A Cowboy and a Promise

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 23 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

When her dying friend pleads for help to finish a renovation project, Ava Howell can’t refuse, even though her promise means leaving her new career and familiar life in New York to travel to a remote ranch in Texas. She’s good at what she does, and the ghost town vacation resort would look great on her resume, but it means tangling with the ex-military cowboy who is determined to stop her as soon as she arrives.
This was a short story with a decent plot to it. The trope was rather standard but that was ok. Both characters were pretty likable. I recommend. 
**I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
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Pam Crooks is a new author for me, and, quite frankly, she had me at "cowboy." I've been a fan of contemporary western romance for decades, and this novel got off to a very promising start, but I did have a few problems with it, which is why I can only give it a 3.5-star rating.

As the novel opens, Ava Howell is at the deathbed of her best friend, Erin Murphy, who has lost her battle with cancer. Erin makes a dying request, that Ava, a construction engineer, complete Erin's dream project of turning an old Texas ghost town into a tourist resort for Erin's beloved aunt Ginny, and Ava, a city girl through and through, although she has serious reservations, makes that promise to her dying friend. She manages to get several months off from work, climbs into her car and is soon Texas bound.

One of the first people she meets when she stops at a Texas gas station is Beau, a handsome, sexy cowboy, who helps retrieve her purse and the $1000 she's carrying, from a teenage thief. When she arrives at her destination, the Blackstone Ranch, Erin's aunt, Ginny Paxton, welcomes her with open arms, thrilled that her dream project is soon going to be a reality, no matter how much her husband and sons dislike the idea, and Ava is surprised to learn that her gas station savior, Beau, is one of those sons, and that he and his brothers, his twin, Brock, and their older brother, Jace, would rather sell the 300 acres comprising the ghost town than restore and renovate it. But their mother is a force to be reckoned with, as is Ava, who desperately wants to fulfill the promise she made to her dying friend--she isn't afraid of hard physical labor or long hours, and has no problem dealing with the crew of male workers who have already been assembled and are working under her direction.

What she does have a problem with is her attraction to Beau, and his attraction to her, and it's their relationship I had a problem with. Both of these characters know that Ava's stay on the Blackthorne Ranch will be a short one, and that she'll soon be returning to her hard-earned job with a New York construction firm once her work on the ghost town is over. While I could understand the attraction, Beau seems to be the opposite of what Ava is looking for. He's a cowboy through and through and loves his family and the ranch. After a harrowing experience in Afghanistan, he has no plans to ever leave the ranch again, so at least for this reader, his dogged pursuit of Ava made little sense. 

Aside from Ava's dedication to her job, we learn that she came up the hard way, with an unstable family situation, one that had the people closest to her dying, and had Ava ending up in foster care until she aged out of the system. When Beau abruptly declares his love for her, and it is abrupt indeed, Ava can't get away from him fast enough, since she believes that she lives under a dark cloud and that she's destined to lose everyone she cares about. Although she's fallen in love with Beau, she never tells him how she feels, and when her boss in New York needs her back there ahead of schedule to work on a hotel project, she has the perfect out, or does she? You'll have to read this novel to find out, since I don't do spoilers.

What I felt was missing from this western romance was the romance--it was virtually nonexistent. Although I liked both main characters, I never really connected to either of them on an emotional level and I would have preferred that the author give them more depth, more backstory and more of an emotional connection. While this was a well-written novel, it simply didn't pack enough of a romantic punch between Ava and Beau, or enough drama and conflict to make this novel a truly memorable one.

I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this novel. The opinions expressed are my own.
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This was a great opposite attract cowboy romance story that is the first book of a new series Blackstone Ranch for this author.  When you make a promise you have to do your utmost to make sure you fulfil that promise and it's even for important if it was made on your best friends death bed.  When you find the one and they are not the right one in the right place what do you do?  This is my first read by this author to which I enjoyed the story but did find the flow of the story at times to not grab my total attendance.  I did have to reread some paragraphs but that could have just been all about me, not the book its self.  This is a sweet read with not much more than heaving kissing and explained feelings.  I was given a chance to read it by NetGalley and have given my honest and voluntary review of this book.

