I love bringing you debut authors and if you like sexy rugged cowboys, Stephanie Berget brings you one in SUGARWATER RANCH, her first romance. I believe this debut is only the beginning for her.
***Purchased for my own pleasure but promised her an honest and unscripted review.
Blurb for SUGARWATER RANCH:
Sean O’Connell’s life is perfect, or it was until his partying lifestyle affected his bull riding. Now he’s ended the season too broke to leave the Northwest for the warm southern rodeos. When a wild night with his buddies gets out of hand, he wakes up naked, staring into the angry eyes of a strange woman. His infallible O’Connell charm gets him nowhere with the dark-haired beauty. It’s obvious she’s not his usual good-time girl, so why can’t he forget her?
Bar-manager Catherine Silvera finds a waterlogged, unconscious cowboy freezing to death in front of the Sugarwater Bar. She saves his life–then runs faster than a jackrabbit with a coyote on its tail. Any man who makes his living rodeoing is bad news, especially if he thinks partying is part of the competition. He’s everything she doesn’t want in a man, so why can’t she shake her attraction to the rugged cowboy?
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Catherine Silvera grew up rough. She lost her parents at a very young age and went to live with her uncle Ray. Her uncle was totally opposite of her father and showed her what it was to be cared about and have family. Her father was a drunk. The memories of those drunken tirades has left scars on her so deep that when she finds a man from her past naked and drunk outside her uncle’s bar where she works, she’s takes him and then wonders if she should regret doing so when she recognizes him. She remembers his saving her once upon a time and the crush she once had on him. She wanted him then but now must fight the urge to give in to him now. She remembers how he took his partying way to seriously, and now he’s a cowboy with a penchant for rodeos and bull riding - a drunken cowboy, who doesn’t appear to want to change his ways.
Sean O’Connell enjoys his life the way it is. No one but himself to be responsible for, traveling the rodeo circuits, and living the thrill of climbing onto the back of a hard bucking bull. But he’s let his partying get in the way too many times and now he’s broke and back home where he doesn’t want to be. After a wild night with his so-called buddies, he finds himself drunk, naked, and freezing to death in the parking lot outside the Sugarwater Bar and might have died if not for the very beautiful and angry woman who dragged him to sleep it off.
His life has always been interlocked with his love of hard living, horses, rodeos and bull-riding but now things have gone very wrong for him and with no choice but to stay put, he takes on a job as a ranch hand. His draw to drink and the woman who wishes he would straighten up becomes a challenge for him to overcome. He’s determined to get a handle on his drinking and convince Catherine to allow him to take her on a date and maybe more.
Sugarwater Ranch by Stephanie Berget is a wonderful and sweet romance built on some tough subjects and handled exceptionally well by this debut author. There were a few instances when the timeframes confused me and since this was a slow moving story, it seemed to jump a bit. But those are the little things that sometimes happen when so much is happening in a story. And there is a lot going on in this story. A slow building romance that keeps you moving forward built on the fears of a woman who knows the trouble of dealing with a man who drinks more than he should. A story about a man who is spiraling out of control and needs the love of a good woman who understands his trials and might be able to pull him back from the brink of self-destruction.
Stephanie does a wonderful job of pulling secondary characters into the scope and depth of the story. I like them all with the exception of one, and you’ll meet him. Catherine’s cousin, Junior, is great and needs his own story. Everyone contributes and it works wonderfully, even the ones that cause trouble.
I can easily recommend SUGARWATER RANCH by Stephanie Berget if you a tender love story with simmering romance. If you love contemporary westerns with rough and tumble cowboys that give new meaning to manly men, you’ll enjoy this one. I hope to see more from Stephanie Berget.
Happy Reading Everyone!