Star Valley: Book 3
Publication Date: February 20, 2024
In this sizzling, sassy western romance, she’s been burned by too many cowboys—but can this rodeo rider convince her he’s worth the risk?
Retired SEAL Thatch Hearst never thought he’d put down roots, but four years in Star Valley as a bronc rider has him calling the town home. All he needs now is to earn some real money by competing in the big leagues. He’ll have his chance with the town’s upcoming rodeo days, but first he needs to improve his scores. Running out of time—and ideas—Thatch enlists the help of a local yoga instructor, hoping to gain an extra edge.
Lyric Valenza has worked with difficult clients, but this ruggedly handsome cowboy might just be her biggest challenge. Marrying a cowboy was the biggest mistake of her life, and after her divorce, she vowed she’d never again need a man. Only the more time she spends with Thatch, the more she realizes there’s a difference between needing and wanting someone—and this cowboy may just be the one person she doesn’t want to be without.
We reunite with Lyric and Thatch, characters we’ve met before, and catch up on their lives. Their story is truly a feel-good story with a lot of kindness and compassion towards others, but it also has secrets and lies as they try to figure out what comes next.
What starts as friends turns into a fake relationship, but is it? Lyric and Thatch feel things for each other that they have never felt before, even though Lyric was married previously and Thatch was engaged. But neither is looking for a relationship, but are they just fooling themselves? Everyone around them sees the looks, glances, and touches and knows they are in denial.
Family dynamics are at play along with a depth to the characters and layers to the story. There are a lot of stories related throughout, and they weave together nicely, with most loose ends tied up by the end. There is romance, romantic gestures, friends who are like family, reminisces, anger, tears, hurtful memories, and lots of physical activities. There are vivid descriptions of the town, the ranches, and some businesses.
There is a nice flow to the story and closure, but since this is the last book in the series, I would have loved an extended epilogue to really tie up all the stories. Ms. Richardson is an author whose books I enjoy—especially since they are full of rugged cowboys.
Counting on a Cowboy is a fast-paced, contemporary romance filled with characters who have become friends that kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next. Give Ms. Richardson’s books a try if you haven’t already. You won’t be sorry!
Sara Richardson grew up chasing adventure in Colorado’s rugged mountains. She’s climbed to the top of a 14,000 foot peak at midnight, swum through Class IV rapids, completed her wilderness first-aid certification, and spent seven days at a time tromping through the wilderness with a thirty-pound backpack strapped to her shoulders.
Eventually Sara did the responsible thing and got an education in writing and journalism. After a brief stint in the corporate writing world, she stopped ignoring the voices in her head and started writing fiction. Now she uses her experience as a mountain adventure guide to write stories that incorporate adventure with romance. Sara lives and plays in the Upper Midwest, where she still indulges her adventurous spirit, with her saint of a husband and two sons.