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A Cowboy for Keeps

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Greta Nilsson's trip west to save her ailing little sister, Astrid, could not have gone more wrong. First, bandits hold up her stagecoach, stealing all her money. Then, upon arriving in Fairplay, Colorado, she learns the man she was betrothed to as a mail-order bride has died. Homeless, penniless, and jobless, Greta and her sister are worse off than when they started. Wyatt Greta Nilsson's trip west to save her ailing little sister, Astrid, could not have gone more wrong. First, bandits hold up her stagecoach, stealing all her money. Then, upon arriving in Fairplay, Colorado, she learns the man she was betrothed to as a mail-order bride has died. Homeless, penniless, and jobless, Greta and her sister are worse off than when they started. Wyatt McQuaid is struggling to get his new ranch up and running and is in town to purchase cattle when the mayor proposes the most unlikely of bargains. He'll invest in a herd of cattle for Wyatt's ranch if Wyatt agrees to help the town become more respectable by marrying and starting a family with Greta. But when old insecurities and surprising revolutions arise, can a union born out of desperation survive?


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Greta Nilsson's trip west to save her ailing little sister, Astrid, could not have gone more wrong. First, bandits hold up her stagecoach, stealing all her money. Then, upon arriving in Fairplay, Colorado, she learns the man she was betrothed to as a mail-order bride has died. Homeless, penniless, and jobless, Greta and her sister are worse off than when they started. Wyatt Greta Nilsson's trip west to save her ailing little sister, Astrid, could not have gone more wrong. First, bandits hold up her stagecoach, stealing all her money. Then, upon arriving in Fairplay, Colorado, she learns the man she was betrothed to as a mail-order bride has died. Homeless, penniless, and jobless, Greta and her sister are worse off than when they started. Wyatt McQuaid is struggling to get his new ranch up and running and is in town to purchase cattle when the mayor proposes the most unlikely of bargains. He'll invest in a herd of cattle for Wyatt's ranch if Wyatt agrees to help the town become more respectable by marrying and starting a family with Greta. But when old insecurities and surprising revolutions arise, can a union born out of desperation survive?

30 review for A Cowboy for Keeps

  1. 4 out of 5

    Deanne Patterson

    A Cowboy for Keeps is a marriage of convenience story. If I had lived during this time period could I have done it? Truthfully I'm not sure but probably if I was desperate enough and had a child to support like our main character did. She did it mainly for her half-sister. All marriages are a chance we take, as much as we think we may know someone we don't know how they will act under all situations and circumstances. He needed her for the advancement of his ranch as much as she needed him for a ho A Cowboy for Keeps is a marriage of convenience story. If I had lived during this time period could I have done it? Truthfully I'm not sure but probably if I was desperate enough and had a child to support like our main character did. She did it mainly for her half-sister. All marriages are a chance we take, as much as we think we may know someone we don't know how they will act under all situations and circumstances. He needed her for the advancement of his ranch as much as she needed him for a home and her sister's health. Jody Hedlund excels at whatever genre of book she writes including her western series here she has started. Wyatt and Greta, I really enjoyed reading how their slow burned romance developed but I'll admit now Astrid is the little sweetheart in A Cowboy for Keeps and how she is portrayed as someone needing a little extra care because of her medical condition but she is so strong willed she definitely doesn't let anything hold her back, maybe to the point of being slightly reckless. I really need to read the next book and look forward to it. Published January 5th 2021 by Bethany House Publishers I was given a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you. All opinions expressed are my own.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    I confess that western novels aren't a genre I'm typically drawn to, but this was written by Jody Hedlund and I will happily read anything with this talented author's name on it. This was a heartfelt, sweetly romantic story of new beginnings. Can two people desperate to save their loved ones find the answer in the rugged Colorado wilderness? On top of that, can a marriage of convenience survive the many woes that come with such a life? Greta and Wyatt are two endearing characters that you can't I confess that western novels aren't a genre I'm typically drawn to, but this was written by Jody Hedlund and I will happily read anything with this talented author's name on it. This was a heartfelt, sweetly romantic story of new beginnings. Can two people desperate to save their loved ones find the answer in the rugged Colorado wilderness? On top of that, can a marriage of convenience survive the many woes that come with such a life? Greta and Wyatt are two endearing characters that you can't help but be drawn to as you make your way through this charming novel. This is a story less about suspenseful plotlines and more about character development. You truly get to know these characters, really get in their heads, and enjoy a slow burn romance while you're at it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)

    Reading this book was like settling in with an old friend- several of my favorite story elements wrapped up in a new tale. It was just a pleasure to read! Wyatt and Greta both have heavy worries and vulnerabilities, but one of the major themes of the book is how we are stronger together rather than apart. Even though Greta and the precocious Astrid bring light and joy into the lives of Wyatt and Judd, not to mention her hard work and a new income with her pie and jam selling, she still feels the Reading this book was like settling in with an old friend- several of my favorite story elements wrapped up in a new tale. It was just a pleasure to read! Wyatt and Greta both have heavy worries and vulnerabilities, but one of the major themes of the book is how we are stronger together rather than apart. Even though Greta and the precocious Astrid bring light and joy into the lives of Wyatt and Judd, not to mention her hard work and a new income with her pie and jam selling, she still feels they are a burden. Complications with neighbors and townspeople keep their relationship from being simple, and I was anxious as I read for Greta and Wyatt to learn to communicate more effectively with each other and work out their feelings. They have wonderful chemistry and it was fun to see their attraction blossom as they explored their growing feelings with stolen kisses. Some climaxes added tension and a little suspense, making this a well-rounded western with sweet romance! The epilogue gives a lead-in to the next book with Wyatt's family, and I'm looking forward to getting to know more characters in this series! Disclosure statement: A complimentary copy of this book was provided from a tour group, publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, OR borrowed from Kindle Unlimited, OR purchased. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Staci

