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Publisher's Summary

Could something you can’t remember be the best decision of your life?

Maisie Sullivan is a hard-working marketing assistant from Milwaukee who wants nothing more than to earn a promotion and finally finish her college degree. But when she’s swept off her feet by a charming cowgirl while on a business trip to Las Vegas, she decides there’s no harm in having a little fun.

Drew Campbell is a no-nonsense Wyoming rancher with a talent for horse training. Her only goal in traveling to Las Vegas for a riding competition is to win enough money to pay off her family’s debts. But when a beautiful stranger catches her eye and then some, she figures she might as well let loose for a night on the town. 

What takes place after that, neither can recall. But months after parting ways, when both their fortunes have fallen, they discover what happened in Vegas has followed them home. A quickie divorce will solve the problem, but each woman has something the other needs, and neither will budge until she gets her way. 

They just want to get on with their lives, but will they end up falling in love with their wives?

If you enjoy a smoking hot clash between a city girl and a ranch girl with a one night to forever romance, don’t miss the latest collaboration of Miranda MacLeod and TB Markinson.

©2022 TB Markinson and Miranda MacLeod (P)2022 Miranda MacLeod
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

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Wow... I just... Wow.

I don't know why but I've been on a binge of cowboy, or in this case, cowgirl themed romance books. I started with some Gerri Hill's "Storm" then went onto listen to "A Country Girl's Heart" by Dena Blake, and finally finishied with Jae's "Backwards To Oregon" Series. As always they are fantastic to listen to.

Today, I found that this book made it onto audible. I wasn't sure if I should've been excited for it because when I attempted to read this book, I just for the love of me couldn't get into it. But it was 7.47$ and, to my delight, Abby Craden is the reader. Woohoo! But, I still don't like the book haha. Here are some reasons why:

1. The book is dense.

I don't know about you but after coming off of listening to Jae's Oregon series, this book falls flat so hard. The writing style is filled with this cacophony of needless words.

For example: "Maisie didn't bother to respond to Drew's over-the-top grumpiness with more than a slight eye roll, proving yet again how quickly she was settling into the rhythm of life on the ranch." (page 187)

This was a random page and quoted verbatim. Please humor me and read that sentence aloud to yourself. Listen to how many words should not be there. This is not the only example, the book is littered with sentences like this that tend to exacerbate the context of the situation and not enhance it. By the time I finally got to the actual ranch part of the book, I was so exhausted of the little historical backstories of every action and feeling the MCs have that I would just skip ahead to when something meaningful happened.

2. The story's premise

How this story begins is very disturbing and it left a bad taste in my mouth. Maisie meets Drew in Vegas, they have a one night stand, and in a drunken stupor, they get hitched. Normally I would say this is a fair way to start a story, however, the predatory writing takes shape in the forms of Maisie's two friends: Donna and Cheryl. After finding out Masie's married, their first reaction and advice to Maisie is to wring Drew for all she's worth, even going as far as to insinuate that Maisie should take part of Drew's ranch. It comes off as shallow, predatory and evil. Drew has every right to feel how she feels if she only meets people like this.

Onward to the ranch portion of the book, There is very little that happens in this part of the book that stands out to me beyond mending fences and the rare interactions with the cattle. A lot of it is talking about what they did instead of doing it in the moment. The solution to the ranch's financial issues is handled in the most convenient way, which is turning the ranch into a dude ranch. I don't like it because every modern ranch story does it and it's an easy solution to the story. The nuances that happen in the story doesn't make it special and the little twist at the end doesn't have the impact that it should have because of the events that precede it.

3. Characters and character development

There is very little character development in the book. Maisie is the star of the show when it comes to character development. She has the foundation of an amazing character. City girl and country living, straight to gay, underdog to confident business woman, you know the whole shebang! But unfortunately she isn't well developed... at all. We, as the reader, don't experience the journey that Maisie goes on to accept her newfound attraction to women. Before Drew, she is undeniably het. We never see how she overcomes it and accepts this newfound characteristic of herself. Rather, it's told through a time skip. Her and Drew's time apart is used as a band aid of sorts to explain how she accepts being attracted to women. I don't know about you, but imo that's really lazy writing and this part of Maisie should have been flushed out more. Furthermore, Maisie's character building is also, yep you guessed it, done through time skips. Everything from implementing her business plans to developing a meaningful relationship with Drew is all done through time skips. Drew even has a line in the story where she reflects that during their time together on the ranch, she has fallen in love with Maisie. What time skips do, if not done well, is cheapen the experience for the reader. At which point did they fall in love? What was the pivotal moment that Maisie accepted her sexuality? When and what did Maisie do to finally overcome Drew's judgmental attitude? What event did the two have to overcome together in order to accept each other's differences? The list goes on. Time skips are not the answer, it makes meaningful themes irrelevant if done poorly and in this case, it was done poorly.

Now I finally get to talk about the thing that absolutely makes me not like this book: Drew

I have to be very careful with what I write here. Let me preface this by saying this is all subjective and that this is what I took away from this character. However, this is my truth and I do think that I have a point by writing this. Know that I write this with very explicit intention of revealing how I see the character and that I believe that the reason this book has such high reviews is because people either overlook this or agree with this. Anyway let's begin.

