ALWAYS A COWBOY - Linda Lael Miller
The Carsons of Mustang Creek , Book 2
HQN Books
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-78969-6
September 2016
Contemporary Romance

Mustang Creek, Wyoming – Present Day

Drake Carson has big problems.  Riding several miles into the mountains of his ranch, he's looking for his missing livestock and attempting to track the big cat poaching his calves and heifers.  And as he's riding alongside Harold and Violet, his two German shepherds, he spots another threat, a woman trespassing on his land.  And she's watching a herd of mustangs; said herd comprised of one wild stallion and a considerable number of Drake's expensive mares that have gone missing.  Drake isn't sure whom he's angrier at, the woman or the horse, and as he gives chase, it's only to lose the stallion when he disappears over the horizon with Drake's mares in tow.  But if Drake thinks the stallion is trouble, he hasn't yet faced this pint sized woman who is spitting mad—at him!

Lucinda Hale (Luce) is writing a dissertation for her PhD in Ecology, and she has permission to study the wild horses on the Carson ranch, (and Drake!).  Granted, she did not ask Drake, but instead, received the OK from his mother (who happens to be friends with Luce's mother.)   Right now, Luce is angry.  Drake just chased the horses away after she spent literally days getting close to them!  Luce is all about protecting the environment and she is determined to prove that ranchers and wild animals can co-exist.  All she has to do is persuade Drake to let her tag along with him as he goes about his day-to-day work.  Not an easy project, as Drake wants nothing to do with her or her thesis.

ALWAYS A COWBOY, Drake Carson's life is his ranch.  He is not pleased that he'll have a woman underfoot trying to undo his efforts to relocate the wild stallion far away from his property and his horses.  In direct opposition to Drake's plan, Luce wants to keep the Mustangs right where they are.  But Drake is realistic, he can't allow the stallion to stay on his land without damage to his own herd, so, he has to go.   In spite of their differences, Drake and Luce become friends, until one tiny kiss gets captured on film.  Drake's brother Slater makes said film public, and suddenly, Drake and Luce's budding romance becomes anything but private!

ALWAYS A COWBOY is the second novel in The Carsons of Mustang Creek , following Slater's story in ONCE A RANCHER (April 2015).  The third novel, FOREVER A HERO (younger brother, Mace's story), is due in April 2017.  ALWAYS A COWBOY stands alone and takes us back to Mustang Creek with all its wonderful characters.  Among them is Thelma, who drives a vintage yellow car named Frankie and works at Bad Billy's Biker Bar and Burger Palace.  On the Carson ranch is Harry (short for Henrietta), the Carson's housekeeper; and Carson Matriarch, Blythe; along with the sexy Carson brothers, Mace and Slater (and his wife Grace and stepson, Ryder).

A hero-to-wish-for, Drake belongs solely to Luce, and they bring us a heart pounding romance full of excitement and passion.  ALWAYS A COWBOY is a wonderful story and a great keeper book!

Diana Risso