The Trouble with Cowboy Weddings

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 05 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

I love a good Beauty and the Beast with a twist tale, and this was a fun take. Not my favorite book in this series, but I really did enjoy this.
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The Trouble with Cowboy Weddings is the fifth novel in Nicole Helm's Mile High Romance series and the third book in the series I've read. It combines two romance tropes I enjoy, and does so quite well, but I did have a couple of issues with this novel, some of which are mine, and some of which were in the novel, and those issues are why I could only give this novel 3.5 stars.

My first issue is with the title. The hero, Gavin Tyler, is the second eldest son on his family ranch, but other than a couple of chores feeding cattle and a couple of non-work related horseback rides, there was not enough cowboy-ing going on in this novel to include "Cowboy" in the title. Gavin's older brother, Shane, inherited and now runs the family ranch, and the previous novel in the series covered his courtship and marriage. Although I read it about a year ago, it wasn't hard to pick up some of what I learned about the family dynamic in that novel. As the second son, 30-year-old Gavin is unsure of his place in the family and on the ranch. He resents being ordered around by Shane, who treats him more like a son than he does a brother, something Gavin resents. He's always wanted more--his own ranch to run, and this novel affords him an opportunity to achieve that dream.

Enter Louisa "Lou" Fairchild, who has a flower farm, Lou's Blooms, on what was her grandparent's ranch, which abuts the Tyler ranch. After a pretty awful childhood, an absentee father and an even worse mother, Lou avoids almost all public contact, tending to her flowers and hiding out at the Fairchild home with her grandmother and sister. She also recently lost her grandfather, and now her flower business is helping to support her 80-year-old grandmother, who has been devastated by the loss of her husband. As a result of her grandfather's death, there's been only one hired hand to run the ranch, and most of the cattle and horses were sold off because of the shortage in help. 

Lou and Gavin have been close friends ever since she and Em were placed with her grandparents when Lou was 9, and Gavin was the same age. Unbeknownst to Lou, Gavin fell in love with her early on, but instead, she chose to date another local boy, Rex, for 8 years, even though it wasn't a great relationship, and Gavin, afraid of losing her friendship, never let on about his romantic interest in Lou, and instead became her best friend and confidante. Life goes on until the day Lou's grandmother issues an ultimatum--she plans to contact her long-absent son, Lou's father, to run the ranch, something Lou dreads, because after her mother left her in the care of her alcoholic father, who then left 5-year-old Lou in charge of her 3-year-old sister, and then disappeared, unless either Lou or Em marry and soon, Lou will lose the ranch and most probably her flower business too to the father she so resents, and she certainly doesn't want to be anywhere near the father she hasn't seen in 2 decades.

When Lou finally tells Gavin her troubles, he finds a solution to both his and her problems. If he and Lou pretend to fall in love and marry, Lou will inherit the ranch, Gavin will have the ranch of his own that he's always wanted, and the woman who he's loved since childhood, but he doesn't admit to his feelings and instead proposes a fake marriage of convenience, and has a tough time convincing Lou that they can marry, and then divorce after ownership of the ranch is transferred to them, and still remain friends. Lou is hard to convince, but eventually agrees to the plan--and as a romance reader, you already know what they say about best laid plans.

What I truly enjoyed about what Ms. Helm did in this novel was the depth of character she gave Lou and Gavin, both of whom have a similar failure to open up and communicate what their true thoughts and feelings are--unusual for best friends of such long duration. Lou is still hiding the scarred half her face with a bandana and sticking close to home. Gavin drops by daily with lunch and for a friendly chat, but even though they're planning to pull off a fake wedding to get what they want, neither of them seems to recognize the underlying chemistry between them, at least until they are forced by circumstance to put on a show to convince their families that their fake love and marriage is real. But just how much of their feelings for one another is fake, and just how much of it is real?

While I came to like both main characters, this novel took quite a long time to engage me and was very slow to pique my interest in s prickly, standoffish Lou, and trepidacious, uncommunicative, cowardly Gavin, whose lightning-fast reactions to almost any negative stimulus was done with his fists, which certainly didn't make him seem like the perfect partner for already emotionally and physically damaged Lou. While I enjoyed the fact that the author managed to find a way to bring these two fractious characters together for the expected HEA ending, she simply took way to long getting there for this reader. Although I eventually came to appreciate these characters and their attempts to heal themselves and each other, I wish it hadn't taken the first 90% of the novel to do so.

