Part Time Cowboy (Copper Ridge #1)
Copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley
Sadie Miller is returning to her childhood home of Copper Ridge. Having fled 10 years ago after her relationship with her family finally broke down irretrievably, Sadie has lived all over. She’s always been one to be ready to pack up and move on at a moment’s notice but it hasn’t gotten her anywhere. She’s never really found a place she was truly happy, somewhere she couldn’t just leave without a backward glance. And so she is returning to the place she grew up to see if she can lay some demons to rest and find somewhere that gives her peace.
Sadie signs a five year lease to open a B&B on the Garrett family farm. She dealt by email with Connor Garrett but when she arrives in town she encounters his younger brother Eli Garrett. Although their one encounter happened years ago, neither of them have forgotten. For Deputy Sherriff Eli, Sadie was the first person he arrested, when she was an eighteen year old. For Sadie, that night changed her life and set her on the path out of Copper Ridge. What neither of them expect is the powerful and immediate attraction.
Eli and Sadie are opposites. Eli craves order and stability and he never dates within his local area, in case it gets messy. Sadie is chaos and feeling but she doesn’t take relationships lightly. Against their better judgement, they decide that they can keep this purely physical without it getting messy. After all, Sadie is going to be around for the long term…. What could possibly go wrong?
I enjoyed the novella that kicked this series off and was keen to read the story of Eli, who appeared briefly in the novella, just enough to give a bit of a glimpse. I’m a big fan of the straight-laced, uptight guy lets loose and it was pretty obvious very early on that Eli was that sort of guy. He craves order. Everything has to be neat, tidy, clean and organised. His mother left when he was just a child and his father fell into alcoholism. That left the family farm to be run by older brother Connor so Eli took care of the house and their younger sister Kate, who was just 2 years old. Eli and Connor knew that in order to stay together, Kate had to be well fed and cared for, so as not to ever arouse suspicion. As a result, Eli thrives on what he can control – anything that he cannot control makes him feel helpless and out of sorts and he strives never to be in a situation where he cannot take charge and be in control.
Which is why the sparks fly between Eli and Sadie. Connor and Sadie hammered out the agreement and Eli wasn’t a part of it (or even aware of it) because Connor knew he wouldn’t agree. So when Sadie strolls onto the farm with her plans to change things and open a B&B that may occasionally also host fun days on the farm, Eli pretty much goes into a meltdown. All of these are things he cannot control and so he wants to confront Sadie about every single thing that she plans on doing. To be honest, I feel as if there were times where Eli went too far with the whole control thing. A certain amount of being able to get the straight-laced guy hot under the collar is attractive but knock-down drag out fights over things that are really quite silly repeated quite a few times throughout the book do become a bit tedious. Eli keeps bringing up the fact that he once arrested Sadie when she was eighteen for D&D or something and it’s basically as irrelevant to the now as something can be. I found it hard to believe that two grown adults kept picking at each other the way these two did, instead of just walking away when things were said. I really did enjoy their chemistry though, when they weren’t picking at each other over things that had already been well hashed out. Sadie is a fantastic character, she’s honest and real and wonderfully flawed. There’s really only one moment where she did something that I thought was really weird and that was when she asked Eli why he didn’t protect her. Putting that on him was really pretty low – cops aren’t mind readers. The only way they can protect someone is if you ask for their protection. You can’t just expect it when they don’t know what’s happening and you can’t blame them either when something goes wrong. Sadie said that she didn’t blame Eli and this is probably true but asking him that question, you might as well be blaming him.
All in all this was a good start to a series that looks pretty interesting. There was a lot about Eli’s siblings in this of course and their stories make up books 2 & 3. I’m not sure how many books Yates has planned for this series but I think I’d like to see Alison and Lydia get their own books down the track.
Book #64 of 2015