Drew is a phenomenon. She comes off as a pessimistic man hating feminist. I don't use these words without proof. Throughout the story, Drew makes these subtle snide remarks about men. One example I remember is when she is telling Maisie what a steer is. This is what she says verbatim:

"'We mostly don't, but the ones we do perform a job, at least until I can get feminism to catch on with the herd.'
'What do you mean by that?'
'In cow culture, females are accustomed to following the males. if I train a lead steer to follow me, the cows follow the steer. Makes my job a lot easier, even if it does wound my soul a little.'" (pg 195)

It's the little things like what she tacks on at the end of that quote that really roils me up, she does this quite a few times throughout the novel and it's uncalled for. Now... I don't mind it when there is a reason for these jabs, but here, there is absolutely no reason. There is no reason other than the fact that Drew was explicitly written this way. Which makes me question why the Authors chose to write her this way. Drew also refers to God as a "She" instead of "He." I don't know if it was intentional but I think it was especially if we take into account how Drew is written in regards to the rest of the book. It's done in bad taste and it is blatantly calling out certain people and religions for no reason other than to make a jab at them. On the other hand, Men aren't the only ones getting the bad end of the stick. I would even argue that women are even more misrepresented here. Almost every woman in this book is written as a parasitic shallow POS, literally. Cheryl, Donna, Drew's mom, Drew's ex, the "villain". Heck, I could probably make a case for Maisie's mom. Every woman that is a reoccurring character is made out to be a predator. And Drew treats the world like this. She does so until the very end of the book where she does a 180 backflip and changes instantaneously. It is, again, a lazy way to write a conclusion. So... yeah, Drew is kind of a crap character and I feel like there was a part of the Author's negative feelings here that disrupts the central story in such a way where it makes Drew an unlikable character. Even though Drew has a painful past, because of her attitude toward the world and how the authors chose to resolve her issues through an epiphany, I couldn't have cared less. She is a character undeserving of your empathy and sympathy.

Reasons End

Narration: Abby Craden is great and made me hate this book even more because of how she says the snarky lines. Especially when that person comes back. I wanted to STRANGLE that person!

Overall: Should you use your money and buy this? Simply put, no. Don't do it for this particular story. I'm not saying every story from these authors are bad, but I am saying that this specific one, is not worth your time. I do enjoy stories that these authors write together. I liked the Love Project and I liked The AM Show. I did not like this one. I thought it was lazily written and nothing interesting happened. The story has been done a hundred times and the nuances in this story do not make it special. However, if you choose to disregard this, I truly hope you enjoy it in a way I could not. I cannot, in good conscience, recommend this book, use your credit elsewhere.

If you want a good western book with fantastic character development, listen to Jae's Backwards to Oregon. It is a prime example of true struggle, overcoming adversity, utilizing choices to change one's life, and learning to accept a person for who they are. It is a beautiful story and I WOULD recommend that series if you are looking for lesfic westerns.

This... this is just no. Lol.

Thank you for reading!

P.S I have to edit certain parts of this review because when I reread this, it came off as an angry rant and there was very little constructive criticism, I apologize for that. Also, I rewrote this review and now they've taken that down and put up my initial review? Anyway, here's to hoping this is it, my final say on this audiobook. I hope I will be able to say everything I want to say while not looking like a hater. I don't want to come off as a hater, rather, I believe good writing deserves to be rewarded whilst bad writing shouldn't.

4 people found this helpful

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Loved it!

I really enjoyed this book, and the characters. Perfect summer read. As usual Abby Craden does an excellent job narrating. Yes I would 100% recommend this book.

3 people found this helpful

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From the eye of a woman rancher… Perfection!!!

I haven’t even finished the book yet. I had to come give it a stellar review. At first I was like oh great another rodeo cowgirl story… but I was soo wrong this is such a great book and as a rancher I am so impressed with how accurate the ranching bits are!
I’m such a sucker for a romance. But when it comes to any story that includes my profession I rarely can enjoy it because of the inaccuracies, but this is spot on ladies! I could relate with the book so well, younger me used to dream out storylines very similar. Thank You and Well done!!!

2 people found this helpful

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Super Cute

I love this writing duo. And, of course Abby Craden is excellent as always.
I really like the way this story is laid out. It flows nicely for me. It’s not UNpredictable, but there are some out of the norm moments. The characters are solid. Though a few times I wanted to kick Drew in the shins. For me, there was the right amount of angst without going over the top.
It’s light and cute with a dash drama. Worth the credit!

1 person found this helpful

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I Don't Even Care for Horses and I Loved it!

The cute storyline plus las vegas drew my attention. Drew! ha I crack me up.
Abby Craden, I love to hear all your characters' voices and this was no exception.
The characters meet in Vegas by accident. Drew is a rancher who is in some horse competition and Maisy gets a free ticket to the horse show. Drew's hat blows off and Maisy catches it then the 2 women keep running into each other in sin city. they have sex and hang out 2 nights, but get drunk 2nd night and Maisy wakes up alone and pissed and she can't remember anything and wonders why she's in this strange hotel room with a heart-shaped bed... it gets even better!
loved the wrap up at the end. Very nice ending!

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Loved this book

These two authors really know how to write a great book and Abby Craden know how to narrate it so well that you can’t help it but to love this book. The story is wonderful a=the MC are loveable….

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My kinda shotgun wedding ending

I downloaded this book a while ago and could not remember the synopsis, But so glad I listened to it amazing story and again brilliant narration.

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  • Diana
  • 08-03-22

Don't miss this

Thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved all the characters. Abbey Craden brings them alive. A very good story enhanced by her reading it.

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  • brenda hill
  • 07-19-22

A truly inspiring story and beautifully read

This is a truly brilliant book and I will be listening to it a second time there are only a few books I will listen to over and over but these writers seem to get it right time and time again

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  • Mr. Anthony D. Bateman
  • 07-15-22

mc yuk

I enjoyed, as usual authors, this story and the possibilities, but a: I'd never go to Vegas, and b: I could never take drew back. Great writing and narration (obviously A C).