City girl Ava Howell heads to the country to finish a job that she promised her best friend she would complete for her as it was a family job and dream.  But she didn't plan to be distracted by a very hot cowboy.  She was only here for three months before returning to her real job in New York.

Beau Paxton was dead against his mothers plans to turn the ghost town on their ranch into a holiday resort and when his cousin friend arrived to complete the building he was not happy.  But one meeting with her had him totally distracted by her beauty and spirit.

Some of the other characters in this book had a sneak peek at and I hope we get to read about them further in this series as I was very much taken with them all.
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A COWBOY AND A PROMISE kicks off Pam Crooks’ new series, The Blackstone Ranch with an enjoyable story that will draw you into family dynamics, promises made, and interesting people to sort out.

While Ava has arrived in Texas to keep a promise to her best friend, Beau is more concerned with saving the family ranch than creating a resort out of the old mining ghost town on their property. Each just as stubborn and determined as the other that their way is the right way there is definitely butting of heads going on between this couple.

I enjoyed my time in A COWBOY AND A PROMISE very much. It’s a great beginning to the series with some danger, a little mystery, interesting secondary characters some who will have their tales told later in the series, and one adorable dog. If you enjoy a love story between stubborn people who know when to bend and when to stand firm in their beliefs, then you’ll enjoy this one. I’m definitely keeping an eye out for the next book in this series.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. 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.*
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A Cowboy and a Promise by Pam Crook is book number one in the Blackstone Ranch series.  This is Ava Howell and Beau Paxton’s story.

I really enjoyed Ava and Beau’s sweet story.  Ava ends up working in Texas to fulfill a promise to her dying friend.  This was a fun story of lost, family, friends, and unexpected love.

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
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Could you keep a promise you made a dying friend? One that would have you taking leave from your job and moving States away to work on a ghost ranch? When i started reading this book I was  thinking just those thoughts in my head. What would it be like to do all those things and more. Author Pam Croors gives us a book that kept me reading from the first page until the end. Ava and Beau have this chemistry between them and then a push and pull between them as well made for a wonderful read for me.
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A great start to a new series. Ava has arrived in a ghost town of Texas to revitalize it as resort, as a favor  to her friend who just died from cancer. Beau needs to sell the land of the ghost town to save his family. Soon heads will butt, but neither can deny the chemistry that they share between them. Soon Ava has to return to New York, will that be the end of their relationship?

Great characters,  loved their chemistry and the  banter that they share. Gunner was a favorite of mine too. This is my first book by this author and looking forward to reading more.
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A promise to a dying friend has Ava Howell travelling from her New York home to the Blackstone Ranch in Texas to oversee the development of a ghost town vacation resort there. The only problem is that the son's of the ranch owners really don't want the resort developing - they'd rather sell that acreage to someone else to build. That's especially true for Beau Paxton, but as he gets to know hard working Ava, the attraction between them builds. The worry also escalates as a long running family feud seems to have put both Ava and Beau in danger . . . . .

This is a great start to a new series and it is a delightful, easy, read with plenty of angst, some threats, danger and dilemmas. The characters are well developed and my opinion of them changed during the story as more aspects were revealed - just like happens in real life. There are cliff hanger moments, peril and romance in this story and it introduces an array of great characters who I suspect may be involved in future stories in this series. It is a series I look forward to reading more of and have no hesitation in recommending to anyone who enjoys stories where the heroine is an independent young lady who has overcome obstacles to work in a male dominated industry and a hero who is a soldier who has returned to his family ranch.