    This novel set in 1862 Colorado Territory definitely gives readers a sense of what it was like to live in the not fully established west. Greta Nilsson is desperate to help her younger sister Astrid recover from consumption. Desperate enough to be a mail order bride and travel from her home in Illinois to Colorado Territory. Unfortunately, her groom died. Young Wyatt McQuaid is trying to get a cattle ranch in operation. He wants to make it financially and be able to send for his brothers and siste This novel set in 1862 Colorado Territory definitely gives readers a sense of what it was like to live in the not fully established west. Greta Nilsson is desperate to help her younger sister Astrid recover from consumption. Desperate enough to be a mail order bride and travel from her home in Illinois to Colorado Territory. Unfortunately, her groom died. Young Wyatt McQuaid is trying to get a cattle ranch in operation. He wants to make it financially and be able to send for his brothers and sister that are in Pennsylvania with their less than kind step father. The trials they go through are realistic and make me thankful for the conveniences we have today. At one low point Wyatt recalls a preacher sharing "God hadn't taken them out of the fiery trial. He'd walked with them through it." The ending sets readers up nicely for the next in the series. Another well written novel by author Jody Hedlund.

  5. 4 out of 5

    MJSH

    "We ain't supposed to be surprised when we come against fiery trials. If the Lord suffered, then we gotta expect the suffering too." This western historical that takes place in 1862 Colorado Territory is a bit different from Jody Hedlund's usual offerings but nonetheless quite lovely and delightful. With her trademark style and attention to detail, the author brings the mining town of Fairway to life. Greta is a selfless, hard-working young woman who moves west to help rejuvenate her sickly young "We ain't supposed to be surprised when we come against fiery trials. If the Lord suffered, then we gotta expect the suffering too." This western historical that takes place in 1862 Colorado Territory is a bit different from Jody Hedlund's usual offerings but nonetheless quite lovely and delightful. With her trademark style and attention to detail, the author brings the mining town of Fairway to life. Greta is a selfless, hard-working young woman who moves west to help rejuvenate her sickly younger sister. Her resourcefulness and tenacity are admirable. Her precocious younger sister Astrid is fun and lively and brings levity to situations when they become too grave. Wyatt is a lovable, honorable, and tender hero who needs Greta's belief in him to spur him toward success at cattle ranching. Their faith that grows through trials in the untamed land is encouraging and edifying. They both have insecurities - Greta of feeling like she's a burden and Wyatt of feeling like a failure - but they finally realize that they can face life together while holding each other up. I can't wait to meet Wyatt's younger siblings in the next book! I received a copy of the book from Bethany House Publishers and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Susan Snodgrass

    I loved this book and am very excited for this series! Jody Hedlund is great here. When Greta Nilsson's stagecoach is robbed, she and her little sister are totally destitute. But she is on her way to Fairplay, Colorado to marry a man she has agreed to marry. When she arrives and finds out that her husband-to-be is dead, she is left completely bereft. But then a struggling rancher is persuaded by the mayor to marry her for an investment in a herd of cattle. Wyatt McQuaid doesn't want to get marri I loved this book and am very excited for this series! Jody Hedlund is great here. When Greta Nilsson's stagecoach is robbed, she and her little sister are totally destitute. But she is on her way to Fairplay, Colorado to marry a man she has agreed to marry. When she arrives and finds out that her husband-to-be is dead, she is left completely bereft. But then a struggling rancher is persuaded by the mayor to marry her for an investment in a herd of cattle. Wyatt McQuaid doesn't want to get married but wants his ranch to succeed. So he proposes. Greta has nothing to lose at this point and agrees to marry him. What follows is a most delightful and precious story as two people who have not had the best life so far learn to care for each other and depend on God to work out their problems. I am so very excited to read more books in this series! Did I mention that already? That's because I am. I stayed up till nearly 4 am to finish this one. Highly recommended. My thanks to Bethany House Publishing for a copy of this book via Net Galley. I was not compensated in any way and the opinion in this review is expressly my own.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    A new Jody Hedlund series was the perfect way to start a new year! A western isn’t the genre I’ve come to associate with Hedlund, but she’s proven yet again that she can write a stellar book in any genre. I’m looking forward to meeting the rest of the McQuaid family as this new series continues. Greta and Wyatt’s story combines a marriage of convenience and mail-order bride tale, set against the backdrop of the rugged Colorado wilderness. Greta has always felt like she and her sister Astrid, who A new Jody Hedlund series was the perfect way to start a new year! A western isn’t the genre I’ve come to associate with Hedlund, but she’s proven yet again that she can write a stellar book in any genre. I’m looking forward to meeting the rest of the McQuaid family as this new series continues. Greta and Wyatt’s story combines a marriage of convenience and mail-order bride tale, set against the backdrop of the rugged Colorado wilderness. Greta has always felt like she and her sister Astrid, who is fighting consumption, are a burden wherever they are. Wyatt struggles with feeling like a constant failure. After a stagecoach robbery and missing groom leaves Greta in a bind, she agrees to marry Wyatt, not knowing he’s getting heard of cattle out of the arrangement. There is sweet romance, challenges aplenty and a few surprises along the way that will keep you glued to the pages, rooting for a happy ending. There’s even a teaser at the very end that has me more than excited to meet Flynn McQuaid! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ilaria reads too much :)

