Cover Image: A Thorn in the Saddle

A Thorn in the Saddle

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Member Reviews

I’ve waited for this man’s story for what feels like a life time. And it did not disappoint!!! RW just knows her 💩. I’ve been feeling poopy lately and her cowboys, Sam and Jesse, especially, have made me the happiest. 

So, get this Jesse comes home from a family trip to find his grandma, Thee Leona Lovell, in the throes of passion. Instead of backing away a begging the heavens for a mind eraser and bleach for his eyes, Zaddy here, cockblocks his grandma and in the process her lover ends up with a broken wrist. Thing is “lover” is Lily-Grace’s dad. Lily-Grace is none other than the girl Jesse’s had a crush since forever who is home trying to figure out her next move because she was S*xually assa*lted by her coworker and her then-boyfriend didn’t believe her so you know after that experience she’s not taking any mans crap. So she storms into his meeting and let’s him know what’s up.

I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH. We get sweet, sexy, vitiligo rep., women in STEM rep., and Jesse. This MAN!!! He’s so greedy he wanted to have it all. It wasn’t enough for him to look like Morris Chesnut(in my mind) and be 6’7. No!!! This man is also cute, shy, sweet, knows his way around a kitchen and a dance floor, a great swimmer who is down for lessons, hella respectful, a protector, loves movies but will also watch reality t.v. with his baby cousin religiously, eats for 7 people, will shower you in gifts, loves his grandma and Clem(his dog) who he also calls his boo and will give you his 100% and nothing less!!! He has some anger issues, cause no one is perfect, but he’s willing to seek professional help to work on that and he DOES!!! I’m in love!! He’s simply that B. 

Also, I know RW keeps saying it’s the last book but what about Lilah? I need  her story!!! The set-up was so good I hope we get it in the future!!!

GO GET THE DAMN BOOK!!!
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This third installment of the Cowboys of California series was definitely my favorite. I think we were all waiting for Jesse’s story since book one, and this book did deliver on that front tremendously, but what I wasn’t prepared for was how much I would love Lily-Grace. Her strength and humor. Her ability to stand up for herself. Her fierce protectiveness of those she loves. She is one of the best heroines I’ve read in a while. I also very much appreciated the inclusion of mental health issues and seeking therapy. Highly recommend this book to anyone who loves stories featuring cowboys, strong heroines, and close-knit families who care about one another.
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I was told that this book was inspired by Beauty and the Beast and I can see it, though Jesse isn’t as beastly as others would perceive him to be, or how he portrays himself to the world. I love stories where the characters have hidden depths and these two definitely have it.

   I loved Lily-Grace from the first introduction. She is outspoken and stands up for those she loves, but all she is missing is for someone to stand up for her. I also commiserated with hr and her past experiences with men.

I adored Jesse. I liked that he listened to Lily Grace when she recommended, he seek help for his anger issues. He shows a vulnerable one doesn’t see often when it comes to men.

Family is a strong theme in this book as it is in the rest of the series. I love the Pleasants and the love they have for each other. I also loved the close relationship Lily-Grace has with her father.

Overall, I give A Thorne in the Saddle 5 stars. This book made me laugh, swoon, and fan myself because I was not expecting the kink element in this story, but I really enjoyed it.  Many who read the series will be satisfied with this last book.  I also recommend the whole series if you haven’t read it yet. It is quite a ride.
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I’ve enjoyed all three books in the Cowboys of California series but I think this was my favorite one. I wanted Jesse’s story from the beginning and this book was a chance for him to really come to life. He and Lily-Grace, from their adorable childhood to her bursting into his meeting and giving him a piece of her mind, just clicked in the best way. While Lily-Grace was back in town recovering from her own issues, Jesse is really the one who has things to work through and overcome. Their relationship was just everything. From Jesse teaching her how to swim to the intimacy lessons Lily-Grace gave him, the dynamic between the two was just perfect! Overall, I really enjoyed this entire series and Jesse and Lily-Grace’s story was the perfect finish!
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Ok so this is probably my favorite of the series! Jesse and Lily-Grace matched so well together!