The Trouble with Cowboy Weddings is, as mentioned, slow to get off the ground, but what saved it was the author's understanding of the kind of internal and external scars with which life seems to leave us all, and the honesty, courage and self-examination it takes to overcome and heal those scars. In the end, it was a good, though slow read 

I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this novel. The opinions expressed are my own.
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This is the fifth book in the series and the first book I have read. I like when friends become more than friends and that is definitely the case with Lou and Gavin in this book. I loved how descriptive the author was with the scenery and characters. I highly recommend this book and I have the first books on my TBR pile.
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Tyler and Lou are fun, flirty and absolutely in love, but they don’t know that! A sham marriage  bring anyone together, right? Not according to them... until it’s too late. The love bug took a big bite out of both of them!
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This is my first book by the author and definitely not my last.  Gavin and Lou are great characters. Gavin has always been in love with Lou forced to watch from the distance as she enters into a relationship with his best friend. Now he is once again back in her life ready to lend a hand in her time of need even if it is marriage that is necessary. 
As Gavin works on getting through to Lou and having her shake the self consciousness that comes from the burn scars on her face he is really trying to get Lou to open up and reveal her vulnerable inner self.  It is clear as the story unfolds that Gavin wears a mask as well though his mask is more the affable always friendly face he presents tot he world. I really like how the author slowly but surely builds the relationship between the two protagonists. 
The family on both sides is a great supporting cast to the story. An enjoyable sweet love story.
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Another winner from Nicole Helm. A friends to lovers and second chance western romance. 

The Mile High Series has such wonderful characters. This book is about Gavin Tyler and Lou Fairchild, best friends since they were 9. Gavin is the second son and has always felt second best. His father died when he was young and his older brother Shane had taken over the role. But having good memories of his father and still having his mother and siblings, makes him much more fortunate than others. On of those people is their next door neighbor Lou. She and her younger sister Em, were rescued from their horrible parents by their grandparents. At a very young age Lou, protected her sister and felt grateful to her grandparents for taking them in, but has deep emotional scars, which leads her to chose Rex, Gavin's other best friend instead of Gavin as a boyfriend. Rex almost killed her in a fire and now she has physical along with her emotional scars. It was Gavin who stepped in to rebuild her burnt barn to safe her flower business. Gavin has been in loved with her for years, but hasn't got over the fact that she chose Rex and is too much of a coward to tell her how he really feels. Before the fire, her grandfather died suddenly, leaving the Fairchild Ranch in financial trouble, and just has he has always stepped in to help, Gavin wants to take over the management of the ranch, but Lou's grandmother, insists that it must be run by a Fairchild and is threatening to turn it over to her son, Lou and Em's father. Gavin wants the opportunity to run the ranch, so offers Lou a temporary marriage of convenience, an idea she first hates, but with no other idea agrees to it As they try to convince their families that they are suddenly in love, no on is surprised, as everyone had suspected how they felt for each other years ago. With both of them having self worth issues and hiding them from even their best friend, will either one of them finally have the courage to speak from their heart?

This is a skillfully written story. I personally, however, don't really understood, why Gavin felt he was always second best and hid his feelings by always being the guy to step in to help, but maybe that was in the previous book, which I did read, but don't remember so clearly now.

I received a free advanced copy of this book from NetGalley.com. This is my unbiased and voluntary review.
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As the middle Tyler brother, Gavin doesn’t always have much say in ranch decisions, but when it comes to his heart, he’s the only authority. He’s loved Louisa “Lou” Fairchild for longer than he can remember, even though they’ve never been more than friends. But with Lou stuck between the proverbial rock and hard place, Gavin is going to help the way any true friend would—with a proposal of a strictly business-like, in-name-only marriage . . . at least to start. Lou can’t believe her beloved grandmother has backed her up against the wall. The choice between finding a man to marry and letting her no-good father back into the family to run the ranch isn’t a choice at all! But when her sister counters with an even less savory idea, Lou knows what she must do—say yes to the only man she’s ever trusted. But somehow pretending to be in love with good-natured Gavin suddenly begins to feel alarmingly real—and she downright likes it. Can a sham marriage become the truest kind of love? 
I’m always iffy on contemporary books, even the cowboy themes, but I did decide to give this one a try. I’m really glad I did. I really liked both characters, but I especially liked Lou. In all of her interactions with Gavin, many female leads would wilt away, whine, or cry when the male lead is being a jerk. Not Lou.She doesn’t take his BS and fights for what she wants from him. She’s definitely one of my favorite female characters from the past few years. That’s not to say I had any issues with Gavin. Quite the opposite. I understood what he was going through and why he acted the way he did. I really loved how these two were able to get through everything to experience their HEA. I highly recommend.
**I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
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The Trouble with Cowboy Weddings written by Nicole Helm is from the Mile-high romance series.  It is an excellent story with an engaging plot and well-defined characters.  Lou and Gavin have known each other for twenty years, but only thought they were on a friends-only level.  The story develops and in the end they both know that it is love.  It took awhile to get to the conclusion but the story has a steady pace and is enjoyable to read.  I recommend it!