    Nice well written nice banter and development The mail order bride here is well developed without being over predictable A little angst you and I love it Astrid is so spontaneous and free and I loved her freshness Nice read Very very respectful and clean A Cowboy for Keeps by Jody Hedlund. #ACowboyforKeeps #NetGalley [NetGalley URL

  9. 5 out of 5

    Madison

    This was exactly the book I needed to start my holidays with. It is extremely romantic, relaxing, exciting and so warming. It was also really easy to read - both a rest for my brain but also something that kept me eager to keep picking it back up. A Cowboy For Keeps is a charming historical romance and another fantastic offering from Jody Hedlund. Greta and her younger sister have traveled west. As a mail-order bride, Greta hopes to finally be able to provide for herself and hopes the change will This was exactly the book I needed to start my holidays with. It is extremely romantic, relaxing, exciting and so warming. It was also really easy to read - both a rest for my brain but also something that kept me eager to keep picking it back up. A Cowboy For Keeps is a charming historical romance and another fantastic offering from Jody Hedlund. Greta and her younger sister have traveled west. As a mail-order bride, Greta hopes to finally be able to provide for herself and hopes the change will be good for her sister’s ailing health. But, when the stage is robbed, her savings stolen and she discovers that her intended is dead, Greta is scared about their prospects. Wyatt is working hard to build up his ranch, but with no funds and a competitor that is buying up many of the available livestock, he fears he will never be able to send for his mother and younger siblings. Then the town mayor proposes a deal - he’ll fund Wyatt’s herd if he marries Greta. What starts as a marriage of convenience has the chance to bloom into something real, if Greta and Wyatt can work past their hurts and fears. Greta and Wyatt have a wonderful relationship. What starts as a slightly awkward arrangement that benefits them both slowly grows into a strong partnership. Neither of them are very good at communicating their feelings, but the chemistry between them is very sweet. I particularly loved the family element that Greta’s sister Astrid brings to the story. Her shenanigans and growing friendships with Wyatt and his ranch hand Judd add a lot of fun to the story. Despite a few incidents with bandits, rustlers, and missing children, this is a relaxing book to read, yet the romance and relationship growth and general charming nature of the story make this a compelling book that was easy to pick up and hard to put down. The best thing about this book is that it nicely sets things up for a new book that continues the story of Wyatt’s family. I’m really looking forward to coming back to this growing family. The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own. Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lisa (Bookworm Lisa)

    There are books that resonate with me. A Cowboy for Keeps is one of them. Greta is a compassionate woman. She is left with the care of her young sister. She doesn't shirk from this responsibility. She embraces it. She will do whatever it takes as she prays for a cure. Her determination took her to Colorado as a Mail-Order Bride. The opening pages begin with the stagecoach being held up. Her sister, Astrid, provides the humor with her adorable personality. Astrid is a force to be reckoned with, eve There are books that resonate with me. A Cowboy for Keeps is one of them. Greta is a compassionate woman. She is left with the care of her young sister. She doesn't shirk from this responsibility. She embraces it. She will do whatever it takes as she prays for a cure. Her determination took her to Colorado as a Mail-Order Bride. The opening pages begin with the stagecoach being held up. Her sister, Astrid, provides the humor with her adorable personality. Astrid is a force to be reckoned with, even with consumption. She was probably my favorite character in the book. It would appear that forces conspired against Greta. After arriving in her new town, the groom is presumed dead, leaving her without funds and no place to live. She is provided an option when Wyatt McQuaid offers to step in as her groom. The story is inspiring, cute, and entertaining. I found myself rooting for Wyatt and Greta to make their marriage binding instead of one of convenience. There were so many misunderstandings and secrets that it made it tough to navigate. This book captured my heart and mind. I am very excited to read the next installment in the series. Source: I received a complimentary copy. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kailey

    I think this is a great start to a new series by Jody Hedlund! I loved all of the characters in this book and look forward to reading what comes next for them! I was able to read this in one day because I enjoyed it that much! I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    At the end of a mentally trying day, I sat back and opened this book. The first thing I read was the opening scripture in Psalms. In black and white was a direct answer to a prayer I hadn’t found the energy to pray. As I continued to read “A Cowboy for Keeps”, I found myself getting pulled into the relatively low key, easy going story of Wyatt & Greta. Brought together more by chance than plan - it felt unhurried and almost a sense of calm. Given the concerns about her sisters health, and the ty At the end of a mentally trying day, I sat back and opened this book. The first thing I read was the opening scripture in Psalms. In black and white was a direct answer to a prayer I hadn’t found the energy to pray. As I continued to read “A Cowboy for Keeps”, I found myself getting pulled into the relatively low key, easy going story of Wyatt & Greta. Brought together more by chance than plan - it felt unhurried and almost a sense of calm. Given the concerns about her sisters health, and the typical struggles of carving out life in the West, I felt a sense of peace in the story. I really enjoyed the subliminal messages, and the goodness of both the main characters, and that they would win the day was rewarding. I actually appreciated the different style of the author. Given the tense climate in the real world right now, the escape to one less so was welcomed. A wonderful story of love blossoming in a marriage of convenience a tale so often told, and one worthy of your time in reading. I received a complimentary copy. This is my honest review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Beth Erin

