This story was a joy and a challenge to write. It’s a big emotional mix of wildlife and ranching and what happens when the two intersect. It’s also a story of forgiveness and healing and, of course, love, in all its forms. I hope you enjoy the excerpts and reviews, and the chance to meet the characters, human and otherwise, who live in the Northern California ranching town of Shelter Creek. . .
Except lately the mountain lions in this area had been attacking livestock on local ranches. And people definitely noticed that.
That was why Maya was here, in the coastal hills surrounding her hometown of Shelter Creek, on a two-month assignment for the Department of Wildlife. She was going to try to find pumas. Photograph them. Count and classify them. Assess the population’s overall health and figure out why they were eating so many sheep.
“Reunited with the Cowboy was a really good story. . . . The author did a great job of weaving in the mountain lion and ranching details to create a very interesting setting. . . . I really enjoyed this story and look forward to reading more books in this series.”
“This is a, somewhat predictable drama, but very well-written, with a couple of interesting “twists”. The reader is sure to “fall in love” with the characters. The background scenes are also portrayed in a way it is easy to visualize.”
Clawing her way out of the confining straps, Maya jumped to her feet, groped for her safety whistle and blew hard. The shrill sound sliced open the night.
Pepper spray. It was in her belt. Wrenching it from the holster, Maya held out the can and slowly backed away from the dark shadow emerging from the bushes.
“Hang on! It’s okay!”
The unexpected voice stopped her in an instant. It wasn’t a mountain lion. It was a man.
“Reunited With the Cowboy is definitely a heartwarming story. As I have come to expect from Harlequin Heartwarming books, it balances great humor with all the emotion that must come with tragedy and dealing with the past. Add in a delightful cast of characters (human and animal alike), and it’s a story that fans of contemporary romance should not skip. I really enjoyed it and look forward to McEwan’s next story.”
“This is a story of love and forgiveness that left me choked up at times and also was a feel-good kind of story as everyone comes together to make positive changes in their lives and in the community. I especially love the Book Biddies and can only hope to aspire to be like them one day. I really enjoyed watching all of the characters grow. . . . This was my first Claire McEwen book, and it definitely will not be my last. I am looking forward to the next installment in the series.”
The man stepped slowly onto the trail from some low bushes, where he must have been hiding. In the dim moonlight he was a dark shadow. Maya could see the outline of his cowboy hat, but not much else about him. Except in one hand, he held…a rifle.
Maya froze—the gun changing everything.
“It’s okay.” The man’s voice was low and steady, like he was trying to be reassuring. “I’m sorry if I scared you.”
“I thought the novel was a nice cozy read. I love the Old Biddies and felt that they were the best part of the book. I like the themes of redemption and how Maya used a bad experience to become a better person. She used all the “bad energy” to do something with her life.”
She couldn’t move the light. Didn’t know if she’d ever move anything again, because now she could see his face, and it was Caleb. Caleb Dunne.
A metallic taste coated her tongue, and she swallowed hard. Both of her knees were shaking now, and the flashlight beam quivered with her trembling hand as if her entire body was rebelling at the sight of him. Rebelling against this homecoming, which was already turning into the disaster she’d always assumed it would be.
She had to lower the light. It was wrong to keep blinding him. But if she lowered it, he’d realize who she was. And Maya already knew what his reaction would be. Rage. Disgust. Horror. Because she was the last person Caleb would want to meet on this trail, or anywhere else.
“[I] enjoyed the story and characters. It was nice to see both of them come to terms with what happened and try to work together to make the right things happen. A clean romance that will keep you on the edge of your seat.”
“Reunited With the Cowboy is both entertaining and emotional with vivid and likable characters (both the 2-legged and 4-legged varieties). The perspective of respect for ranchers protecting their animals as well as for the predators trying to survive is thoughtfully presented and educational (without distracting too much from the plot). Additionally, a host of intriguing secondary characters with potential stories has me eagerly looking forward to the rest of the series!”
“”McEwen has put a lot of growth into the novel – from the perspective of her leading characters but also from the supporting cast. . . . I appreciated how McEwen wrote this story – as she’s taken a lot of realistic real world situations and beautifully crafted them into the background of the series she’s written with such a heart of purpose that you can’t wait to read the next installment!”
“I love the redemption in this story. . . . Throughout Reunited with the Cowboy Maya and Caleb learn to get past the demons that haunt them but will they rekindle the love they once had?
Claire McEwen has written an emotional novel but she has also included what appears to be accurate scientific information about pumas/mountain lions. I love it when I can learn something in a novel.”
For a split second Caleb wondered if Maya was actually real. Still as prey, with moonlight painting shadows around her eyes, she was almost ghostlike. Fitting, since she’d haunted him for all these years.
His hands had become fists, and he carefully unclenched them, trying to fathom her presence on this trail. “Why are you here?” It came out in a hoarse whisper.
“Sometimes you start reading a series romance – expecting it to be good in the ordinary way – only to discover that you hold a gem in your hands. Reunited with the Cowboy by Claire McEwen is a romance with emotion, complexity, and rich characterization. I was caught up from the very first page and enjoyed this engaging story.”
He caught the edge of frustration in her voice. He was being a jerk, but maybe that was okay if it would help keep her from coming out to his property. He didn’t want time with her. Didn’t want to face everything he’d lost when he’d told her to leave. “We shouldn’t even be around each other.”
