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The Cowboy by Joan Johnston

The Cowboy

by Joan Johnston

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Trace Blackthorne grew up being taught to go after what you want. In college he fell in love with Callie Creed, a daughter of a man who is his father’s enemy. Their families have been in a century old feud. One that has festered over the years. But when an accident from his brother harms Callie’s brother, their relationship takes a turn for the worst. Callie knows her family needs her, but Trace wants to leave his family and make his own way. Callie chose her family over Trace and he left. What Callie never did was tell Trace the truth, that she was pregnant. Now eleven years later, Callie’s family is struggling to keep their ranch, a piece of land their family has held for generations. And Callie refuses to let it go. When Trace returns home, after his father receives a heart attack, she knows that her heart is going to be put in danger once again. Because Trace being back in her life, is torture. Despite the events that have separated them, Trace is still determined to win Callie, and make her realize that their love for each other is worth any risk…
The Hero

Trace Blackthorne, has never felt at home in Texas. He is the oldest son, and does stand to inherit Blackthorne ranch and all that goes with it. But that is the last thing that Trace wants. So when Callie refuses to leave with him, he leaves for Australia, and now is owner of a cattle ranch twice as large as his father’s spread. When he hears that his family needs him, he comes home for a visit. And seeing Callie again, widowed and her family in need, he is more than willing to use whatever is at his disposal to prove to her of his feelings and what she has sacrificed for her family. Trace is proud and commanding, he is driven and successful, he has compassion and knows how to please a woman in bed. His character was quite stimulating, and he totally had the alpha male commanding presence, but he also had some other traits that made him a fully balanced character that you fall for.
The Heroine

Callie Creed, has no wish to leave her family. She adores them and wears herself out trying to keep them afloat. The last thing she wants is to give their land to the Blackthornes. She has kept a secret from everyone except herself, that she has a son and the man that she married was never his father. Now widowed, she knows with Trace returned, that she is vulnerable to the feelings he could provoke in her. She knows that he will be furious when he learns that her son is his son and she fears he will take him away from her. Callie has quite the spirit, and she is fiercely protective of her family. I did have one issue, and I realize that it was part of the story, but I felt like she could have been a bit more backbone when it came to Trace. You see how much her family needs her, but she also lets them walk all over her, letting their bitterness take over what needs to be done. And the whole being pregnant and not being honest about everything, that bothered me a bit. But other than those aspects, her character was very likable and you see her evolve and grow in the story.
Plot and Story Line

The Cowboy is the first book in the series. I have read this series, but quite a long time ago, about ten years. So one of my goals this year, is to do a couple re reads every month and do a review. It was so fun to get back into this series, and as I started reading this, I came to the conclusion that there is a reason i adore this set up of feuding familes. And in all the feuding family series…this is my favorite of all time. It was also one of the first contemporary series I ever read, so that is also another plus. Its thanks to this series that I started reading Contemporary romance in the first place. This book starts off pretty well, and gives a bit of background information. We see other plots develop for other characters that will become future installments. The Cowboy is Trace and Callie’s story. And boy did I love them as a couple. In the beginning of the story, they are both hurting, still in love with each other, but there are so many other factors that keep them apart. The main reason you see is pride. Pride keeps them from accepting how much they care for each other and just letting their heart lead instead of loyalty to their families. There are some traumatic events that take place, and really adds a deep emotional rhythm to the story that keeps you engaged on every page. I tell you, this is the type of book that will keep you up at night, because the vivid detail and the beautiful work that Joan Johnston Creates is touching in its detail. The flow is pretty smooth, and the writing is so compelling, you feel as if you along side them feeling every emotion, and seeing every color and detail.

Now there are two different covers to this book. The first cover, the older one, is of a Texan sunset with a horse galloping across a field. The second and most latest, is the one I decided to put up. I don’t know about you all, but a bare man’s back with those strong shoulders, and sculpted muscles…and those jeans….(football pants have no contest with those jeans), his booty…so sexy I could squeeze it. :) What do you think of it? Can you resist a sexy cowboy on a cover?

