You never forget your first cowboy
Eli Covington erased all traces of his cowboy upbringing to become a high-powered attorney. Then his father dies, and his brothers need him to rescue the family ranch. So, after fourteen years, Eli returns to the life he left behind—and the one woman he can't resist.
Veterinarian Reagan Matthews was furious with Eli for leaving her all those years ago, and yet she was never quite able to let him go. Their attraction is as incendiary as ever, and Eli is very good at stoking the flames. But Eli doesn't belong in her world, any more than Reagan belongs in his. So until Eli leaves for good, why not take her pleasure where she can? Pleasure only her cowboy can provide…
First off, many thanks to the author, who provided me a free copy of A Cowboy Returns in exchange for an honest review.
Eli Covington is having a whale of a bad day. His father has passed away, and his brothers have summoned him home, to the town that he barely escaped from fourteen years before. He has made a new life for himself as a successful attorney, and done everything he can to distance himself from his childhood on the ranch. He tells himself that he will merely file the essential probate paperwork, get the estate under control and get out as quickly as possible. As luck would have it, before he can’t even make it through town before he runs into the one person he hoped to avoid: his former flame Reagan. He literally runs into her - with his car. That meeting ending with Reagan punching him. He is stopped again on the way home by his brother Cade - who was not on board with calling him home - and gets handed another beating, for good measure.
He finally makes it to the ranch to find that things couldn’t be worse. The old man left them not nearly as well set up as he could have, and to add insult to injury, there is an outbreak of sickness amongst the livestock. He’s surprised to find that Reagan is already there at the ranch - she’s the local vet, and has been taking care of the herd. They have a huge operation going on at the moment, pulling the sick animals from the herd and inoculating the rest with antibiotics. Reagan fears the cows have a disease called BRD, or Bovine Respiratory Disease. It is very serious, and she’s right to be afraid, because BRD could potentially kill every cow they have, and can also spread to the horses and other livestock. Eli barely has time to change his shoes before he is thrown into the saddle, doing the backbreaking work of a cowboy. He’s out of practice, but manages to hold his own.
His brother, Ty (the one who called him home) fills him in Reagan’s life since he left. She married a man named Luke, who was the town’s golden boy. You know the type: all around good guy, everyone loved Luke. He was killed in an accident three years before, leaving Reagan a young widow. When Eli and Reagan are left alone for a moment, it doesn’t take long for him to realize that he feels just the same for her as he ever did - and so does she. The physical desire is there, even if she has seemingly plated her heart in steel. They come to an agreement to pick up where they left off, physically, at least. She demands that they be very discreet, as it is a very small town and any hint of impropriety from her would be viewed as dishonoring Luke’s memory. She fears that all of her clients suddenly wouldn’t do business with her, driving her business right into the ground.
Eli is faced with the possibility that the family ranch may soon close down for good. He is struck by the fact that the ranch is his brother’s life work, and finds himself wanting desperately to save the place for their sakes. Reagan is another story. The closer they grow, the more that Eli realizes that she was the one thing he has been missing for the last fourteen years, and is quickly becoming the one thing he doesn’t want to live without. But his real life is calling, loudly. Can he leave Reagan behind again? Does he even want to? Eli has some hard choices to make, and so does Reagan.
For being such a quick read (only 224 pages worth) I was pleasantly surprised to find how much story you get in this book. The characters are vivid and relatable, and the situations are alternately humorous and dramatic. I loved Reagan’s no nonsense attitude. The contrasting differences between Eli’s wealthy present and his hardworking country past were well done. You really got a sense of how out of place he felt as a kid, when the shoe is on the other foot and Reagan gets a taste of his life.
First off, thanks to Kelli for providing me a print copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review. I am a part of her street team, as well as her PA but my opinion on this book are truthful and solely mine.
With that said.. I effing LOVE some of the characters here.. and some I wanted to junk punch most of the story. :) But.. well if I am honest by the middle of the book I was not wanting to junk punch as much… then I did again but by the end he got his head outta his arse and back where it needed to be. Well a few places it needed to be. (laughs) If you guttered that I have done my job well.
What do you get when you mix a cowboy with a lawyer? A hot man that knows how to work a rope? One that knows how to use a power suit? Elijah Covington. The man who ran from the ranch he grew up on in New Mexico for a life in Austin, Texas. To fulfill a part of him that for the years on the ranch had not done a dang thing for him. But 14 years later he is pulled back to the ranch by his youngest brother Ty after their father dies. The estate is in a mess and the place is on the verge of falling through the cracks. I’m sure that is you told Eli that going back home would break the ice barrier around his heart he’s have told you to stuff it. I was not a fan of Eli at first. He was an arrogant, wanna be priveleged arsemuncher. No. A. Fan.
Running into his ex-girlfriend Reagan, the one girl that held his heart in a vice grip doesn’t improve his mood at first either. Again, cocky and arrogant is not an attractive attribute. At all. But ya know what they say about Karma, right? She’s a spiteful biotch on permanent PMS. Yep, that would be true and Eli got what was coming to him for upsetting Reagan. When he got to the Bar-C his middle brother Cade beat the city slicker out of him. Or tried to at least. (laughs hard) After that Eli, Ty and Reagan have to work side by side to find the source of an outbreak on the ranch. The cattle is getting sick. It is one thing that could crush the ranch. Wipe out the legacy that was left to them.
But as time passes Eli gets the loafer that was lodge up his arse out and starts to see this ranch, his legacy, his brother’s legacy is all they have. Its what they need to make it. This ranch, their home is the one piece of themselves that they have left. Working his butt off alongside his brothers and Reagan he gets a better grip on himself. He also decides Reagan is worth pursuing again whether she is really into that or not. It could be the best choice of his life or the biggest mistake they make together. Time is the bane of all good things. With a life in Austin Eli is feeling the itch to get back to it. To be able to work and get money to the ranch for his brothers and make this work for everyone. The only one he needs with him to do that is Reagan.
But as soon as Reagan goes for a ‘visit’ Eli makes a choice that puts everything they had in a blender, spins it and misshapes it and he has to do some fast thinking… to even have a chance at getting his girl back. For worse or better he has to get down on his knees and beg, as he silently prays she doesn’t push him over into the dung in the grass. He deserves to be junk punched but will she make it hard or easy is the question.
Again, I loved the story and Ty.. God what a cutie. Eli grew on me but still deserves to be junk punched. (shrugs) Cades a brute but in the inside I think he is a teddy bear…. guess we will see more of the boys when book 2 gets here.. I can’t wait!!
About the Author:
Kelli Ireland spent a decade as a name on a door in corporate America. Unexpectedly liberated by Fate’s sense of humor, she chose to carpe the diem and pursue her passion for writing.
A fan of happily-ever-afters, she found she loved being the Puppet Master for the most unlikely couples. Seeing them through the best and worst of each other while helping them survive the joys and disasters of falling in love? Best. Thing. Ever.