I really loved how she checked him in the beginning for his bad behavior and when she suggested ways to change it, he didn't hesitate.

And the way Jesse catered to Lily-Grace's love language (gifts) was absolutely *chef's kiss*. They were both fiercely protective of those they loved, including each other at some point.

Seeing Jesse come out of his shell and allow himself to be vulnerable was very endearing. But his reasons for having a tough, sometimes angry, exterior were completely valid and addressed in therapy, which I really liked seeing. I love when stories discuss and include mental illness or just the openness of seeking therapy to heal from hurt or trauma.

Lily-Grace was such a strong woman but also had some of her own insecurities. I loved the vitiligo representation. She's probably the first character I've read about with it. Also, even though I'm really short, I love reading about tall women because it seems heroines are typically on the short side to the men who like petite women. And Lily-Grace was definitely not petite. She was tall and beautiful and thick. Another way she matched well with Jesse. And she gave him space for that vulnerability mentioned earlier with issues he was battling.

Their pairing was so beautiful.

Definitely recommended.
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This trilogy was a delight through and through! This book has characters who are so vulnerable with each other, even as it uses tropes that could easily take the story out of the realm of realism. It's a real feat. Everything that happens is organic and lovely to watch unfold. The men in this trilogy are so great: they adore the women that they've fallen for but they have some work to do first. I think this trilogy is best read in order so that the rich cast of side characters can be best appreciated. My only complaint that kept it from 5 stars is that the plotting was a little inconsistent for me, so there were some parts that dragged while others felt rushed. Still, this is a series I know I will come back to. 

***Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an ARC in exchange for my honest review.***
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This was an OK read to me. Had a hard time holding my attention, but I got to about 60% before I skipped through to the end.  I balk at auctions, even for charity, specifically where people are bidding for Black people- it just rubs me in all the wrong ways. Loved the premise, it just didn't hit me right- was an OK read. I skipped book two in this series so I would probably have more of an affinity for the characters had I read it. I loved Jesse in book 1, but he doesn't leap from the page for me in this book.. I LOVE this author so of course will read more by Weatherspoon. This series just wasn't it for me.
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A Thorn in the Saddle by Rebekah Weatherspoon is a good modern romance, with a touch of cowboy and a to of Black. Jesse Pleasant was a man nearing forty: a big man and very good looking. Who was to know who shy he was and how inexperienced. He guarded his family, for sure, and ran the family business, but pull him out of his comfort zone, and he was done. He lived on a cul-de-sac in his parents' home. They had long since left. Down the street was his grandmother, who was a big star. He was happy to be home and anxious to see her and so rushed through the front door, only to be met by a sight he never expected to see: his grandmother. Miss Leona, making out with a man her own age. Granted he should have knocked; he didn't and instead reacted. He scared the poor man half to death, although he didn't really hurt him, he could have. Not to worry he heard about it from his grandmother. And, the next day, from the man's daughter, who walked right into his conference room and let him have it. God, she was gorgeous. 

Thus begins the last of the three book series about the Pleasant brothers: Zach, Sam, and Jesse Pleasant. What a book it was. It turns out the man was the local pharmacist, August LeRoux and his daughter was Lily-Grace. Both of these characters are written with grace and humor and plenty of baggage. Lily-Grace had more than made her way in this world and was firm in her opinions. Nobody put her down and she stood up to those who tried. The last thing she needed was a man. She had just gotten rid of one. The setting was astonishing: they were in the midst of a wedding, a big one. His brother was marrying a star and they were all of to celebrate it, but he couldn't put Lily-Grace out of his mind. The fact he didn't follow up cost him and the scenes were written as only a woman could. The whole thing was satisfying and, many times, hilarious. Well worth the read. 