    featured on FaithfullyBookish.com A herd of angry mama cows couldn’t keep me away from a book by one of my favorite authors with a COWBOY on the cover! Not only do I have a soft spot for the rugged heroes, but the moment I discovered the marriage of convenience factor, I was fully engrossed in this story! Greta was exceedingly relatable. Both her strengths and weaknesses were at times uncomfortably familiar to me. Her mama-love for her sister Astrid and her “get-‘er” done work ethic are my favorit featured on FaithfullyBookish.com A herd of angry mama cows couldn’t keep me away from a book by one of my favorite authors with a COWBOY on the cover! Not only do I have a soft spot for the rugged heroes, but the moment I discovered the marriage of convenience factor, I was fully engrossed in this story! Greta was exceedingly relatable. Both her strengths and weaknesses were at times uncomfortably familiar to me. Her mama-love for her sister Astrid and her “get-‘er” done work ethic are my favorite of her qualities. Similarly, Wyatt has a tough, hard-working exterior protecting his vulnerability, modesty, and compassionate heart. His quasi-surrogate-father slash fellow seasoned cowhand Judd completes the cast in a heartwarming Sam Elliott way. Jody Hedlund has proven time and again that she is a brilliant storyteller by delivering vivid settings and authentic characters from any time and anywhere! I highly recommend A Cowboy for Keeps and eagerly anticipate the remaining installments of the Colorado Cowboys series. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. The opinions expressed are my own.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Paula Shreckhise

    From the gorgeous sunset on the cover to the concluding pages, this was an epic mail-order-bride-gone-wrong story with hope and faith winnings out! “Ahead, the cabin and barn sat against the backdrop of the mountains with the glow of the setting sun reflected on the golden aspens, dark evergreens, and gray rocky crags.” This beautiful setting is perfect for this layered story of rancher, Wyatt McQuaid and Greta Nilsson and their quest to eke out a living in Colorado in 1862. Greta has her sick s From the gorgeous sunset on the cover to the concluding pages, this was an epic mail-order-bride-gone-wrong story with hope and faith winnings out! “Ahead, the cabin and barn sat against the backdrop of the mountains with the glow of the setting sun reflected on the golden aspens, dark evergreens, and gray rocky crags.” This beautiful setting is perfect for this layered story of rancher, Wyatt McQuaid and Greta Nilsson and their quest to eke out a living in Colorado in 1862. Greta has her sick sister to care for and arrives to find her husband-to-be has died. Wyatt and Greta accept a marriage of convenience, putting their faith in God to somehow make things right. Both are hardworking and honorable. Ms. Hedlund writes a villain we love to hate and he makes things hard for Wyatt and his friend Judd. Their resolve is challenged but they do not buckle. Greta tries her best with her nine year old sister, Astrid, who despite her illness, is a bright spot in their lives. “For so long, every time she prayed, she had felt she was disturbing God. Maybe He was waiting-even wanting- her to come to Him and let Him bear the burdens with her.” Although this story came to an end, the last chapter hints at an equally mesmerizing story to come. The next book is about Wyatt’s family in Pennsylvania and a reunion is in the works. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

  15. 5 out of 5

    Aimee (Getting Your Read On)

    Ooh, I'm so excited about this new series by author Jody Hedlund and after reading this book I'm even more excited!! I love a good cowboy story and Wyatt is the very vision of all I imagine a strong, rugged cowboy to be. This story has a lot of different dynamics with a mail order bride, a sick little girl, bandits, secrets, and unfortunate events but all throughout is growing friendship and trust, healing and love. It was such a good blend of emotions, engaging me from start to finish. The epilo Ooh, I'm so excited about this new series by author Jody Hedlund and after reading this book I'm even more excited!! I love a good cowboy story and Wyatt is the very vision of all I imagine a strong, rugged cowboy to be. This story has a lot of different dynamics with a mail order bride, a sick little girl, bandits, secrets, and unfortunate events but all throughout is growing friendship and trust, healing and love. It was such a good blend of emotions, engaging me from start to finish. The epilogue gives a glimpse into Wyatt's family and set things up nicely for the next book. Content: mild peril, mild violence, kissing - I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Gretchen

    Fluffy romance fun with extra fluff & comfort escapism. 💓 I’m excited for the next books in the series!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    This book in my opinion is a bit different than what Hedlund normally writes but I still loved it just the same. Really, anything she writes is awesome! These characters will make you fall in love with them from the very beginning especially little Astrid. ( By the way, I love that name! It's definitely different!) Wyatt and Greta are perfect for each other. The romance in this story is just right. Not too mushy. I love that this book kept my attention and I finished it early in the morning. It wa This book in my opinion is a bit different than what Hedlund normally writes but I still loved it just the same. Really, anything she writes is awesome! These characters will make you fall in love with them from the very beginning especially little Astrid. ( By the way, I love that name! It's definitely different!) Wyatt and Greta are perfect for each other. The romance in this story is just right. Not too mushy. I love that this book kept my attention and I finished it early in the morning. It was awesome! I enjoyed my visit to Fairplay, Colorado. I didn't want to leave. Highly recommend. My thanks for a copy of this book. All opinions are my own