A big thank you to NetGalley for giving me an advanced copy for my honest review.
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The Trouble With Cowboy Weddings by Nicole Helm is number 6 in the Mile High Romance series and is serious romance. This is serious romance. Lou and Gavin have been friends forever but Gavin, especially, wants more but he doesn't think her deserves it. Lou has more serious problems: she was in a fire last year and the right side of her face and upper body were burned and she sees that as an impediment to any relationship. Gavin lives on the ranch next door and come to help Lou rebuild every day. Lou's grandma gives Lou an ultimatum: No one but family will run this ranch so if Lou or her sister, Emily don't marry, she will be in touch with Lou's reprobate father and let him come home. Lou is beyond upset-he would run the ranch into the ground. Gavin has the solution...marry him; get it all worked out legally; and then they divorce. All he's ever wanted was to run a ranch and he's number two at home so this is his chance. 

What a fabulous book. So good, I purchased in other four in this series, and love them all. It takes some time to fall in love and Helms gives her protagonists that time. These are terrific characters: flawed as all humans are, they work through their issues together and separately and love doesn't make everything all better. There are still issues. It is so true to life. The families in this book are real families, not ideal families, but ones we can all relate to. They don't always get along with each other. They don't always communicate well, but they do love well. I loved this book. It was complicated but worth it. Read it. I recommend it. 

I received a free ARC of The Trouble With Cowboy Weddings. All opinions expressed herein are solely my own. #netgalley  #thetroublewithcowboyweddings
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A well written romance with a great plot that kept me glued to the story.  Gotta love a cowboy romance.  I look forward to reading more books by this author.  Recommend to romance fans.  My thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for my digital arc.  This is my unbiased review.
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A captivating, heartwarming romance story from the Mile High Romance series. The first one I have read in this series, want to read more. Amazingly strong characters.  A well-written book. It is a pleasure to read this advanced reader's copy of this book and voluntarily review it.
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Author: Nicole Helm
Publisher: Kensington Books
Genre: Romance / Western
Release Date: June 25th 2019 - Out Now!
Rating: 4.5/5 stars ✨ 



**I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thanks goes out to the author and publicity team for the copy and this in no way affects my opinion of the book.**


The Trouble with Cowboy Weddings is part of Nicole Helm's A Mile High series. A western romance series that's definitely being marked in my favourite list! It follows the story of Lou and Gavin, neighbours and life long friends with a disaster to avert and a very bizarre and dangerous friendship. It's a story of unrequited love and a convenience marriage which quickly and passionately crash into a very real and beautiful romance. It is a slow burn, with the relationship deepening slowly, and carefully throughout the book before reaching its adorable and inevitable climax (pun intended, perhaps?) Can you tell I really liked it?

Lou and Gavin are, in a word - adorable. They're complex and fascinating characters that quickly begin to feel like friends that you're spurning into setting up together. They have the whole "damsel in distress is saved by knight in shining armour" thing going but with a fierce edge that makes it a little less cliche and a little more enjoyable. I absolutely loved following their story and watching their friendship grow into love. Their characters grow so beautifully throughout the book in a way that has you so emotionally invested it's almost unbearable. I actually haven't read the other books in the series but I really really need to after this. 

I was literally hooked on the story, I couldn't put the book down and that is something that has been so rare for me lately. Such a delightful surprise to find a story to adore and be so engrossed in again. Definitely going up there on my favourite book list.
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I will mention up front that I have not read the entire A Mile High Romance series (although I have purchased the first one to begin to catch up), and I was not the least bit lost with THE TROUBLE WITH COWBOY WEDDINGS. Anything I really needed to know from the previous books was explained or mentioned within the narrative or dialogue so this felt like a book that “could” stand on its own if needed.

Louisa or “Lou” and Gavin have been friends since forever. If Gavin might have had a definite interest in something more, well, he never mentioned it to Lou as he was content, for the most part, with having her friendship to count on. But now that her Grandmother has thrown down a gauntlet that cannot be ignored this might be his chance to move them past the “just friends” stage to perhaps a marriage of convenience that hopefully will turn into more over their time together.

Both Gavin and Lou have issues to be dealt with along with the craziness of a pretend marriage starting to feel like falling in love to look forward to. Lou has had a very difficult life, most of those issues being kept from everyone, but most recently being burned. She trusts Gavin with most things but now that he’s willing to help her out she needs to begin trusting in her feelings for this man who has always been there for her. Gavin wants many things out of life that he isn’t likely to get but the chance to have Lou as his wife, even if in name only, is simply impossible to pass up. Unfortunately, those questions in his mind begin to pull him away from Lou. And this couple is going to have to fight circumstances and maybe each other to find their happy ever after.

I enjoyed THE TROUBLE WITH COWBOY WEDDINGS very much. There are definitely issues to be dealt with for both Lou and Gavin. Yet the base of their friendship can get them through this – if they remember how important they are to each other outside of this falling in love thing. If you love a really good Romance with cowboys, ranches and some real drama, possible danger, then you’ll enjoy this one. I’ll be catching up with this series because now I want to know what came before since Lou and Gavin have been in the background for a while.

