Second chances, the high price of fame, and unexpected twists and turns fuels this series-ender that will captivate readers. Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Cowboy by Hayley Faiman, along with my impressions of it, then add this fifth installment in the Unfit Hero series to your bookshelf too!
Recluse. Brooding. Man Whore. Rough.
Labels can set us up for success for failure. I hate them, always have.
There is a reason for mine.
I dream of that reason morning, noon, and night.
Egocentric. Greedy. Cruel. Self-Loathing.
Labels shape the lonely woman that I am.
I hate the person that I’ve allowed myself to become.
I’ve hurt the only person that I have ever loved.
I dream of him every single night when I close my eyes.
Labels are worn like a badge, either in honor or horror. They do not define me.
I am judged by them anyway.
MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:
From the very start the Unfit Hero series has been full of unforgettable characters amidst a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Moments of steam have been balanced with the pulling of heartstrings, along with a few chuckles along the way, courtesy of a colorful and close-knit group of friends who have become more like family. The ride ends with this latest release though, brings everyone full circle in a romance of second chances and the high price of fame, and it held me captive from the very first page to the last.
Ford Matthews has loved Stephanie since they were children, planned his life around a future with her by his side. On the day of their wedding though she ran, turning her back on the dreams he had to find something more for herself. It was an emotional blow to him, made him feel as though he and his love weren't enough for her. For 17 years he's felt that festering wound and now longs for closure. Seeing her again unfortunately presents anything but closure as long-held affections rise up to put them back in each other's arms. Issues from the past, hurt feelings, and danger from her ex all conspire to make their reunion a rocky one full of angst and uncertainties that had me frantically turning the pages. Ford's a likable hero with a heart of gold. He's strong and sexy and, despite his anger, always has Stephanie's back. He's a true gentleman, supportive of Stephanie but never controlling, and she's a lucky woman to be loved by him. Their reunion turned steamy very quickly, showed him to be all man in interludes that were bdsm lite, but also allowed for heartfelt talks about their past that helped guide them to their future.
Stephanie (aka Sterling LaRue...America's Moviestar Sweetheart) became the Runaway Bride 17 years ago, leaving behind her small town and childhood love. It was a heartbreaking decision but one that had to be made so that no resentment would weigh on their love. It's been lonely all these years though, never knowing who to trust as money and fame rule all. The luster of fame is starting to dim for her as this story starts, a feeling of being unsatisfied, and it's this feeling that follows her home. Finding out that Ford is still available changes everything, has her rethinking her life and what she wants out of it. Her return has them dealing head-on with past hurts, has them being brutally honest about their desires in a journey full of twists and turns. Stephanie's an appealing heroine full of self-loathing for her long-ago decision and guilt-ridden for all that's befallen Ford throughout the years. She was young though and needed to spread her wings, needed to learn what was truly important before settling down so I never faulted her for that. Her concern over her duplicitous ex Sebastian though...that is her fault and her actions frustrated me as he wreaked havoc in her life through his over the top machinations. Despite a frustration or two I enjoyed her and Ford together. They balanced each other out nicely and scorched up the pages whenever they were together.
On a whole this was a satisfying end to Ms. Faiman's series of imperfect characters finding their perfect HEAs. The main couple was strong-willed as individuals, but more formidable when together in a scorching and sentimental tale with a bit of suspense late in the book. The issues between them were realistic and addressed in a believable manner that had me fully invested in their journey to HEA. Surrounding this compelling couple was an equally entertaining cast of secondary characters, ones readers have seen in past books and it made for an enjoyable update that tied a bow around this series-ender. Two secondary characters in particular captured my attention...Stephanie's assistant Daimon and Russian Mafia King Kirill...due to their larger than life personalities. I'd love to see a story dedicated to Daimon as he's a fun and flirty friend while I look forward to adding Kirill's already written book to my shelf as he's a definite temptation. Readers who enjoy steamy, second chance romances full of heart and soul will want to add this book to their to be read mountains as it's one that kept me glued to the pages...and it will do the same to you!
My rating for this is an B+
*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.
I was born and raised in California. My husband and I met when I was just 16. We were married a few years later, we lived in Oregon while he was in the US Coast Guard.
Texas is now where we call home, where our boots rest, and where we're raising our two little boys and a chocolate lab named Optimus Prime.