  18. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I could not put this book down! This was such a fun read and I look forward to reading the next one! Greta embarks on a journey to Colorado with her ill sister as a mail order bride. Unfortunately many difficulties come their way. Wyatt is a rancher in Colorado who is looking to expand his ranch. He marries Greta since her to be husband has been killed. There are many twists and turns in the story that will leave the reader staying up late at night, like me, to keep turning the pages! Thanks to net I could not put this book down! This was such a fun read and I look forward to reading the next one! Greta embarks on a journey to Colorado with her ill sister as a mail order bride. Unfortunately many difficulties come their way. Wyatt is a rancher in Colorado who is looking to expand his ranch. He marries Greta since her to be husband has been killed. There are many twists and turns in the story that will leave the reader staying up late at night, like me, to keep turning the pages! Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the arc. The opinions are my own.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kav

    A cowboy for keeps? Yes please, especially if he's the product of Jody Hedlund's imagination! And --- eeeeeeppp -- this is a mail-order bride story! Absolutely love the way Greta and Wyatt haltingly draw closer as they partner together to make a success of the ranch. Love Greta's spunk and her dedication to her outrageously funny little sister. Honestly, Astrid stole the show for me with her childlike wonder and enthusiasm. Half angel, half imp, she certainly livened up the story! And then there' A cowboy for keeps? Yes please, especially if he's the product of Jody Hedlund's imagination! And --- eeeeeeppp -- this is a mail-order bride story! Absolutely love the way Greta and Wyatt haltingly draw closer as they partner together to make a success of the ranch. Love Greta's spunk and her dedication to her outrageously funny little sister. Honestly, Astrid stole the show for me with her childlike wonder and enthusiasm. Half angel, half imp, she certainly livened up the story! And then there's Wyatt. Excuse me while I stare off into space with a goofy grin on my face because...oh, my!!! He's kinda gruff and awkward on the outside but all tender and kind on the inside. And rather flummoxed since he went to town to do some business and came home with a bride! I really enjoyed the way the romance develops. Lots of wary missteps and miscommunications peppered with sweet, hopeful moments of what could be...if these two dunderheads just sat down and talked everything through! Their chemistry is fabulous, sizzling and sparking and giving me hope that a happily ever after can become their reality...once they deal with a few pesky problems including some classic Wild West shenanigans that threaten everything they hold dear. This is the first book in the Colorado Cowboys series and the tantalizing epilogue gives us a glimpse into what's in store next and I can't wait! Book provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn Bochman

    Jody Hedlund writing a Western? Absolutely! This author has proven herself successfully versatile from young adult medieval fairy tales to historical fiction from Europe, Canada, and America, to contempory romance. I have never been disappointed in her books, as each one seems to get better and better. A Cowboy for Keeps, the first in her Colorado Cowboys series, features our hero and heroine striving to save not only their ranch, but also their marriage. With deceit, rugged hardships, and attack Jody Hedlund writing a Western? Absolutely! This author has proven herself successfully versatile from young adult medieval fairy tales to historical fiction from Europe, Canada, and America, to contempory romance. I have never been disappointed in her books, as each one seems to get better and better. A Cowboy for Keeps, the first in her Colorado Cowboys series, features our hero and heroine striving to save not only their ranch, but also their marriage. With deceit, rugged hardships, and attacks of illness, this struggle is all too real. Yet Hedlund pulls her readers along into depths of her plot with characteristic charm, romance, and grit. In all honesty, I could hardly put this book down! A clean romance completely refreshing and spellbinding. Well done. I received this book from the author. All opinions are my own.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jolene -

    A Cowboy for Keeps by Jody Hedlund is an entertaining historical romance. The author plays around with several familiar tropes including the marriage-of-convenience. While some predictable situations occurred, Greta’s devotion and determination to help her sick sister added originality and depth. A Cowboy for Keeps includes Jody Hedlund’s trademark romantic tension. I enjoyed watching Greta and Wyatt’s relationship grow. As they shift and adjust to their new life together, both characters learn l A Cowboy for Keeps by Jody Hedlund is an entertaining historical romance. The author plays around with several familiar tropes including the marriage-of-convenience. While some predictable situations occurred, Greta’s devotion and determination to help her sick sister added originality and depth. A Cowboy for Keeps includes Jody Hedlund’s trademark romantic tension. I enjoyed watching Greta and Wyatt’s relationship grow. As they shift and adjust to their new life together, both characters learn life lessons. Greta’s learning to trust in God reminded me to do the same. I appreciated the theme of a person being valuable, not an object to be bartered with. With the romance, an entertaining storyline, and themes to contemplate, I enjoyed this novel and did not want to put it down. A Cowboy for Keeps is the first installment in Jody Hedlund’s Colorado Cowboys series. Returning fans of Jody Hedlund will likely enjoy this novel. For readers not familiar with Jody Hedlund’s books, this is a good place to start. 4.5 Stars! Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a copy of this book by the author or publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.

  22. 4 out of 5

    maiaisreading

    #BookReview : A COWBOY FOR KEEPS by Jody Hedlund 4.5 stars The story follows Greta Nilsson to Colorado as a mail-in-bride. She decided on this path in the hopes that the weather in the west will help her sister, Astrid, get better from her illness. Then Greta finds herself married to Wyatt instead of her intended. Astrid’s fearless and childlike approach to life is endearing. I like her as many others. I like how the main characters freely talk to God even during doubtful times. I enjoyed reading #BookReview : A COWBOY FOR KEEPS by Jody Hedlund 4.5 stars The story follows Greta Nilsson to Colorado as a mail-in-bride. She decided on this path in the hopes that the weather in the west will help her sister, Astrid, get better from her illness. Then Greta finds herself married to Wyatt instead of her intended. Astrid’s fearless and childlike approach to life is endearing. I like her as many others. I like how the main characters freely talk to God even during doubtful times. I enjoyed reading their journey in strengthening their faith in Him. Greta always feels like she was and is a burden to others but she has to learn the hard way to cast her burdens to God. It is sweet to read as Greta and Wyatt start to fall in love and try to hide their feelings. Their first kiss in front of the whole town is unexpected but memorable for both. Thank you Bethany House and #netgalley for the complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Abigail Harris

