Cover Image: The Trouble with Cowboy Weddings

The Trouble with Cowboy Weddings

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Member Reviews

The story of Gavin and Lou.
She wants to keep her father away from her grandmother's ranch, and he would love the opportunity to run a ranch himself, instead of working for his elder brother. So they make a pact to marry to get what they both want, but what will happen when they realise they each want more than they though from the marriage pact?
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I loved the last book in this series so I jumped at the chance for an ARC of this one. Lou and Gavin have been friends forever (aka since Lou moved next door in 4th grade). Lou's grandfather has died and her grandmother isn't up to running the ranch, which is also where Lou operates her floral business. She insists that a man in the family takes it over, and the only one left is Lou's estranged father, unless Lou or her sister Em marry.

This leads Lou to propose a marriage of convenience to her friend Gavin. As the second son, he will not inherit any of his family's land. The opportunity to take over her family's ranch is a great deal for him.

The conflict in this romance isn't between the two of them, but in their own self-consciousness and low feelings of self-worth. Lou is scarred on her face and arms from a fire that her ex and his new girlfriend set in her family's barn, and internally from said ex and a horrible childhood before she came to live with her grandparents. Gavin has always felt that he comes in second because that's his place. They have a lot of work to do before they trust themselves to move forward in their relationship and the engagement of convenience gives them the time to do so.

One quibble: the unscarred part of Lou's face is often referred to as the good side. It's frustrating for the scars to be constantly referred to as the bad part. She is not less than or ruined for having scars.
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If they had talked....well, but they didn't. At least not really about the things that count. Even despite that though, Lou and Gavin muddle along towards a wedding. A very practical one at that, of course, because, well, you know - talking is overrated, at least for people who are guided by insecurities and the fear to open up and get hurt. Again. With the meddling help of their family and their wedding date getting closer and closer, Lou and Gavin have to decide whether they want to hide forever or try to reach out and take a chance at happiness. 

Both of them are rather complicated characters, constantly trying to live up to their own or others expectations (good and bad) and feeling, well, they don't deal really well with those. This messy emotional stuff is not their forte, putting it mildly. Nevertheless, somehow they start to overcome the things holding them back and there might even be real happiness and love at the end...
Loud had to deal with a lot of pretty bad stuff for a while now, getting burned and almost dying included. Dealing with the physical and emotional scars of these events and of her past is really hard and I loved to see how she grew stronger and learned to let go and to trust. 
Gavin had his own issues to deal with and it took him a while to realize that his chance at happiness has finally come and that this very practical marriage of convenience may become so much more...
I love the books by Nicole Helm, this was not the first book by her that I*ve read and it definitely won't be the last!
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Although not my favorite by this author, it is was still a fair read. A lot of issues though, that was presented then not delved into. For example. Lou has been burned in a barn fire, and has issues with the scars. The barn was set my her ex-boyfriend, who all she does is mention how she didn't see why she ever dated him. The you have Gavin, the neighbor who has loved her since grade school, but dated her sister and has been a friend to her only. Now they decide to get married? The issue with her father also was confusing. Even with all these issues though, I still would recommend this story, and give it a 3.5. It is possible other books in the series may give more hindsight into these issues, and answer some of the questions I had. A good story for a summer read.
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This book sounded great in th description but it was extremely different than what was described. If I had known what I knew by reading it, I would not have selected it. 

First - It is well written  and is about cowboys and ranching and living in a small town

It also appears to be part of a series. How many books I have no idea because their are lots of characters, brothers and sisters who are married and who appear to have a backstory to their romances. I did not read any of the other stories so I had no idea who they were and there were lots of them so it made it hard on a new reader.

Now about the story:
Lou has been in a serious relationship with Rex until he did her wrong and in a HUGE way. So much so that her barn was burned and she has burn scars on her face that she tries to hide. They were together for years and years and years since high school. Lou sells it that she chose him over Gavin because she was afraid of her feelings for Gavin. 

Gavin had feelings for her for some 20 years but she chose Rex over him. He even dated her sister for one whole year. Yep her sister, her baby sister she has been taking care of for years. And she only agrees to amrry Gavin so her sister doesn't. 

I HATE romances between guys who dated siblings. Its not something I want to read and to me that was a HUGE thing to know about this book. It was in high school but it was not a few dates it was a whole year. 

I only read 20% because I really did not like the plot. The sibling thing is a huge turn off for me. And choosing someone else for years and years and years also not something I like in a romance. So its really not a story I would have wanted to read had I known all this beforehand.
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