I was invited to read a free e-ARC of A Thorn in the Saddle by Kensington Books, through Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are mine. #netgalley #kensington #rebekahweatherspoon #athorninthesaddle
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From the moment I met Jesse Pleasant in A Cowboy to Remember, I knew he was the brother for me. So, I was delighted when NetGalley gave me the opportunity to read this book and review it, but once I began, I got scared. You know that type of scared where you think "I've waited so long, anticipated so much, hoped so high... What if I'm disappointed?" 
The thing is, there are some authors out there you can trust (not completely, mind you, but tentatively). You can trust them because they care as much as you do. It's not just that they love/like their characters but they understand and empathize with how deeply their audience cares.
This shows in Weatherspoon's #ThornintheSaddle, a wonderful and rather unique approach to #BeautyandtheBeast. Our filly was a little too much for me straight of the gate but all that settles quickly and you have all the things you adore about RW, plus JESSE PLEASANT! 
He is my forever dream book husband, lover and best friend. RW is so very kind to this man, drawing him with gentle, warm and endearing strokes. 
Of course, all the favs and fam are present, not to mention some much needed healing and adult conversations all around. I do believe it starts a tad slow, but that is intentional, so don't worry. If you are even a baby bit in like with the Pleasants, you won't be disappointed. This story is a perfect ending to this series. It's fantasy at it's best--just a little bit real.
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Thank you to Kensington Books for this ARC!

I am so not someone who likes cowboy books, let alone cowboy romances, but I will read absolutely everything that Rebekah Weatherspoon writes, so I was excited to dive into this trilogy.  

There's a note at the beginning of this book where the author says that everyone comments that Jesse is their favorite Pleasant brother, and coming off of Sam's book I found that hard to believe, but Jesse really won me over in this book.  I loved his quiet playfulness and his confidence in his relationship with Lily-Grace, even when he knew he had no idea what was really going on with them.  As always, the banter between the characters is fire and I never get enough of it.

I really appreciate how this book starts with a few really big plot ideas (politics, sexual harassment, older love, business stuff) and manages to meander around these subjects without trying to do too much.  These larger plot points aren't there so much for the characters to navigate through them, but around them since Weatherspoon knows we really only care about these two great people getting together and their HEA, and I love it.  Sometimes I read romances to get a lot of other information (Beverly Jenkin's has entire historical reports in the middle of her books and I'm here for all of it), but mostly we want to dive into the characters, their motivations, and their love.  Again, Weatherspoon knows what we wants and serves it up on a wonderful platter.

I know this is a trilogy but somehow it doesn't feel over and I hope we get more books about some of the side characters (like the Vet!  Or Jenny!  Or other staff people at this ranch), maybe as part of another series?  I'll read them all.
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I've been waiting for the conclusion to this series and I personally didn't want it to be over! Jesse's story has been long-anticipated and with good reason, but I frankly loved his facing-off dynamic with Lily-Grace from the beginning of the book and how he ultimately won her over. Weatherspoon's heroes are absolutely swoony and I love that they always end up having their worlds rocked by the women who come into them and completely upend their situation (but change their lives for the better).
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We finally got a story with Jesse and he was worth the wait. Great character development I got to get to know the characters they seemed real and relatable. I loved the chemistry and vulnerability between the characters, a great read. Review copy received from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Well, this book is about Jesse, the eldest Pleasant brother, and is also the Beauty and the Beast retelling so it's no surprise that it's probably my favourite.

Jesse Pleasant is the strong, silent type, with an undercurrent of "the secret is I'm always angry" Hulk in him. When he walks into his grandmother's house to find her in flagrante with her new beau, his temper gets the better of him, and his menace leads to said new beau injuring himself. Cue Lily-Grace, whose father is the beau in question. She's recently back in town after her tech job imploded because she called out sexual harassment, and to add insult to injury, her boyfriend didn't support her in it. So she's already primed, and Jesse's actions just turn on the nozzle of anger. But their mutual anger is a sign of sparks in other ways, and after understanding each other better and making amends about past hurts, they initiate a li'l quid pro quo: Jesse will help Lily-Grace learn to swim, and Lily-Grace will help Jesse learn to...well, you know. As you might imagine, feelings develop, and sweetness ensues.