    3.5 stars. Little sisters always make books better... Or for the most part they do, and the sister relationship between Greta and Astrid was so sweet! I loved getting to read about them and how Greta was trying to protect, help, and raise Astrid. Even if the hero had a very common name his character wasn't quite as common, at all. Wyatt McQuaid's character arc was a favorite, I just love reading about characters who realize they aren't what they were once told or they grow from their pasts. As to " 3.5 stars. Little sisters always make books better... Or for the most part they do, and the sister relationship between Greta and Astrid was so sweet! I loved getting to read about them and how Greta was trying to protect, help, and raise Astrid. Even if the hero had a very common name his character wasn't quite as common, at all. Wyatt McQuaid's character arc was a favorite, I just love reading about characters who realize they aren't what they were once told or they grow from their pasts. As to "A Cowboy For Keeps" plot line it was well done, I wasn't surprised by anything that happened but that didn't upset me. In all this was a nice kick off to Jody Hedlund's first venture into telling a cowboy's story and new series, Colorado Cowboys. I am looking forward to seeing what happens next in the series and Jody Hedlund's writing career. 18+ due to romantic content and suggestions from a nasty guy. I voluntarily received and reviewed a complimentary e/copy of this book which I received from the author/publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Toni Shiloh

    From the start I held such empathy for Greta Nilsson. She’s holding such a burden and determined to not be a failure. But then again, so is handsome rancher Wyatt McQuaid. I loved the imagery of the story and could picture everything perfectly. I loved to see the growth of Wyatt and Greta’s relationship. Wyatt was such a great hero and his care for Greta’s sister and his heart to help his family endeared me to him. Top it off, this is a start of the series which means we get to see the rest of the From the start I held such empathy for Greta Nilsson. She’s holding such a burden and determined to not be a failure. But then again, so is handsome rancher Wyatt McQuaid. I loved the imagery of the story and could picture everything perfectly. I loved to see the growth of Wyatt and Greta’s relationship. Wyatt was such a great hero and his care for Greta’s sister and his heart to help his family endeared me to him. Top it off, this is a start of the series which means we get to see the rest of the McQuaids. A Cowboy For Keeps is a solid start and one that has me looking forward to more. *I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via NetGalley. My review was not required nor influenced. **Full review at: https://tonishiloh.com/2021/01/12/boo...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    A Cowboy for Keeps by Jody Hedlund is an excellent historical fiction that is the first book of what is sure to be an excellent new series: Colorado Cowboys. This book truly has it all: historical fiction, romance, suspense, a wonderful character cast, and an enthralling narrative that was addictive and entertaining until the end. This book takes place in the small, up and coming western/gold mining town Fairplay, Colorado Territory 1862. Greta Nilsson makes a selfless decision to become a mail-o A Cowboy for Keeps by Jody Hedlund is an excellent historical fiction that is the first book of what is sure to be an excellent new series: Colorado Cowboys. This book truly has it all: historical fiction, romance, suspense, a wonderful character cast, and an enthralling narrative that was addictive and entertaining until the end. This book takes place in the small, up and coming western/gold mining town Fairplay, Colorado Territory 1862. Greta Nilsson makes a selfless decision to become a mail-order bride to a sight-unseen older gentleman in Colorado in hopes that by taking her younger half-sister, Astrid, with her to the clearer/higher altitude air and environment, she can help improve the overwhelming symptoms of her sister's consumption. After arriving, there is some confusion as the fact that the man she was supposed to marry has in fact passed away on route back to town. The town's mayor that has met Greta in route from Illionois on the stagecoach makes a deal with another single, younger man, Wyatt McQquaid, to marry Greta himself. The mayor comes to a deal with Wyatt who is in need of an investment partner for cattle for his growing ranch, while the mayor needs the establishment of young families to the area in order to encourage his own wife and family to move to the area themselves. What then ensues is initially a marriage of convenience for both Wyatt and Greta for different reasons, and what then follows is a strangers to friends to trusted love. There is so much more to this story then just that plotline, but the beauty of the focal storyline is what truly makes this novel special. I truly, truly loved Greta, Wyatt, Astrid, and Judd. The character development was spot on. All characters were complex, realistic, like able, flawed, had their own strengths, weaknesses, and complicated pasts. It was wonderful to see their own respective transformations throughout the story and to see emotions, priorities, and outlooks change, inner strengths grow, and the characters being able to have the ability to find their own paths to happiness, satisfaction, forgiveness, purpose, and their faith again. I also loved the stunning literary descriptions of the beautiful western landscapes. The author just has a way with words in her ability to create such visual images, colors, foliage, sights, and sounds as to make one feel as if they are actually there feeling the crisp air of the higher altitudes, the sun warming the back of their necks, the babbling streams in the background, and the grit of the dirt that clouds their path as they are walking around in town. Just stunning. I also loved the last chapter. She sets this book up perfectly for the followup! I truly enjoyed everything about this book and it is a great addition to a wonderful portfolio by Ms. Hedlund. I cannot wait to see where this series goes after this. 5/5 stars enthusiastically Thank you to the author and Bethany House for this stunning ARC and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am pos this review to my GR, Instagram, and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 1/5/21.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

