Sometime last year I came across Bookmarking It’s account. Every month they post a list of challenges and for every book post challenge you complete you are entered to win a free book.
Most of the time I wouldn’t really plan out a post based on the theme but I would instead just see which prompt my planned post matched up with. It is always fun for me to see how many I can align with.
I ended up winning the September giveaway, a copy of To Tame a Cowboy by Jody Hedlund.
For September I was able to fulfill the following prompts:
Day 2 Second Chance Prompt: I was able to check this off with The Secret Book and Scone Society by Ellery Adams.
Day 5 Unique Retelling Prompt: My review of The Emma Project by Sonali Dev, a retelling of Emma fit the bill.
Day 13 Strong Heroine Prompt: The character of Elizabeth Bennet and Mrs. Lanyon in An Appearance of Goodness by Heather Moll, both fit that description.
Day 20 Hispanic Character Prompt: I reviewed Mexican Gothic for my Catherine Morland’s Reading List; which was perfect for this prompt.
My book arrived and I planned to read it, but I put it on my to-read pile and completely forgot all about it.
But then I won Bookmarkingit’s March 2023 giveaway and knew I needed to read the previous giveaway win and review it right away.
I have to admit I didn’t think I would enjoy this book, what with its title “To Tame a Cowboy”, I thought this would be something like a girl who falls in love with the guy who has way too many red flags and they shouldn’t be together but do end up together.
I was wrong about that, I actually enjoyed this book a lot. And even though it was book two in the series, I was still able to follow along and not be too lost in the series. I always like when books in a series can be just as alone.
To Tame a Cowboy (Colorado Cowboys #3) by Jody Hedlund
The book starts off with Savannah Marshall, living on her father’s ranch in Colorado; the daughter of the famous Cattle King. Her family had a lot of money, but the Civil War and some bad investments caused them to lose quite a bit of their wealth. Her parents want to be rich again and return home to Georiga, but are unable to. The Marshalls also lost their son and all are grieving.
Chandler Saxton has moved from Georgia to Colorado and Mr. Marshall really took to him. Chandler wants to marry Savannah and inherit the ranch, planning on giving the Marshalls money to invest again and send them back home to the South.
All is great…except Savanah doesn’t want to get married to Chandler. She wants to continue her dream of being a veterinarian, but struggles with wanting to honor her parents and help them achieve their dreams.
Trying to figure out what to do, Savanah flees a couple days before her wedding to in order fill the open position of veterinarian.
Brody McQuaid is one of five McQuaid siblings that moved out to Colorado. Wyatt McQuaid is the eldest and started his cattle ranch when the mayor and him struck up an unusual bargain, the mayor would invest in the ranch as long as Wyatt married and helped civilize the town; he marrying mail-order-bride Greta Nilsson.
Flynn McQuaid is the second sibling who is also part owner of the ranch. A few years back he agreed to help renowned botanist Dr. Powell and his granddaughter Linnea; that scientific trip turning into a romantic one.
Dylan is sibling number four and is currently only focused on having a good time. He likes to whoop it up, drinking, gambling, and visiting ladies of the night.
Ivy is sibling number five, raised out west with older brothers she grew up roping, riding, and shooting as well as any other man.
Sibling number three is the one this book focuses on. Brodie was always a good man, a fantastic horse trainer, crackshot, and aspiring artist. When the Civil War broke out, Brodie decided to fight for the Union and when it ended came back with both physical and mental scars. Suffering from PTSD and a short fuse, his recovery has been long and has caused quite a number of problems for his family. He tries, but it seems likes they littlest thing can cause him to fly off the handle.
So when Brodie sees notorious bronco buster (horse trainer specializing in taming wild stallions), abusing a mare he steps in. The two start fighting and it gets ugly fast, they only stopping when Savannah steps in and helps the horse. Brodie pays the punched out bronco buster and the two head out to the McQuaid ranch to settle Savannah in as the new vet.
Flynn is more father than brother to his younger siblings; and while he doesn’t trust a female vet he decides to hire her as he sees how her presence seems to bring Brodie alive again. He agrees to hire her, but ONLY if Brodie watches out for her and attends every vet outing with her. That works out fine for Brodie has he is extremely attracted to Savannah and wants to be with her.
Brodie figures out who Savannah is right away and gets the real story of why she is out here. He respects her privacy and won’t tell others who she really is, the Cattle King’s daughter, but at the same time tries to discourage her from marrying Chandler Saxton. Brodie admits his attraction to her early on, but his dislike of Chandler is more than his romantic feelings, Chandler is a real jerk.
The two grow close as Brodie encourages and supports Savannah’s decisions and also helps embolden her to figure out what she wants in her life and what she wants to go after. He also tells her that her choosing not to sacrifice herself for her parents happiness isn’t necessarily being dishonoring. Most of all he encourages her to try and talk to her family about what she wants.
Savannah helps Brodie calm down and inspires him to restart his relationship with God, also pointing out to him that there is more to him than just the evils of war that he went though; and that he is more than what he did. She also supports him and helps him begin to truly recover from what he went through.
Savannah and Brodie bond over horse training and trying to protect the wild mustangs. In order to save these wonderful animals, they decide to lead them away from the civilized parts of Colorado; Savannah eager to join in with Brodie, Dylan, and Ivy.
While on the trip, Brodie takes Savannah out on a picnic, hoping to woo her and convince her to choose him over Chandler; when a freak storm comes up. The two try to get back to the others but end up having to make do in a sad little lean-to cabin and only one bed. The two are stranded out there for a while, with Savannah growing deathly ill.
Brodie is able to help her survive until they can try and get out, running into a search party and helping her get saved. But that’s when the real trouble starts. With Savannah too ill to talk and Chandler turning out to be a power crazy, angry, narcissist who doesn’t want any man touching his woman; eager to get rid of Brodie and get back at him for touching Savannah. To get even, Chandler stirs up the town and rustles up a mob to hang him.
Can the McQuaids save their brother in time? Or will Brodie have gone on his last ride?
I actually became quite invested in this story, a lot more than a thought I would be. Brodie turned out to be a well written romantic hero, not exactly my ideal type, but I was rooting for him to end up with Savannah. The ending was written very well as I thought it would end one way, but Hedlund threw out a couple curveballs.
I also really like how they wrote Savannah. One of my biggest complaints about authors is when they make their female character very meek and submissive at home; but then when they meet their romantic hero they are suddenly super empowered. With this Savannah was strong willed in some ways, but also a people pleaser and one to give into others. It’s only after being encouraged and supported by Brodie who pushes her to say what she thinks and go for what she wants that we see a change in character and a woman willing to stand up for herself. Very well done.
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this for Jane Austen fans as I didn’t really connect her to any Austen character except maybe Savannah had a little Jane Bennet in her. However, I would recommend it for any one looking for a Christian western historical romance.
For more giveaway reviews, go to I Won the SaChasi Blends Giveaway
For more westerns, go to Dark Times on the Ranch: Ramrod (1947)
For more Christian fiction, go to I Won the Tea and Me Blog & Harts of America Giveaway
For more historical fiction, go to Bewitched, Body and Soul