This is such a great example of how you can have a romance with external conflict that doesn't involve a third act breakup for stupid reasons, and I am here for it. Perhaps it's because Jesse starts therapy after Lily-Grace's father gets injured, but they just are so good at communicating and being open, like grown-ass adults, and it's refreshing to see. Jesse has a layer of anger, but he starts unpacking that in therapy and addressing it, and he's also just so vulnerable despite having been hurt in the past. I always appreciate representations of people in their 30s and 40s who are not as experienced, especially when it presents an opportunity to have a "teach me" scenario. And you know what, even though it makes me very jealous, I also love to see people with money spoil each other with extravagant gifts. The gift-giving was the result of a conversation about love languages, but it wasn't the depth of their expressions of love for each other. Jesse conquering his decades-long fear of horses to get back in the saddle so he can go on trail rides with Lily-Grace warmed my shriveled little heart. The pacing towards the end was a bit abrupt for me, but overall, this was so wonderful and lovely. I continue to adore Rebekah Weatherspoon and everything she writes.

Additionally, give me Lilah and Doc's romance pronto, please.

Content warnings for discussion of past sexual harassment
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A Thorn in the Saddle  is the third book in the Cowboys of California series by Rebekah Weatherspoon, and although you can read it as a standalone (like I did), I suspect it probably reads a little smoother if you're familiar with the previous two books. That said, there's a pretty good recap in the first chapter that gives you an overview of the main players and how everything connects together.

Jesse is the oldest brother, the rock of the family, holding together the family ranch when his childhood crush, Lily-Grace, returns to town and tells him off for scaring her father (who happens to be courting his grandmother). When Jesse is entered into a local charity auction, Lily-Grace comes to his rescue to 'purchase' him and the two begin to rebuild a relationship together.

This was pretty fun. Admittedly, it's not my favourite Rebekah Weatherspoon book, but it is a solid read. I enjoyed the dynamic between Jesse and Lily-Grace - Jesse is working through some anger management issues and his inexperience in the bedroom, and Lily-Grace is a willing bedroom teacher (sex lessons are always fun in a book). Lily-Grace is also working through her own issues. She returned home after quitting her job and leaving her partner, only to discover that her partner is unable to leave her alone. 

There's clearly a close knit family dynamic in this book and series as Jesse's family embrace  their extended family and celebrate a wedding in the first part of the book. The supporting characters were fun and dynamic, but there are a lot of them to keep track of, so that's something to keep in mind if you have trouble with that.

Something I haven't seen in a book before is the inclusion of a specific skin condition - vitiligo. Lily-Grace has the condition, where she loses pigmentation in areas on her skin. It's mentioned throughout the story, but never in a way that makes it or her seem other. I actually didn't realise that this was the name of the condition so it was interesting to spend some time reading about it to find out more after finishing the book.

This is a solid read, and one that anyone who enjoys big family romance books might enjoy.
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This is the third book in the series, and a great cap to it. Although it can probably be read as a standalone, you'll have a much better sense of the (potentially overwhelming) cast of characters if you read the books in sequence. 

Jesse's been the rock of the family throughout the series, the strong silent one just outside the main action. Here he's reunited with his childhood crush, Lily-Grace, under bad circumstances. Jesse blew up at Lily-Grace's father, causing him to fall and break his wrist. So she's not too keen on seeing him. 

But they keep getting stuck together. And there's a date auction where first Lily-Grace saves the day, then Jesse saves it. 

It's satisfying to watch Jesse grow throughout this book. He begins it knowing that he'll have to make decisions about the direction of his life, and he's an active participant in making the changes. It's also *quite* steamy. 

Although Lily-Grace is a strong character who knows her own mind and had her own character arc (also involving choices about her life's direction), this is very much Jesse's story.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Thank you Netgalley and Kensington Books for providing an ARC to read and review.