    I’m not a huge western fan, but I am a Jody Hedlund fan so I wasn’t about to miss out on her latest novel. I could relate to this in some interesting ways. I’m not a sick 11 year old as Astrid is, but I am a disabled and mostly homebound wife and mother. The thoughts of being a burden are frequent. Also, trust me, people do tire of a constant cough. My reactive airway disease causes an awful cough that annoys even myself. The feeling of being a burden and making life more difficult for those I l I’m not a huge western fan, but I am a Jody Hedlund fan so I wasn’t about to miss out on her latest novel. I could relate to this in some interesting ways. I’m not a sick 11 year old as Astrid is, but I am a disabled and mostly homebound wife and mother. The thoughts of being a burden are frequent. Also, trust me, people do tire of a constant cough. My reactive airway disease causes an awful cough that annoys even myself. The feeling of being a burden and making life more difficult for those I love is definitely not a rare one for me. The plot and storyline are simple and an easy read for me. It’s message and faith theme were good. It had a bit more romance than I tend to like in my historical fiction books. I love learning history, and I didn’t feel that happened in this book. I am not sure why, but I didn’t feel as if I traveled to Colorado. I’m not a big fan of constant physical attraction being a large part of a story which it was in this one. It’s just my personal preference, but a deeper storyline and historical details are things I find appealing in a book. I did like the characters. I hope we learn more about Judd as the story continues. He was such a special part of this story with wonderful wisdom and wit. I just fell in love with Astrid! She is so trusting and fun...yet ornery and feisty. I love kids in books! Another aspect I liked was that Greta was very capable on a ranch. Many stories have a wimp of a woman who has a hard time adjusting...not true with this character. Good characters, faith theme, and an interesting story has me waiting for the next book in the series. I received this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sylvia

    An incredible beginning to a new series from Jody Hedlund! A Cowboy For Keeps is sweetly romantic, poignantly fulfilling, and will certainly capture the hearts of readers. A Cowboy For Keeps is not a typical mail-order bride story in any way. Combined with an unexpected marriage of convenience, Hedlund’s take on these tropes is refreshing and surprising. I even gasped a few times! As always, Hedlund has created a new cast of wonderful characters. Wyatt and Greta’s relationship is beautifully port An incredible beginning to a new series from Jody Hedlund! A Cowboy For Keeps is sweetly romantic, poignantly fulfilling, and will certainly capture the hearts of readers. A Cowboy For Keeps is not a typical mail-order bride story in any way. Combined with an unexpected marriage of convenience, Hedlund’s take on these tropes is refreshing and surprising. I even gasped a few times! As always, Hedlund has created a new cast of wonderful characters. Wyatt and Greta’s relationship is beautifully portrayed. Astrid is hilarious, and her sisterly relationship with Greta accurately resembles all the ups, downs, and truly touching moments between sisters. Hedlund also has an exceptional talent for making the reader feel as if they are actually there with the characters, feeling and seeing everything they are. All of the reader’s senses will no doubt be activated by Hedlund’s incredible talent. Her writing always includes undertones of humor in stories that inspire and fulfill, and allow for introspection. A Cowboy For Keeps elicits all that and more. I’ve been waiting for a really good cowboy story, and A Cowboy For Keeps certainly fits that definition. I absolutely cannot wait for the rest of the series! 5/5 stars I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jite

    2.5-3 Stars! I would like to read more Christian romance this year and when I was younger, I used to really enjoy old Christian historical fiction featuring the American West so I decided to give this first book in this author’s new Colorado Cowboys series a try. In summary, I did like it, but I didn’t think it did anything especially unique or different or memorable, it was just okay and pleasant enough as a story. The premise is that mail-order bride, Greta, is headed to Colorado with her young 2.5-3 Stars! I would like to read more Christian romance this year and when I was younger, I used to really enjoy old Christian historical fiction featuring the American West so I decided to give this first book in this author’s new Colorado Cowboys series a try. In summary, I did like it, but I didn’t think it did anything especially unique or different or memorable, it was just okay and pleasant enough as a story. The premise is that mail-order bride, Greta, is headed to Colorado with her young, sickly sister to start a new life with her new husband and hopefully find healing for her sisters lungs in the higher-altitude air. On getting to Colorado, she discovers that her husband-to-be is missing and presumed dead, and completely destitute, she enters into marriage with a down-on-his-luck rancher, Wyatt. Together they must all learn to live and rely on each other as a family and overcome their deep-seated demons through love and the Grace of God. I liked the premise of this but found the execution a little bland. I know novels of this style and genre (Old American West Christian Romance) frequently lack diversity or a deeper, more nuanced look into the historical context at the time, so my expectations weren’t high in that score. There was a lot of mention of indigenous people (“Indians”) as antagonists and enemies, which whilst that might have been the prevailing feeling when this book was written, felt a little un-nuanced; this is why I appreciated that Wyatt had the grace to acknowledge that white mining settlers taking over indigenous land was a trigger for the enmity between settlers and indigenous people. I thought more would be done with the relationship between Astrid/Greta and the Utes in the novel but it wasn’t explored. I would like to see Christian romance explore the existence and perspectives of non-white characters more and with more empathy and nuance and to acknowledge the existence of non-white people as is was This overall felt a little piecey to me- I cared about the story and the characters but it didn’t feel cohesive and I kept falling out of reading it. One thing I really enjoyed were the themes of insecurity and self-doubt that were explored in this novel in differing ways for each character- for Greta, her insecurity comes from believing she’s a burden and that her worries are unimportant to others in the grand scheme of things, and for Wyatt, his insecurity comes from feeling like a failure, an anti-Midas because he’s tried and failed at so many things so many times in life. I loved how faith was used to approach and salve these insecurities and how it was acknowledged that these characters weren’t instantly fixed by knowing God’s perspective but were rather on a journey of changing long-held mindsets, because that was realistic and relatable. Even though this was definitely closed-door in terms of spice level, I did find this a lot spicier than your typical Christian romance or at least than the ones I used to read. It is chaste in the sense of no “adult” scenes but there is a lot of making out, if that is something you’re currently avoiding in your reads or don’t find appropriate for your Christian romance. It is nothing inappropriate and I think this book is probably Christian teen-appropriate, but went all on different walks with accountability and with our convictions so I’m putting this note in about heat-level. Overall, I thought this was okay. The last chapter with Wyatt’s family back in Pennsylvania ended on enough of a cliff-hanger that I might check out more books in this series when they come out. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    lady ansel