I requested and was given a copy of this book, via NetGalley. This is my honest review of the book after choosing to read it.
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This is the first book in the new series Blackstone Ranch. I am looking forward to the next book. Ava promises her dying friend that she will complete her pet project - the ghost town vacation resort. She leave NY City and heads to the Texas ranch to fulfill her promise. Cowboy Beau is against the renovation of the part of land on his family ranch known as the ghost town. He wants to find a buyer so he can save the family ranch. Although he is against everything she is doing he deeply respects her dedication to  his deceased cousin and how hard she is working. They find themselves looking for reasons to hang out. She is a big city girl and he is a cowboy. Can you take the city out of the girl? How about taking the ranch out of the cowboy? Sometimes it is what you are willing to sacrifice for love that makes you realize that it is true love. Great read.
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Overall a good book and one I enjoyed reading. Ava comes to Texas from NYC to help with the construction project of turning an old ghost town into a tourist attraction. Beau is one of three sons of the owners of the land, and is against having it overrun with tourists. I like the sparks and the attraction is instant of course. What I did struggle with a bit is the quickness of Beau being against to giving in. Also, her insistence of having to go back. Didn't see the big pull of her job and boss, so didn't feel this was a big deal. Would have also liked to see more with the kid who stole her purse. There are two other brothers, so perhaps more books will come. Would highly recommend this book and author.
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A Cowboy and A Promise by Pam Crooks
Her determination fuels his desire…
When her dying friend pleads for help to finish a renovation project, Ava Howell can’t refuse, even though her promise means leaving her new career and familiar life in New York to travel to a remote ranch in Texas. She’s good at what she does, and the ghost town vacation resort would look great on her resume, but it means tangling with the ex-military cowboy who is determined to stop her as soon as she arrives.
Beau Paxton needs to sell the land and ghost town to save his family’s struggling ranch. He’s a formidable enemy to Ava’s determination, but the harder she works, the more his attraction for her grows. He doesn’t want to set aside his plans so she can succeed at hers, yet he finds himself doing just that…
Will a promise bring a city girl and a sexy cowboy together? Or will a broken one drive them apart?
This is Ava Howell and Beau Paxton's story.
Ava pulled off the highway into the first gas station she found. Correction—the only gas station she found. Except for a couple of bars and a handful of diners and small businesses, Paxton Springs, Texas, didn’t have much of anything to choose from.
Surely, there was a main street close by with more to offer than what she could see, but she’d have plenty of time to explore later. For now, her trusty economy car was thirsty. Despite being eight years old, the Toyota handled the long drive from New York City like a champ. Her first car, and a used one at that, had proven to be a worthy investment.
She pulled in next to the closest pump and shut off the air conditioning and engine. She took her credit card and a couple of bills from her billfold, doing a quick recount of the one thousand dollars in cash she’d brought, more than she ever carried in the city—or anywhere else, for that matter. Withdrawing the money had meant a big hit to her savings, but she was determined to make it last while she was in Texas. She hated racking up credit card bills.
“It’s all there, ma’am.” A male voice, smooth as leather and gentled with a drawl, startled her. “He didn’t have time to do much of anything but run.”
Her gaze jerked upward to the tall cowboy, slanted with one hip against her car, muscled arms crossed casually over his chest. The brim of his fawn-colored Stetson shadowed his aviator sunglasses; a red bandanna circled his neck.
Clearly, he’d been waiting for her. A slow heat curled through her belly, a warmth that had nothing to do with the Texas sun and everything to do with the raw virility of this man.
“You found him?” she asked unnecessarily. Obviously, he had, with far more skill than she’d managed. “How? I mean—”
"I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book."
I highly recommend reading.
A Cowboy and A Promise by Pam Crooks is a wonderful well written 5 star book.
Pam 's Books with Tule:
A Cowboy and A Promise
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On her best friends deathbed, Ava Howell makes a promise to go to Texas for the summer and finish her best friends latest project. But coming from New York is a big change and the last thing Ava expects is to get this warm welcome in Beau’s family. Although Beau isn’t exactly happy with the job Ava is set to do, he can’t seem to stay away from her. But there lives couldn’t be more different and when they slowly grow closer and closer things get complicated real soon. 

What I really loved about this book was Ava’s character. Not only was she a hardworking woman, who had a rough childhood but she really made something great for herself. Ava works in construction and wears this tool belt. And I just loved how this strong character had a job mostly done by man. How awesomely emancipated! 

