Emma Monroe has returned to River Rock, Colorado, after the death of her grandmother. Now she’s inherited a farm full of abused animals and she’s working as a waitress at the local hotspot, Kinky Spurs. The last thing Emma wants in her life is a man, as she’s still recovering from a recent heartbreak. But when a sensual and powerful cowboy, Shep Blackshaw enters her life, Emma begins to want things she shouldn’t.
Shep knows sex shouldn’t be on his mind. He’s got a world of responsibility on his shoulders. He’s attempting to save his late father’s cattle ranch, Blackshaw Cattle Company, from foreclosure. But Emma’s heated reactions to his touch make ignoring her impossible. She’s the perfect distraction to make him forget that his father’s company is a sinking ship.
While their nights only heat up, soon emotions become tangled into the mix. Shep’s not only giving Emma the hottest nights of her life, he’s also healing her heart. With every encounter, she forgets her heartbreak. With every naughty adventure, she stops mourning the life she left behind. And with every dirty word whispered from Shep’s mouth, she stops thinking of all the reasons why she shouldn’t fall for him. But when the past comes to claim Emma, she’ll need to choose between the life she thought she wanted and the life she’s grown to love with Shep. How will she say no to forever with a dirty-talking cowboy.
I kind of went into this book blindly. I had never read anything by this author, nor did I read the blurb. I love a good cowboy romance, so I that was pretty much all I needed to know about Dirty-Talking Cowboy to want to read it. This book ended up having so many things I look for in a book; it’s hard to know where to start with why I liked it. It just pushed so many of my buttons.
Almost as soon as I opened this book, I knew I was going to be unable to put it down. There is just something about instant, undeniable chemistry that pulls me in. While other readers sometimes have an issue with insta-love, I find it wonderful. Add in a little bit of power exchange, and I’m a goner.
Shep was such a force in this book, seemingly without trying. His presence was consuming, regardless of who he was in the room with. Ms. Kennedy did a phenomenal job of making the entire feeling of the book change when he entered the picture. His strength of character was astounding, and I loved how he supported Emma in her time(s) of need, even when he was dealing with a massive loss of his own.
My favorite part of Dirty-Talking Cowboy was the parallels Ms. Kennedy drew between heartbroken Emma and the terrified horse, Bentley. The shadowing of Emma’s character arc in how the horse was learning to trust felt natural. Shep had walked into both of their lives at a time when they could have easily never learned to live a full life again, but he had an expert understanding of exactly how to approach them at their most skittish and gently guide them to a place of healing.
Stacey Kennedy is a completely new to me author. I’d never heard of her before I started this book and, after reading Dirty-Talking Cowboy, I’m a little heartbroken about that. Her writing style was right up my alley, she wove several of my favorite romance elements together nearly flawlessly, and she reminded me of some of my most beloved authors. She is an author I will now strive to never miss a release from; she did such an amazing job of winning me over in a single book.
Emma spun on her heels, opened her mouth, then promptly closed it. All sadness fled in a millisecond.
Leaning against the doorframe, Shep wore only his jeans, no shirt in sight. Oh my fucking God. Dream Shep had nothing on the real thing. Anyone could tell that Shep worked hard for a living. He didn’t seem the type of man that would spend hours in the gym, indicating his job was the reason he was built for hard labor. His wide shoulders, squared chest, gloriously perfect six-pack with deep ridges made for exploring fingers—all of it was mouthwateringly hot.
His voice deepened into a low rumbly tone. “Darlin’, you really need to stop looking at me like that.”
She lifted her gaze to his potent stare. Heat rose to her cheeks. “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be sorry.” The side of his mouth curved, like he knew the power he had over her. “I happen to enjoy watching you eye-fuck me, but you’re making it hard for me to be a gentleman.”
Her knees weakened, heart raced. How tempting it was to engulf this fiery passion burning between them, not run from it. And how confusing was that? No more casual sex, wasn’t that what she said? She knew where relationships like that ended up, nowhere good. Yet, her mouth parted, and out came, “What if I don’t want you to be a gentleman?”
Something fierce crossed his expression then, darkening his eyes. He stepped forward, bringing all that strong manly heat in close. He smelled of rain and wood and all that was perfect in this world. He dipped his head, and all she had to do was reach out and touch him. “What exactly do you want from me, Emma?” His lips were right there. His naked flesh, right there. “Do you want me to take control of you and roughly take what’s mine for the night?”
His sexy smile revealed a horrible truth. She nearly melted into the floor. “Oh, dear Lord, I told you about my dream?” Please say no. Please say no.
He lifted his hand, gently dragging his knuckles across her cheek. “Ah, but I happen to like that dream you had and shared with me.” He slid his thumb across her chin, tilting her head up to stare deeply into his gorgeous eyes. “You still haven’t answered me. Do you want me to kiss you slowly, savoring every little bit of your mouth?” His thumb brushed across the plumpest part of her bottom lip. “Or shall I punish you with my kiss, making you regret that you ever turned me down?” The heat of his body sizzled against her as he leaned in closer, his warm breath across her mouth. “Tell me, Emma, shall I tie you up with my ropes like I already have? Do you remember what that felt like? Did you like it, sweetheart?”
“You know I liked it,” she managed, breathless.
His grin was pure sin. “You’re right, I do know that.” He dragged his knuckles over her flushing cheek again, seemingly touching her soul-deep. Her mouth parted, breaths became heavier when he ran the pads of his fingers slowly down her arms, the power he exuded like a wall of strength in front of her. “Tell me, Emma,” he finished.
The words nearly fell out of her mouth. She wanted to experience his brand of passion. She got the feeling if she let go with him, he’d deliver where others had failed. Almost as if he’d take away all the pain, all the confusion, and silence her fears.
Her mouth parted to say, Make me forget it all. The words died in her throat. Her fears were bigger and stronger than her desire. She’d been fooled by one man before. The icy cold reminder still splintered her heart, there and unavoidable. “I can’t,” she said softly.
“You can’t.” There was no disappointment in his voice, only firmness. “Then I can’t.”
He took her hand into the strength of his, and she slowly opened her eyes, her breath catching at the contained power in his expression.
Shep breathed sex and passion, and the danger of him presented itself to her. Causal sex was one thing, but she got the feeling Shep didn’t do causal sex. He was pure emotion, total connection, and all intimacy. He’d wrap her up emotionally and take everything she had, and when he was finished with her, he’d demand more.
With his eyes locked onto hers, he led her from the bedroom. Once in the hallway, he turned to her, leaned in, and placed a soft kiss on her forehead. “Good night, Emma.”
She could finally breathe again. “Good night, Shep.”
Then with that blazing-hot gaze pinning her to where she stood, he shut the bedroom door, leaving her, and all her thoughts, alone in the quiet hallway.
USA Today bestselling author Stacey Kennedy has written more than forty romances, including titles in her wildly hot Kinky Spurs, Club Sin, and Filthy Dirty Love series. Her books are about real people with real-life problems, searching for that special thing we call love…in a very sexy way. When she’s not burning up the pages and setting e-readers ablaze, she’s living her happily ever after with her husband and two young children in southwestern Ontario. She’s a firm believer that wine, chocolate, and sinfully sexy books can cure all of life’s problems.