This is part of the Cowboys of California Series but can be read as a standalone. I did not realise that this was part of a series, but despite this, you do not need to read the previous books to enjoy this.

This is the first book I've read where the female lead has more experience in romance and other things than the male lead, which was in a sense refreshing to read, as all romance stories I've read is always the other way round.

Lily-Grace Leroux and Jesse Pleasant reunite when Jesse loses his temper at her father and his grandmother, and everything regarding the blossoming romance starts from there. Their interactions with each other from wanting to open up but also keeping each other at arms lengths, as well as facing and overcoming issues moved very smoothly, and I found myself actually understanding their actions (which is the first time for me to agree with the characters actions as a result). 

This is a very enjoyable read, and would definitely read the rest of the series.
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Thank you to Kensington Books for providing an early ARC via Netgalley!

When requesting this book, I had no idea it was part of a companion series until after I submitted a request.
Once I saw I was approved, there was a bit of hesitance when getting closer to the release date.

There were times when I felt overwhelmed by how many characters there were, especially in the beginning, but as I read on, I got remembered who was who and was following along just fine.

Jesse was such a gentleman who started off very serious, so much so that I felt it radiating off of my kindle. Seeing him slowly become more and more open in regards to his emotions was so wonderful to experience.

This story provides a hero and heroine with really good communication, which is such a nice breath of fresh air. Especially since this is a romance novel, which tend to get rep for having the opposite. It was enjoyable seeing two people communicate their feelings and thoughts.

Something else I really appreciated about this story is that therapy was incorporated. At the start of the book, Jesse loses control of his temper and many people in his life suggest going to therapy. I am not Black, yet I know what it is like growing up being told/expressed that seeking therapy is unnecessary, having it engrained into your mind that if you seek therapy, you are crazy or that only White people do that. Having that negative connotation towards something that is very much helpful and a positive thing your whole life, it has been really nice seeing BIPOC stories incorporate seeking therapy as being something positive and accepting.

I will say that I didn't really get to feel the chemistry between Jesse and Lily-Grace. I am unsure why, maybe it could've been because this is a trope that involves a childhood crush coming back and the feelings were already there or what, but I didn't feel it. I liked seeing them spending time together and their conversations, especially towards the end of the story, yet I did not feel their love for one another.

It was a good time! I am hoping we get a story with Lilah and Fetu as I sense they would have my absolute favorite trope in romance?? Manifesting it!!

This book can be enjoyed without reading the prior two novels. However, I do think that it may be more enjoyable that way as you would already know about the character and how they all connect.

⭐️3.5 STARS⭐️
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I was really excited about this book but after dragging myself to the 50% mark... I am distinctly underwhelmed and don't feel like I am remotely interested or invested in either character. It is a bummer. I love supporting authors of color but this book is just plain boring.
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Ranch owner Jesse Pleasant always felt  like the odd man out with his brothers and his family.  He reluctantly became the one who was relied on to make all the decisions and to hold everything together concerning the family.  Being put in that position has built up a resentment over the years that has festered a growing temper.  Jesse has watched his two brothers, his cousins and even his grandmother find happiness and love.  Jesse has always felt awkward because of his size and the ability to form any type of romantic relationships.  His temper will finally get the best of him.
 
Former tech consultant Lily-Grace Leroux has had it with hot-tempered men who think they know everything. So when Jesse Pleasant lets his temper get out of control regarding the relationship between his grandmother and her father, Lily-Grace has no problem letting him know just what she thinks of him.  But after seeing a softer side of Jesse, Lily-Grace helps Jesse to learn what romance feels like. 

This was my favorite of the three brothers.  Watching Jesse overcome his awkwardness was very much appreciated.
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A Thorn in the Saddle by Rebekah Weatherspoon is the third book in the captivating and romantic Cowboys of California series and another fantastic and enjoyable read. The storyline is well-written, with an easy ebb and flow and Lily-Grace and Jesse are characters who will own your heart by the end of their story. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each and every book in this series and hope there will be more.
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