Star Spangled Cowboy by Paige Warren

Star Spangled Cowboy by Paige Warren
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (55 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Combat-wounded vet, Tyson Braxton, feels like half a man since losing his leg in Afghanistan. After returning to the family ranch, he wonders what any woman would see in him now. His scars and self-doubt run deep, and while feeling desperate, he hires a prostitute to ease his sexual tension.

Dacey Morgan has lived a life of horror since the age of seventeen when her pimp lured her into a life of prostitution and depravity. She wants out, but the last girl who tried to run ended up dead in a ditch. So, Dacey tries to do what she’s told—but she has one guilty pleasure, her two nights a week she gets to see Tyson.

Dacey longs for the day she’s free to love the man she’s falling for, but she knows that freedom will come at a cost.

Tyson had left his family ranch at eighteen, determined to save the world. He’d returned broken, broody and completely antisocial – until he hired a hooker and met Dacey. Dacey’s heart ached for all the suffering Tyson had gone through. Her twice-weekly catch-ups with her were the only bright spot in her life. Can Tyson prove his feelings for her are real, and can she manage to escape the wrath of her pimp and start a new life with Tyson?

This is a good short story, with two very interesting characters. I enjoyed Tyson – a damaged cowboy-solider hero and Dacey. I thought their chemistry was believable and while not sizzling-hot, it was heart-felt and almost tender to my mind. This is the sort of story I feel is perfect to sit back with – have a nice drink, ignore logic and reality and just disengage your brain.

I felt the tension could have been a bit stronger between Dacey and her pimp, Carlos. I thought the author was “telling” not “showing” me the fear Dacey had for him and the hold Carlos had on her. Logically, it’s obvious that Carlos beat his girls and that Dacey would have felt the brunt of that – but there was no remembrance of an example of this, no horror story passed around the girls that Dacey shared with the reader. Simply being told he beat and sometimes killed his girls didn’t make it feel “real” to me and didn’t fill me with dread or worry for Dacey. I felt this really lessened the impact of the opening chapters to me and a little more showing of this worry and danger would have gone a long way to making the story really jump off the page for me.

The relationship between Dacey and Tyson went at what I felt was a good pace. I enjoyed seeing them go from a more working relationship to a committed one, fitting into each other’s lives and starting something new. I feel this storyline will appeal to readers of all ages and while there is some explicit sex there is nothing too outrageous or eyebrow-raising and I feel this would suit all readers except those who prefer sweet romances.

A warm, well paced romance that’s sure to leave a smile on your face.

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