THE TROUBLE WITH COWBOYS Melissa Cutler
Catcher Creek, Book 1
Zebra
ISBN-13: 978-1-4201-3004-1
October 2012
Contemporary Romance

Catcher Creek, New Mexico Present Day

Chef Amy Sorentino desperately needs celery.  Her life is not going well; she's majorly stressed, and she must chop celery!  Literally.  If only she can find celery, chop her way through lots of bunches, she'll be calm again.  Problem is, there's no celery to be had in the kitchen, nor in the vegetable case of the local convenience store, which leads to Amy following sexy cowboy-rancher, Kellen Reed, home.  Kellen grows celery.  Amy needs celery!  This crazy quest for a vegetable should have been the end of Amy's predicament, but instead, she ends up in Kellen's bed.  Not a good start.  Amy calmed her lust, but she doesn't need to get tangled up with another cowboy; they're trouble with a capital T!  She should have learned that after she bombed out on The Ultimate Chef Showdown , making a fool of herself on national television when she went down in flames, losing to, of all people, a cowboy chef!   But here she is again, in bed with another cowboy.  Only this one just happens to be the main supplier of the beef Amy and her sisters need for their new restaurant!  Will she ever learn?

Kellen Reed grew up in foster care, even though he has a rich uncle who could have raised him.  When Kellen was old enough to go out on his own, he used his uncle to get a start on his own future, borrowing money that he paid back with interest.  Kellen bought a ranch in Catcher Creek and has since made it the foremost leader in beef production.  He paid his uncle back every penny he borrowed, and then walked away from that part of his family.  His uncle doesn't always operate within the bounds of the law, but he's made his company, Amarex, a respected player in the oil industry.

Amy and her sisters, Jenna and Rachel, are in trouble up to their ears.  Thanks to their deceased father's misdeeds, they might lose the family ranch.  Their mother is in a nursing home following an attempted suicide that went terrible wrong.  The Ultimate Chef Showdown was supposed to be Amy's contribution to save the ranch (had she won the competition), but now that isn't possible.  So, Amy quit her job in Los Angeles and moved home.  The plan is to start a bed-and-breakfast that includes a five star restaurant.  It all looks promising until they receive news that their father sold out the ranch before he died, and now, Amerex is foreclosing on their home!

THE TROUBLE WITH COWBOYS for Amy is that they always lead her to disaster.  Her cowboy father ruined their mother's life; Amy crashed and burned on national TV when she fell hard for a smooth-talking cowboy chef, and now, she's slept with Kellen Reed!  Amy is destined to lose her heart to Kellen, unless she can stay away from him.  And she gets her wish, when Kellen learns that his uncle's company is threatening to take Amy's home, he knows he can't get involved with her.  But, maybe there is a way he can help Amy and her sisters while teaching his conniving uncle a lesson once and for all...

THE TROUBLE WITH COWBOYS almost lost my interest.  I am not too keen on books where the hero and heroine fall into bed scant minutes after meeting each other, especially in the opening pages.  However, even though this novel has a weak beginning, the successive pages redeem Amy and Kellen's actions, and offer worthwhile substance as their relationship and the story line progress.  The characters are well rounded, and, with the exception of Amy, they're all mature enough to deal with life.  But even though Amy appears quite shallow in the opening chapters, she does progress into maturity as the chapters play out.  Both Kellen and Amy have made mistakes and, wisely, learn from them, but it is a long road to romance for this couple.


The first book in the Catcher Creek series, THE TROUBLE WITH COWBOYS sets the stage for the remaining novels.  The second book, sister's Rachel's story, is due in October 2013 and is currently untitled.

THE TROUBLE WITH COWBOYS is a promising start to a new series!

Diana Risso