Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the eARC to read and review! All Night Long with a Cowboy releases August 24, 2021.
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Series: Kittredge Ranch #2
Recommend to Others?: Yes
ABOUT: If you play with fire…
One of the most notorious cowboys in Cold River, Jensen Kittredge always has willing women with sweet smiles vying for a place in his bed. So when the prissy high school librarian sidles up to him in the most disreputable bar in town with a scowl on her face, he has no idea what to make of it. Much less the attraction he feels toward the bespectacled creature who wants something from him… but not that. Yet.
Someone gets burned…
Harriett Barnett doesn’t care for dens of iniquity— or the insolent cowboy she certainly shouldn’t find attractive. But one of her students needs her help, and if she needs to corral the infamous Jensen to save him, she will. Trouble is, the town’s favorite Kittredge brother is a lot more than she bargained for. Harriett’s happy little life is orderly and neat, just how she likes it—until Jensen blows it all apart with his particular brand of addictive passion. Can a modern-day schoolmarm really tame the wildest cowboy in town? Or is Harriet headed for a terrible fall?
My Review: All Night Long with a Cowboy was an amazing story of perception versus reality, self-worth, and letting go of the past.
Harriet is a breath of fresh air who loves reading, learning and cats. Deemed odd by societal standards of “normal,” Harriet has struggled all her life with being on par with her peers until one day she decided that it wasn’t worth it (or practical). For instance, her choice of attire is often scrutinized as geriatric for someone her age, but Harriet dresses for comfort, not appearances. She’s a practical woman who grew up having a lot of freedom and independence (as long as she could make a sound argument to her academia parents).
And then there’s Jensen, the second eldest Kittredge son who is known for being popular, fun-loving, and easy-going. He loves horses, ranching and the company of women (kept strictly at arms length!). But there’s more to Jensen than he publicly allows to be seen. He’s spent years crafting and perfecting a persona until it’s become second nature. Low expectations, high reward. The actual reason for his persona was very surprising.
In the small town of Cold River, Colorado, people have assumptions about certain characters that don’t come close to the depth of who they are as a person. Harriet is seen as undesirable or someone to feel sorry for because of the way she thinks, speaks and dresses. Jensen is a clown and kind of a heartbreaker who’s been with a lot of women and isn’t serious. A secondary character, Aidan Hall, is a teenager genetically destined to be a delinquent because of the disreputable family he was born into. I understood but disliked the town’s blanket assumptions about members of the Hall family because it traps kids like Aidan in a vicious cycle of expected bad behavior.
Harriet and Jensen are my new favorite fictional couple. I loved their unexpected attraction and the progression of their relationship. It was sweet and slow building blocks, a connection on a far deeper level than just sexual intimacy. Harriet’s frankness breaks through his carefully constructed persona. Right away, she sees him for him and not what he’s typically perceived as. Likewise, Jensen makes Harriet consider things she thought she’d long ago set aside as unnecessary or not for her. They both had to reexamine their own self-worth and decide if what they truly want is worth the risk of getting hurt or even if they’re deserving of a happily ever after at all.
How Harriet and Jensen come to be together made this book a 5-star read for me. The growth of their relationship and as individuals was enthralling. The story wrapped up nicely with a big beautiful bow. Loved it!
More by Caitlin Crews
Secret Nights with a Cowboy (#1)