Overall View

A riveting romantic tale of passion, personal discovery, and the test of true love…sensitive and powerful! ( )
  addictofromance | Mar 24, 2019 |
Good story. (Not as good as her historicals.) Lots of typo's on the kindle version. ( )
  mary23nm | Feb 27, 2019 |
Overall Rating: 4.75
Action: 3.0 / Emotion: 4.5 / Romance: 5.0 / Sensuous: 2.0 / Suspense: 3.5 // Laughter: 0 // Tears: 4 / Teary: 1

The Cowboy: 4.75:
Joan Johnston has a wonderful gift when it comes to telling a story. Thus, it comes as no surprise that The Cowboy, the first book in The Bitter Creek Series draws the reader into the lives of the characters that walk through the pages of this book and keeps readers engaged until that very last sentence.

Hero: 4.75:
Trace Blackthorne: A steadfast hero who know who he was. Trace was the kind of hero romance readers dream of. Who could not help but admire a man who professed his love for the heroine as he undauntingly pursued her -- and made every effort to take care of her.

Heroine: 2.50:
Callie Creed: A frustrating heroine. Callie turned her back on Trace, married Nolan, and when Trace returns after eleven years, she blames him for their breakup. Her staunch stance against Trace added an irritating, "you're not being honest with yourself" quality to her personality. Rather than come across as the strong-willed, determined, successful heroine to be admired, it was easy to want to bop Callie over the head and say, quit being an idiot and say yes to your soulmate.

Story Line: 3.00:
Johnston did a great job with the Romeo and Juliet story line set in the world of Texas ranches and cutting horse competitions. Liked the details that proved that Johnston did a great deal of research to get Trace and Callie's world right.

Action: 3.00:
There was not a great deal of action filling the pages of this book, but there were enough slightly adventurous events occurring within the story to keep the pace moving forward at a strong, steady pace.

Emotion: 4.50:
Johnston did a great job of engaging the emotions of her readers. While frustration at the heroine is not a positive quality, it is definitely an emotional one. Surprisingly enough, Johnston managed to bring forth tears during the telling of Trace and Callie's story. And Trace certainly won hearts in his constant pursual of Callie . . . and the way he treated Eli and Hannah.

Romance: 5.00:
The degree of romance throughout the telling of this story was always constant. Trace and Callie were always aware of the other, and while Callie may have denied it, she was just as much in love with Trace as he professed to be with her.

Suspense: 3.50:
The detrimental and suspect incidents that continued to occur at Three Oaks added a degree suspense to the story.

Sensuous: 2.00:
There was just something about the emotional connection between Trace and Callie that added a definite degree of sensuality to their lovemaking . . . even though it was not graphically detailed.

Secondary Characters: 5.00:
One of Johnston's great skills as an author is her ability to develop the personalities of her secondary characters to such a degree that they inspire great interest and cause the reader to want to continue reading future books in the hope that Johnston will tell their story. The secondary characters that drew great interest in this book included: {1} Jackson "Blackjack" Blacktorne; {2} Eve DeWitt Blackthorne; {3} Owen Blackthorne, {4} Summer Blackthorne; {5} Jesse Creed, {6} Lauren "Ren" Coburn Creed; {7} Sam Creed; {8} Luke Creed; {9} Bayleigh "Bay" Creed; {10} Eli Munroe; {11} Hannah Munroe; and {12} "Bad" Billy Coburn.

