn't sure what to expect. The two had been estranged for most of her life. She didn't expect to hear someone else's voice answer the phone and certainly didn't expect to find out he died and already had been buried. But what surprised her the most was that she'd inherited his ranch. The timing, however, couldn't have been better inheritance wise. She'd recently been fired from her prestigious position with one of Chicago's most elite Wedding Planners. It had been her dream job and she'd been devastated. To make matters worse, her former employer of 11 years had black balled her and she couldn't get a job anywhere. Sometimes life just doesn't go as planned even for someone whose primary job is to plan things.
Joe Daniels was a wealthy young widower who had just lost his best friend, Dutch. With only two years between the loss of his wife and his friend he was in mourning and not taking things very well. Dutch's death brought back the feelings of loss he'd only recently been able to put behind him from his wife's tragic death. So when Miranda first encountered him he was not at his best. She found him practically naked in nothing but his BVDs, Stetson, and boots passed out in a golden plated horse trough. After attempting to make him leave her newly acquired ranch by threatening to call the police, she found out she'd made a mistake..."this here is is Green Ridge Ranch, and I have a sneaking suspicion you're looking for Stone Creek." Oops! Not exactly the way you want to go about meeting your neighbor.
This was such and enjoyable read. In many ways Miriah and Joe are very similar. They both are relationship shy and both mourn, although, for different reasons. They try to deny their feelings for the other and are afraid of being hurt and/or left behind. Miriah's feelings stemming from her father's abandonment of her and her mother all those years ago. Joe's coming from loving then loosing his wife. In other ways, however, the two are very different. She's a city girl although she has country roots, while he's country through and through. He's rich and she's poor. He's got a loving and supportive large family, while she's only had her mother and herself to rely on. He knows what it's like to love, while she doesn't have a clue. Despite it all, or perhaps because of it all, each seems to be exactly what the other needs.
I enjoyed many of the background characters and the side story that was included. They helped to create the feeling of a caring and close knit community that is rarely seen these days. Of those character lurking in the background, Ila, Joe's sister-in-law and one of his oldest friends, was my favorite. She added a fun dimension to the story. She's secretly been harboring a crush on Joe for years and had been upset when he'd married her younger sister. If looks could kill, Miriah would be on her way to greener pastures because Ila was most definitely sending death glares her way.
- "Never thump a man's Stetson...Unless you've got a death wish. You got a death wish?"
- "Will you look at that"...
"What is it?"
She peered at her ankle. He'd connected the teeth patterns and it formed the letter D.
"That rat snake marked you with my brand." His dark eyes met hers. "D for Daniels."
- "Listen to me and don't you forget it. Make no mistake. What we did last night means everything. From here on out, I'm your man."
- "Miriah took a bit. Mmm, it was the best cranberry--Suddenly, her mouth ignited, it was all she could do to swallow it down instead of spitting it out. "What is that?"
"My specialty, hellfire cranberry sauce." Gamma bragged. "Here you go." She extended a glass of water to Mariah that apparently she had at the ready. "Cranberries, orange zest, and habanero peppers. It was my husband's favorite thing about Thanksgiving. God rest his soul."
Eyes watering, mouth aflame, Miriah gulped the glass of water. "What did he die from? A seared esophagus?"
Overall, I rated this one 3 1/2 out of 5 roses. It was a wonderful blend of characters with a nice story line about love, loss, forgiveness, and letting go. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a FAN rating - the temperature in the room seems to have suddenly gone up a couple of degrees and a fan would be nice.
Mariah Callahan is in for a surprise when she heads to Texas to take possession of the ranch her estranged father left her after his death. She doesn't hesitate to leave Chicago since she is out of work and nearly out of money. What comes as even more of a surprise than her sudden inheritance is her neighbor, good-looking cowboy Joe Daniels.
Joe Daniels has had a couple of rough years. He's recently widowed and now he's lost his best friend. He lives for his horses, one in particular that is the legacy from Dutch Callahan, his best friend and Mariah's father. Joe's focus is on winning the next competition but he manages to make time for Mariah. It's interesting to see how Joe feels responsible for Mariah and when he begins to fall for her, it's a combination of that responsibility and the attraction that keeps him near Mariah. Joe's still holding on to the past but slowly lets go as he sees a possible future with Mariah. Even with his faults, Joe is one of those heroes that's easy to like.
The relationship between Mariah and Joe is there before they meet. The attraction is certainly there, but more than that, Joe is a link to Mariah's father. Mariah learns more about her father, much from Joe, which causes some jealousy and resentment on Mariah's part. I did like how their relationship developed from annoyance to genuine respect for each other. Mariah did go back and forth when deciding whether to stay or go. She kept changing her attitude from a "can do" attitude to a defeatist attitude. Once she made up her mind to make a go of the wedding planning in Jubilee she was a force to be reckoned with. Then a few setbacks had her ready to pick up and leave. She seemed to give up too easily after working so hard.
Small town charm envelopes Mariah, giving her hope in her new business venture. Joe is there to help her, along with the group of eclectic cowboys or "cutters" as they are known. I did like the setting even if it was the quintessential small ranching town with cowboys coming out of the woodwork. The antagonist is weak and really didn't add much to the story. He could have easily been replaced or cut out completely and not missed. He created some friction but it could have been achieved in other ways, saving us from his lackluster depiction.
The Cowboy Takes a Bride is a tender, often humorous romance. It's an easy read, and enjoyable if you like small town settings and cowboys.