*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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I've been looking forward to Gavin and Lou's story!!

Best friends for 20 years, Gavin and Lou have been through a lot together. When Lou faces losing her family's ranch, they decide to get "engaged". Their fake engagement starts to feel all too real.

This is such a great story!! Very emotional with a lot of Tyler family sweetness.
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Lou doesn't like to depend on anyone. Since she was hurt in a fire she makes sure to keep her scars on her face and back covered. But she'll do anything to keep the ranch she loves so she needs to marry someone who can run it or she's afraid her grandmother will sell it. Gavin has loved Lou for years but she dated his best friend so he accepted the fact that they would just be friends. When the opportunity comes up to marry her and to get to run a ranch he's all in. I really enjoyed this romance with heart.
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An incredible Book about love and trust.  Nicole Helm hit a jackpot with this book.  Louisa "Lou" Fairchild always covered the scarring from her burns on her face, shoulder, and arm even from her best friend Gavin Tyler.
Gavin always felt like he didn't belong not at his family's ranch because that was now his brothers.
When Lou found out that their ranch was in trouble she enlisted Gavin to "marry" in name only so he could run the ranch and she could keep her flower farm.  The lessons they both learned, in the end, are far too priceless.
I know you will enjoy this read.
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The Trouble with Cowboy Weddings is the latest addition to Nicole Helm’s Mile High Cowboys series.  Lou Fairchild has suffered much in the past year. First her beloved grandfather died. Then her ex set fire to her barn when she was in it. Lou escaped, but will forever carry the scars the fire branded her with.

Neighbor and best friend Gavin Tyler understands Lou’s plight.  Her grandmother is talking about doing all sorts of things to get them out from under the financial issues they face, including calling in Lou’s estranged deadbeat father.  Lou is beside herself with worry and seeking a real solution that will save the ranch for her sister Emily and herself. When Gavin comes to her proposing marriage so that they can each gain something they want, her the security of her flower farm and business, him the reality of running his own ranch, Lou’s initial reaction is “No!”  But when she thinks about it more, perhaps this is the answer for them both. What could possibly go wrong?

This is a lovely tale with real characters that will warm your heart as you root for them to find their happily ever after.  As with all of Ms. Helm’s stories I thoroughly enjoyed this book and do recommend it!!
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So as many readers have I am sure at on point or another you have read a book on marriage of convince, this book has the feel one hundred percent. However the way the author had it played out it just never felt that way. I really found the story was really cute and had a fun feel to it. I really like Gavin he showed he was the strong silence type but also had a soft side. I loved Lou she was such a spitfire and no matter what she face she fought hard but loved even harder. The grandma's and the busbody Tyler's were always up to no good. I think personally coming from a large family I can see how Gavin just wants a bread for a minute from all there nosiness. This book does have strong language and adult situations so may not be for all readers. Over all this was a fun book. Can't wait to read more from these families.
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I feel as though I’ve done this series an injustice, as I’ve only read book four, and would probably appreciate the world building and background if I’d read it from the start; I couldn’t help feeling like I was missing certain things along the way regarding the family drama. Also, this story is supposed to be in a ranch setting, and I mistakenly expected more Cowboy references than mere country ones. For the most part it was an enjoyable read, but not up to Ms Helm’s usual standards.
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It doesn’t always happen, but oftentimes this author is able to give her characters so much chemistry long before they even touch.  I love that!

Gavin and Lou have been in the last couple of books in the Mile High Romance series, and I was sure the author would bring them together in a wonderful way.  She did. But I didn’t realize just how deep their scars run so this story was quite a bit more serious than I had thought it would be.  Don’t worry, there’s still a lot of fun and family, too.  One thing I noted as reading is that it wouldn’t do well as a standalone.  At least not in my opinion.  The author doesn’t really revisit the incident of Lou’s barn burning down, so if you haven’t read the other stories you might want to do so first.  It’s no hardship.  They’re great stories.

The feelings Gavin has for his family, his brother, his position on the ranch…I adore the author for how this was all handled.  Makes me wonder if she’s an older middle child herself.  While Gavin always seems good-natured and loves his family and has his family’s respect.  His feelings of not quite fitting in properly really spoke to me.  Having Lou see the real Gavin and push him to let his real self come through endeared her to me. For a bit there I was afraid she was too centered on her own problems to realize what was happening right under her nose.

There is quite a theme of communication throughout this story.  Whether because things come to light due to communication, or things get misunderstood because of lack of communication. It was all great story telling.

I’m sure there will be more stories with Gavin’s remaining single siblings, I’m also hoping to see Lou’s sister get her HEA.  Maybe with Gavin’s youngest brother???
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