Cowboy Payback by Donna Michaels

Cowboy Payback by Donna Michaels
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (244 pages)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Honeysuckle

Former Marine Captain Brett Brennan loves a good practical joke—when he’s the prankster not the prankee. Unfortunately, his twin brother has learned a lesson or two from the master and springs Operation Payback on him, thrusting Brett into a fake engagement to his former corporal, Trisha Jennings, in front of her matchmaking, District Attorney father.

Relationships are so not his thing, but realizing Trisha is struggling to come to terms with a horrific incident from their recent deployment, Brett takes matters into his own hands, using their fake relationship to keep her on his family’s resort ranch, the perfect place for her to find peace and heal. After all, he would never let one of his own men down.

Except, Trisha is no longer a corporal under his command. Out of uniform, she is all woman, and his unexpected attraction to her soon has him forgetting their prank relationship is only for show. Who knew payback could be so sweet?

More than just one of his Marines.

Proximity, mutual need, and a little white lie is one explanation for the attraction between Brett and Trisha, off the charts chemistry that had to be banked while they served together is another. After reading this novel, I’m firmly in the chemistry corner. Such a fun read and yet it had a poignant underlying story.

One thing that stood out for me about this story is that I didn’t want to stop reading to write the review. Normally, I’ll stop and write parts of the review as I’m reading but this one held my attention so well, I actually had to force myself to pull away at certain moments and write down my thoughts. The story flows quite smoothly and I so enjoyed watching Brett and Trisha fight their attraction, only to lose over and over again. They meant well but, it’s practically impossible to fight what two hearts want.

Both Trisha and Brett are former Marines who served their country honorably. That earned them lots of cred from the beginning. Then I started learning about what exactly Trisha did while serving and how it’s affected her since separating. I wanted her to not only find what she needed to heal at Royal Pines but it was just one more reason to cheer for her HEA with Brett.

That Brett, he’s a charmer and a stinker. The primary plot of this story is based on a prank retaliation. The first book in this series, Cowboy Fiance, details how Brett pranked his twin brother. Cowboy Payback is simply that, Finn strikes backs…and how! I haven’t read the first book but I will and very soon.

There’s another story in there for Trisha’s brother, Liam. He just needs to meet the right woman or maybe he’s already met her if the stilted greeting between him and the Activity Director for Royal Pines is any indication. That’s going to be a good book!

Readers who want a fulfilling romance that meshes two incredibly sexy character types, cowboys and military, will gobble this series up. It’s one I plan to follow as well as checking out Ms. Michaels backlist. If her other stories are as well written, with characters that have me falling in love right along side them, then that’s an author I can follow.

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