I had some issues with the romance part though. For one I didn’t really feel the chemistry between Ava and Beau. And secondly Beau declares his love for Ava rather abruptly and I didn’t see that one coming at all. It felt really rushed, and I was just really surprised by it. I also really missed the romance in this book. It definitely could have been a little more romantic if you ask me.

But apart from that, there was just something about this book and the characters that made me want to keep on reading. And overall I enjoyed this book. It also made me hope for more books. There are several characters I would like to read more about.
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A Cowboy and a Promise is my first Pam Crooks book and while I enjoyed reading it, it didn’t quite press all my buttons. Set on a ranch in Texas, the story is very strong on core values such as loyalty, trust, respect and looking out for family and those less fortunate for you. 
Ava and Beau are both strong characters who were destined to butt heads from the first, and no surprises, that’s exactly what they do, though it takes very little time for Beau to stop harassing Ava about the ghost town project she is working on for his mother, a project that is intended to resurrect the derelict mining town on his ranch and turn it into a tourist resort. 
For me, Beau’s rapid change from foe to lover didn’t quite gel. I get the sexual pull between him and Ava, but I didn’t think there was enough incentive for him to suddenly change his tune. I also found Ava’s reluctance to get involved hard to swallow. I could be alone here but for me the story was just tied up too neatly and with not enough tension to keep me interested.
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A Cowboy and a Promise is the first book by Pam Crooks that I remember having read. It is the first in the Blackstone Ranch series. I must say if the others are like this first one, it will be an interesting series indeed. I say that because, I liked the character of Ava in the beginning but by the last fourth of the book, I was on the outs with her but had come to like Beau quite a bit. That does not usually happen. Just goes to show what complex characters, flaws and all that Ms. Crooks delivers.

Promises are made, friendship ones, work ones and family ones long before any romantic ones are made. There is not one hot cowboy but three, just one for Ava though. The self-confident woman at work was very appealing especially in the construction field, only wished she had had more in her personal life. That is just more of the complexity of the characters.
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Ava Howell has lost everyone she loved at a young age, so when one of her best friends has a dying wish, she has no choice but to accept. To help finish renovating a ghost town, Ava must travel from New York to Texas. Former military, always a cowboy, Beau Paxton is determined to find a seller for the property before the ghost town turns his family ranch into a tourist hot spot.
The longer Ava stays, she not only falls for the scenery and having people that care about her, but she finds herself getting closer to Beau, even though he's against what she's doing. This story is filled with second chances, adventure, romance and drama. I loved the character development and even though I had a mild heart attack towards the end of the story, I wouldn't change a thing. Kate Meader knocked this one out of the ranch!
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Ave and Beau’s romance was a fun one to watch blossom,slow and sweet. This is a new author for me and I will watch for more by her as I loved how she wrote the characters in this one they were so real and likeable so easy to care about, heck even Gunner, Beau’s dog won me over, read the book and see why I say Gunner’s the real hero even though all the people were getting the credit, come on someone give that dog a t bone.
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This is an enjoyable quick read that kicks off the Blackstone Ranch series from this author.  Ava Howell arrives at Blackstone Ranch straight from New York City.  She's disheartened yet determined .  Ava is in Texas to fulfill a deathbed promise to a friend and she won't let anything get in her way.  It doesn't take long before the magic of the ranch and the attention of the rancher has her heart mending and hope growing while wanting more.  A nice sweet read I would recommend.
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The first book in a promising new series, A Cowboy and a Promise was a delightful read. Well paced with wonderful characters and a great storyline made this made this a fabulous read. I will definitely be looking to read more by this author and recommending this book to others
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I have never read anything by Pam Crook so this was a first for me and I did not know what to expect.  I really enjoyed it from the get go. The story starts off with tears and finishes with love and laughter, everything in between is just as good. I love how these characters truly felt more like friends and less like fictional characters. I really loved how the book felt a little original and fun. I also enjoyed that that this book was a good clean read and a quick read. You really can not go wrong with this fun read.
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So this felt like a very cute summer romance book. Something you pick up because you want a little cuteness in your spare time. I didn't feel they did too much with character development and I was wishing for more. However it was a good book overall.
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