I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Strong, Silent Cowboy by Lora Leigh, Veronica Chadwick
Genres: Romantic Suspense
on March 9, 2021
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Also by this author: Twin Passions, Shattered Legacy, Intense Pleasure, Knight Stalker, Enthralled, Secret Pleasure, Rule Breaker, "The One", Nauti Angel, Nauti Seductress, Wake a Sleeping Tiger, Collision Point, Cross Breed, One Tough Cowboy, Hot for the Holidays, Dawn's Awakening
Second in the Moving Violations romantic suspense series and revolving around “Sallie Hamblen” and Jacob Donovan.
This eARC was sent to me by NetGalley and St Martin’s Press for an honest review.
Leigh/Chadwick use third person dual protagonist point-of-view, so we get into both Sallie’s and Jacob’s heads with plenty of whining on Sallie’s part. For his part, Jacob is obsessing about his attraction to Sally and wondering what he forgot all those years ago.
Action-wise, there is plenty of sex in Strong, Silent Cowboy with a melodramatic story weaving it together. The prose is amazingly repetitive and quite confusing; it’s all that sex, the year discrepancies, and Sallie’s indecisiveness. She wants him. She doesn’t want him. She should flee right this second, but then his lips meet hers and she’s a goner. I gotta admit I do admire Sallie, but she also ticks me off with her mental whining about how she must run, so no one else will be hurt…even though she’s had some pretty solid proof that Jacob can help her.
I gotta think they wrote and edited it fast because there is one huge, I mean, HUGE, issue I have with this. It’s those years. I swear, my head spun with how the years flipped back and forth, rarely settling on one single set. Well, there are other issues that niggle away at me, too…keep reading.
“It had been three years…since he’d disappeared…” and “She’d spent three years agonizing over him, two years of that time, she’d spent running for her life.” Now, it’s three years later when the story starts up. A total of six years since her lover up and disappeared. So, Sallie has spent two years running for her life, but then it turns out that she was “forced to run from home … four years ago”. Huh? Then, “she’d been running for nearly five years…”
It was also three passion-filled days and nights, then suddenly she was “remembering that single night far too often”.
I think I’m jealous of Kara’s first time. It’s been six years since she exploded with those three days and nights, and she’s still obsessed with the man with whom she spent that time. It is sad that Jake had been her only lover…and it’s been six years! Oy.
Well, Sallie may not stand up for herself very well, but Dillerman’s customers know to respect her and anyone who works for her. I love it! She is a woman who cares.
Hmmm, a man who’s interested in how a woman’s home is decorated. And one who’s interested in giving her pleasure first. Don’t we all dream of a guy like that??? But why would Jacob give Sallie a bad time about not letting him protect her when she first arrived in Deer Haven? How was she supposed to know what his past had been? Why would he think she’d have a claim on him? And I certainly can’t blame her for being angry that he didn’t remember her!
I do wish that the Culpepper brothers had tried harder with Sallie. It wasn’t too convincing. I do like Gram, lol. She’s one heckuva social media busybody, although she does have compassion and all her wits with a great sense of humor.
Okay, I’m confused again. Why is it that Sallie doesn’t want Dillerman’s to make a profit? And how can Sallie say that the man who’s after her never hurt anyone who tried to get in his way, but Sallie also says a neighbor who tried to help her was beaten. And if Lily and Shay don’t have extra clothes at Jacob’s ranch why is it that Lily managed to get “dressed in jeans, a T-shirt, and sneakers she kept in his spare room”?
The ambassador has gone out of his way to try and hide Sallie. Yet Sallie is so negative about him. That he’s never cared for her. I am also impressed that the ambassador has time to work on building his consulting business. As for Sallie’s mother…ick. What a cold fish she was!
It’s that hindsight you get as an adult when you look back over your childhood and suddenly see that life from an adult perspective. Dang it.
Why did he marry her?? What was the point? Why did he abandon her? More important, why did he lie to her?
I dunno. There are a ton of loose ends in this one, and I certainly didn’t care for the abrupt ending. Well, that’s probably because of the loose ends…
Three nights of passion, and he left. Three years later and he doesn’t even recognize her. She can’t have changed that much. Could she?
It’s Sallie’s face that haunts Jacob’s dreams, but he doesn’t understand why. And dammit, he’s going after her, despite his reputation.
Sallie Hamblen is the new manager for Dillerman’s Feed and Supply in Deer Haven, California, who bought the old Hanover place. Lord knows how long she’ll stay, for “Sallie” has been on the run for years. Megan Dougal had been Sallie’s mother, who had married Rance Dougal, an ambassador. Ray Masser is Dougal’s current aide.
Jacob Donovan is one of Deer Haven’s most eligible ranchers — and related to most of its citizens. Gram, a.k.a. Mary Ann Donovan, is Jacob’s grandmother, who now lives with him on the Rocking D. Tyler Donovan, Gram’s son, had adopted an eight-year-old. John Grange is the ranch foreman…and I think he’s dating Gram. Jacob’s ranch hands include Kenny and are almost all former military. Missy is Kenny’s wife. Lily, who prefers the online college experience, and Shay are Sallie’s friends and Jacob’s third cousins.
The Culpepper brothers — Justice (runs the ranch and its various businesses), Rancor (joined the FBI), and Pride (went into the military until his injury) — own a nearby ranch. I think Keller might be their ranch foreman. They’re all good, reliable friends with Jacob.
Dillerman’s Feed and Supply…
…supplies four counties. Stanley Dillerman is the greedy owner. I’m not sure who Myron Dillerman is, but he owed Dougal a favor. Tara Danner is Sallie’s new assistant who becomes a friend. Roger Oakley is the floor manager enjoys overseeing things on the weekends. Daniel is the dock manager. Roy Davison is the bullying supply manager. Jim Allen is his assistant. Cora is the head of the pet department.
Prader’s is another feed and supply store, but over in the next county. Bit of a price gouger, they are.
Rhonda Foley is the head of the Chamber of Commerce, who tries every year to ensnare Sallie’s help. Chet Morris is the bank president and Rhonda’s brother-in-law. The Ladies Auxiliary, of which Gram is a member, has a betting pool going on Jacob and on Sallie.
Three years ago…
Jake Rossiter, with his exact memory, was attached to the embassy in Switzerland. Kyra Bannon and John Dillon were aides to the ambassador. John Milton had married Sallie and dumped her a year later. Seems John Kenton Mayler had been married five years ago (eight years ago today).
Sister Rebecca had been the beloved headmistress of a boarding school. Nonny had been Sallie’s caregiver before that.
…a Swiss-based militant group intent on destabilizing economic partnerships between major nations. Former Swiss military and law enforcement, they had a preference for torture-murders of young women. Jorg Deverson is one of them.
The Cover and Title
The cover has a fuzzy background of a light summer sky with prairie and mountains in the background. In the forefront is a cowboy in jeans and a black shirt and hat, hauling a saddle over his right shoulder. That hat is tilted down so we don’t get to see his eyes, but that jaw…ooh là là… At the very top in a deep red is an info blurb followed by the authors’ names above Jacob’s hat. To the right of his head is the information, in a deep blue, that this is “a novel”. The title begins mid-chest on Jacob in a combination font of serif and script in yellow.
The title is true, for Jacob Donovan is a Strong, Silent Cowboy…until you get him in bed!