A more in-depth, detailed, spoiler-ridden review of The Cowboy appears at Wolf Bear Does Books (http://goo.gl/ucvdUm). ( )
  Vonda_M_Reid | Nov 28, 2014 |
The cowboy by joan johnstone
2 families have a feud, The main from one hooks up with a girl from the other.
11 yrs later they are brought back together again.
Lot of things that happened in the past are brought to the forefront and the ones involved now
find out the truth of what really transpired and why things happened the way they did.
A lot of misunderstandings along with her and he finding out about their parents misgivings takes its toll.
She packs a picnic lunch and sends her parents out to the meadow so they can light a spark in their marriage.
Problem is it's after dinner and they've not returned.
Between murder and horse thieves and just plain backstabbing, bar brawls and going behind others back, this book has that and more.
Like the details of becoming a cutter-never knew that occupation existed and like finding out about horses as I am terrified to become closer to them.
Even though there are a bunch of characters they are easy to keep straight and what's going on with each of their lives. Like how things are brought up and the problem things are dealt with and how. Being disabed it's good to know
others will light a spark under your butt to get you moving and functioning to be self sustaining and not have to rely on others for everything.
Secrets are enough to break up a marriage but it never happened and she married another. The things that come out 11 years later-I don't know if I'd be able to forgive one for withholding the information that finally comes to the surface.
Love the structure of the family and those in charge.
Love and romance was just enough to make this an enjoyable novel. ( )
  jbarr5 | Jul 25, 2013 |
I liked this book, as with some of her other books, it was a little slow at times. I also thought it was a little bit redundant. We realize he loves her, and she just can't leave her family. All in all a good read. ( )
  silverangel_1999 | Jul 30, 2008 |
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This book is dedicated to my favorite native Texans, Heather and
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Book description
Joan Johnston transports us to rugged present-day Texas--a place of wide-open prairies and unbridled ambitions--where two ranching families, the Blackthornes and the Creeds, are locked in a bitter century-old feud. Here, Johnston brings to life a breathtaking love story--between the Blackthornes' oldest son and the Creeds' beautiful daughter--a magnificent novel of passion, vengeance, and star-crossed love.

Trace Blackthorne was taught from the cradle to take what he wanted. And he wanted Callie Creed. Eleven years ago, the feud between their families had torn them apart. But now Trace has come home, a ruthless hard-eyed stranger, making her an offer she couldn't refuse: marry him and save her struggling family from financial ruin. But the secrets of the past return to haunt them. And Callie is once again compelled to make an impossible choice--between the family who desperately needs her and the only man she has ever loved.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0440223806, Mass Market Paperback)

Setting: Present-day Texas
Sensuality Rating: 7

The Blackthornes and the Creeds had been at war for generations, and when Trace Blackthorne and Callie Creed fell in love as college students, the hostilities didn't stop. Family loyalty eventually drove the two young lovers apart; Trace disappeared from their small Texas town while Callie married her father's foreman, bore two children, and became a young widow. It isn't until Trace's father has a heart attack that he returns to Texas and comes looking for Callie, the one woman he's never been able to forget. But although Callie has never stopped loving Trace, she harbors a secret that could destroy any chance of a future with him.

Just when it seems that the two lovers may work out a solution, tragedy strikes the Creeds. Once again their family problems may be a direct result of the bitter feud with the Blackthornes that has so badly damaged the family in the past. And this time, the stunning truth may drive Trace and Callie apart forever.

With The Cowboy, Johnston has concocted a compelling story of jealousy and greed, passion and hate, combined it with an intriguing look at the world of cutting horse competition, and set the tale against the backdrop of working Texas ranches. Readers will be delighted to know that The Cowboy is only the first in a trilogy about the Blackthornes and Creeds that will soon be continued in The Lone Wolf, the story of Owen Blackthorne and Bayleigh Creed. --Lois Faye Dyer

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:22 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Trace Blackthorne was taught from the cradle to take what he wanted. And he wanted Callie Creed. Eleven years ago, the feud between their families had torn them apart. But now Trace has come home, a ruthless hard-eyed stranger, making her an offer she can't refuse: marry him and save her struggling family from financial ruin. But the secrets of the past return to haunt them. And Callie is once again compelled to make an impossible choice--between the family who desperately needs her and the only man she has ever loved.… (more)

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