Apologies for the delay...
★ RETREAT - Getaway #1★by Jay Crownover
Retreat is the first instalment in Jay's shiny new standalone Getaway series about the Warner brothers.
What they say: These boys are very good at putting the wild in wilderness.
Every once in a while, you need to get away from it all.
I was a woman on the edge, shaken and shattered after a breakup that felt like it tore my entire world apart.
My best friend, sick of watching me drown in misery and melancholy, harassed me until I agreed to go with her on a week-long wilderness retreat.
She promised days spent bonding and getting in touch with our inner badasses. It was supposed to be all about the two of us roughing it and making do with the bare minimum. She assured me we were going to be pushed to our limits in ways that were unimaginable. Neither one of us could have ever guessed just how right she was.
Nowhere in the glossy brochure did it say anything about the fact I was going to have to battle the insufferable but deliciously rugged and sexy trail guide instead of the elements. The brochure also forgot to mention the part that warned when you left civilization behind, there was no place to pack your inhibitions and fears.
I was told that I would be facing a week where the only thing I should expect was the unexpected. However, no one mentioned that I was going to have to fight for my life…and my heart as soon as I ventured into the unknown.
I was a pro at hiding from my feelings but when it came time to face a real threat, one that could change everything, I learned I was more of a no surrender, no retreat kind of girl.
What I say: I love a surprise realise from one of my favourite authors, even when it's in a genre outside of my normal reading comfort zone. I don't tend to read many cowboy stories, but that's okay because Cyrus isn't a cowboy, apart from of course, when he's totally a cowboy - it's a JC book so of course this conundrum totally works.
Crownover really shakes things up with Retreat. She changes the subjects from her (and our) beloved Denver based troubled tattoo artists to ranch life in the middle of nowhere. The characters are a little older than in most of Crownover's previous books but both Cy and Leo are fun of all the great things we've come to expect from a JC character.
Cy the not-a-proper-cowboy cowboy is gruff, vulnerable, determined, sexy and brave - he's extremely easy on the eye which always helps. I particularly liked Cy's devotion to his family and selflessness - the dude always puts everybody else first, but once he meets Leo he's determined to have her.
Leo is heartbroken and embarrassed when finds herself shoehorned into going on a back-to-nature holiday with her bestie Emrys, and is unprepared for the drama and romance facing her.
I loved the romance and spark between Cy and Leo but I particularly appreciated the mystery, thriller aspect - it's so different from anything Crownover has written before and really is a treat. There are moments of real darkness packed into the romantic adventure story and I'm looking forward to seeing more of Emrys, Sutton and of course a certain other cowboy...
Oh the drama!
4.5 Stars in my Sky!
Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men, The Point, and the Saints of Denver series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she'll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.