“Trust me—I was hoping to avoid you. But here we are.” She gestured around them, at the trail, at the night, in a sort of helpless way. Like their meeting was a fate she didn’t want but had already accepted.
“Looks like Miss McEwen has earned herself a new fan. I would love to read her other books and I can not wait to find out what happens in the next installment from the Heroes of Shelter Creek series. I recommend this book for readers who love to read clean and heartwarming Cowboy romances.”
“A sweet love story that will leave you on the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens next.
This is a great read with forgiveness and a light (hope) at the end of all the hurt and anger that our two favorite characters are going through. . . . This is a wonderful tale about 2nd chances.”
Dex always said that Caleb lived in the past, and maybe that was true. So far the present hadn’t shown him much to get excited about.
Except now Maya was back. Though that wasn’t exciting. It was so many feelings, he didn’t even have words for them all. The combination was irritating, like a horsefly that kept buzzing around his head no matter how many times he slapped it away.
“In Reunited with the Cowboy, Claire McEwen crafts a story of grief, growth, and forgiveness. . . . McEwen combines a swoon-worthy romance with some humor . . . I’m looking at you Jace and Trisha. Here’s hoping another trip to Shelter Creek is coming soon.”
A green pickup was parked alongside the barn, and Caleb tried to steady his thoughts. He had to keep his cool with her. He’d show her the permit he’d shoved in his jacket pocket before he left the house just now. She’d lecture. He’d pretend to listen. Then she’d be gone, out of his life again. It was all pretty simple, as long as he kept his mouth shut and nodded a bunch.
A small squeak behind him had him turning to see Hobo trotting up, his green eyes meeting Caleb’s in cat-concern. The cat trailed after Caleb most of the time. He’d even taken to riding on Caleb’s shoulder while Caleb worked around the barn. Which was kind of cute, though it had Caleb worrying that he was turning into the male equivalent of a lonely cat lady. But mostly he was just glad to have the company.
“This was another page turner in the Heartwarming line dealing with heavier topics and there was a little more language. Overall I liked this story and watching the growth of Caleb and Maya and their reconciliation was sweet to witness. I look forward to more of author McEwen stories.”
“I loved her grandmother. She and some other ladies have a book club. They called it the Book Biddies. Those ladies bought so much to the story.”
“Overall, I loved Reunited with the Cowboy, the story moves a perfect pace, the characters are compelling and Ms. McEwen is a skillful storyteller. I look forward to reading more of her work.”
“Why don’t you just tell me what to do? Don’t you have some literature or something you can give me?” He didn’t want to spend more time with her. Didn’t want to see the way the growing sunlight lit up strands of gold in her hair. Didn’t want to think about how no other woman had caught his attention for long, since her.
Except part of him, that boy he’d been when he’d loved her, did want her here. It was ridiculous. Some ancient fantasy of happily-ever-after that his brain was revisiting.
“This book is about redemption and forgiveness. Maya is looking for redemption and forgiveness for something that she really didn’t do and Caleb is looking for redemption in his treatment of Maya all those years ago. And maybe some forgiveness, too. These two had a lot to do go through before they could even see eye to eye about their relationship. I loved that Ms. McEwen didn’t make it easy for either one of them.
I really enjoyed Maya and Caleb and I hope to see them again. I really go into Maya’s research on them and I would like an update on the center in later books. Again, give this line a chance. You won’t be disappointed.”
“Reunited with the Cowboy by Claire McEwen is an excellent book, and I loved the characters, the quirky sides, the setting, and all the information packed into it about the mountain lions. I’m giving it a five-star review. I’m also recommending it to all the Romance readers out there.”
She backed a few steps away from him and swiped at her wet cheeks with her sleeve. “I’m not shying away from the blame. Believe me, I carry more guilt and regret than you can ever imagine, every single day of my life. But maybe it’s time you were honest about your part in it. And about Julie’s part. Her actions helped cause that car accident.”
“Go.” It came out like a growl from somewhere deep and raw in Caleb’s chest. She was hacking at bone with her words, excavating pain he’d buried deep for a reason. “This isn’t going to work, you and me. It could never work. You want to leave me something to read about managing wildlife? Fine. But don’t come back here, trying to tell me how to run my ranch. Or how to remember my sister.”
“Hello, Mrs. Burton.”
“You always called me Lillian, so please don’t get all formal on me now.”
One side of Caleb’s mouth curled in a half smile that took Maya by surprise. She’d only seen him looking stern, hungover and miserable. That piece of a smile was a shimmering reminder of all the times he’d smiled at her. Except he’d been smiling at Grandma, and it was gone now, as he turned to his aunt. “You told me you wanted to meet for dinner. Then you talked me into this meeting instead. How about you and I go get that food now?”
“Reading Reunited with the Cowboy by Clause McEwen felt like watching a romance TV series. I loved seeing all of the different stories pulling together, especially the romance. It was filled with life’s hard times, community love, and sweet romance.”
By Claire McEwen
She can save his ranch…
But can he forgive her?
Maya Burton knows she’s the last person rancher Caleb Dunne wants to see. After all, she survived the crash that killed his sister, and then left town. Now she has to convince the stubborn cowboy that she can help him save his ranch. But once she earns his trust—and his heart—will she be able to walk away?
About the Author
Ends July 24, 2019