    Overall I am regrettably underwhelmed with A Cowboy for Keeps, the start of Jody Hedlund’s new Colorado Cowboys series which takes place in a mining town called Fairplay, Colorado. Best Characters: Astrid, an impulsive, stouthearted, at times defiant, ridden with consumption, little sister to Greta, stole my heart and every scene in the story she was in as well. I laughed out loud when she audaciously took on Wyatt’s bully neighbor Roper Brawley, the pirate as she called him, several times. I mu Overall I am regrettably underwhelmed with A Cowboy for Keeps, the start of Jody Hedlund’s new Colorado Cowboys series which takes place in a mining town called Fairplay, Colorado. Best Characters: Astrid, an impulsive, stouthearted, at times defiant, ridden with consumption, little sister to Greta, stole my heart and every scene in the story she was in as well. I laughed out loud when she audaciously took on Wyatt’s bully neighbor Roper Brawley, the pirate as she called him, several times. I must divulge A Cowboy for Keeps would have been my first Jody Hedlund DNF if it had not been for her. The other character who stood out for me was Judd, Wyatt’s wise right-hand-man, who didn’t talk much, but when he did, you should pay heed. Least Notable Characters: Greta Nilsson and Wyatt McQuaid, the H and H of the story were mediocre, both feeling they were not worthy. Instead of depth, wisdom, and the ability to understand and reason, we were given two leading characters with no horse sense. They spent so much time lusting each other it overwhelmed the Christian message for me. Astrid kept me turning the pages as well as some of the more humorous interactions amount the characters. For example: “Come on now, Captain Jim.” (Owner of Simpkin’s General Store) “You know the business of every fly living on a horse’s hind end this side of the Continental Divide.” “If you didn’t see where that little girl was headed,” Mr. McQuaid continued, “then I reckon this town better invest in a telegraph to take your place.” Except for the vivid scene that took place when Astrid and Greta first met the Indians there wasn’t much description to make me feel as if I was in the 1800s. However, the stunning breathtaking descriptions of the Colorado Territory landscape when Wyatt took Greta berry picking and while searching for Astrid reminded me of the Jody Hedlund of old. Must bring to light that personally I would rate this story R due to the borderline provocative thoughts of Greta and Wyatt, and some very crude comments. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author’s publisher Bethany House via NetGalley as a member of her Release Crew. I was under no obligation to write a favorable review, and all opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Delta

    2.5 It-could-have-been-fabulous-Stars I was so disappointed finishing A Cowboy for Keeps because it started out so strong. Ms. Hedlund has some wonderful writing skills. The big misunderstanding trope was understandable at the beginning when Wyatt and Greta wed as strangers, but then it continued for months of the plot time only because they would not tell one another how they felt. I hate that overused device and how stupid it makes the characters. Then pile on my other most hated trope: I’m not 2.5 It-could-have-been-fabulous-Stars I was so disappointed finishing A Cowboy for Keeps because it started out so strong. Ms. Hedlund has some wonderful writing skills. The big misunderstanding trope was understandable at the beginning when Wyatt and Greta wed as strangers, but then it continued for months of the plot time only because they would not tell one another how they felt. I hate that overused device and how stupid it makes the characters. Then pile on my other most hated trope: I’m not good enough so this cannot end well, and he/she is better off without me (when they are desperately in love with one another)! Plot events near the end were the final nails in the coffin(view spoiler)[. First when Greta was agreeing to annul their marriage and marry Phineas; next, when after Wyatt declares publicly that he loves her and doesn’t want her to go, and she is going to go anyway (because he and the ranch will be better off without her); and finally, when Wyatt suggests that Roper Brawley shooting and killing all of Wyatt’s cattle is not a hanging offense. In 1865 a man would be hung for cattle rustling or horse theft because both threatened a man’s livelihood and his very life. Shooting an entire herd of cattle to eliminate the competition would not have been viewed differently—especially in western territory where vigilante justice was the only justice available (called the vigilance committee in the nearby town) (hide spoiler)] . Ms. Hedlund does bring her characters to life, and I most enjoyed Astrid (Greta’s feisty little sister who was frail with consumption [tuberculosis]). I would like to know what happens next with the rest of the family, but I will not continue with the series. That said, if those tropes are not deal breakers for you, you may enjoy the Colorado Cowboys Series.

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