What a wonderful love story.Pam Crooks writing style pulled me in on the first page.Her character s weaved themselves into my heart and soul A Cowboy And A Promise I highly recommend Ava and Beau were the perfect couple, both stubborn, set in their ways, yet mature enough to bend to each other s true passion.The plot and characterization of her characters was superb, even secondary characters drew me in and had my attention.I love the drama which developed this book into than just a love story, it was an inspirational one with a great message of family values with deep seeded roots. (((READ E-PUB))) ⇤ A Cowboy and a Promise (Blackstone Ranch Book 1) ⇔ Her Determination Fuels His Desire When Her Dying Friend Pleads For Help To Finish A Renovation Project, Ava Howell Can T Refuse, Even Though Her Promise Means Leaving Her New Career And Familiar Life In New York To Travel To A Remote Ranch In Texas She S Good At What She Does, And The Ghost Town Vacation Resort Would Look Great On Her Resume, But It Means Tangling With The Ex Military Cowboy Who Is Determined To Stop Her As Soon As She Arrives Beau Paxton Needs To Sell The Land And Ghost Town To Save His Family S Struggling Ranch He S A Formidable Enemy To Ava S Determination, But The Harder She Works, The His Attraction For Her Grows He Doesn T Want To Set Aside His Plans So She Can Succeed At Hers, Yet He Finds Himself Doing Just That Will A Promise Bring A City Girl And A Sexy Cowboy Together Or Will A Broken One Drive Them Apart Ave and Beau s romance was a fun one to watch blossom,slow and sweet This is a new author for me and I will watch for by her as I loved how she wrote the characters in this one they were so real and likeable so easy to care about, heck even Gunner, Beau s dog won me over, read the book and see why I say Gunner s the real hero even though all the people were getting the credit, come on someone give that dog a t bone. This is an enjoyable quick read that kicks off the Blackstone Ranch series from this author Ava Howell arrives at Blackstone Ranch straight from New York City She s disheartened yet determined Ava is in Texas to fulfill a deathbed promise to a friend and she won t let anything get in her way It doesn t take long before the magic of the ranch and the attention of the rancher has her heart mending and hope growing while wanting A nice sweet read I would recommend. Pam Crooks is a new author for me, and, quite frankly, she had me at cowboy I ve been a fan of contemporary western romance for decades, and this novel got off to a very promising start, but I did have a few problems with it, which is why I can only give it a 3.5 star rating.As the novel opens, Ava Howell is at the deathbed of her best friend, Erin Murphy, who has lost her battle with cancer Erin makes a dying request, that Ava, a construction engineer, complete Erin s dream project of turning an old Texas ghost town into a tourist resort for Erin s beloved aunt Ginny, and Ava, a city girl through and through, although she has serious reservations, makes that promise to her dying friend She manages to get several months off from work, climbs into her car and is soon Texas bound.One of the first people she meets when she stops at a Texas gas station is Beau, a handsome, sexy cowboy, who helps retrieve her purse and the 1000 she s carrying, from a teenage thief When she arrives at her destination, the Blackstone Ranch, Erin s aunt, Ginny Paxton, welcomes her with open arms, thrilled that her dream project is soon going to be a reality, no matter how much her husband and sons dislike the idea, and Ava is surprised to learn that her gas station savior, Beau, is one of those sons, and that he and his brothers, his twin, Brock, and their older brother, Jace, would rather sell the 300 acres comprising the ghost town than restore and renovate it But their mother is a force to be reckoned with, as is Ava, who desperately wants to fulfill the promise she made to her dying friend she isn t afraid of hard physical labor or long hours, and has no problem dealing with the crew of male workers who have already been assembled and are working under her direction.What she does have a problem with is her attraction to Beau, and his attraction to her, and it s their relationship I had a problem with Both of these characters know that Ava s stay on the Blackthorne Ranch will be a short one, and that she ll soon be returning to her hard earned job with a New York construction firm once her work on the ghost town is over While I could understand the attraction, Beau seems to be the opposite of what Ava is looking for He s a cowboy through and through and loves his family and the ranch After a harrowing experience in Afghanistan, he has no plans to ever leave the ranch again, so at least for this reader, his dogged pursuit of Ava made little sense Aside from Ava s dedication to her job, we learn that she came up the hard way, with an unstable family situation, one that had the people closest to her dying, and had Ava ending up in foster care until she aged out of the system When Beau abruptly declares his love for her, and it is abrupt indeed, Ava can t get away from him fast enough, since she believes that she lives under a dark cloud and that she s destined to lose everyone she cares about Although she s fallen in love with Beau, she never tells him how she feels, and when her boss in New York needs her back there ahead of schedule to work on a hotel project, she has the perfect out, or does she You ll have to read this novel to find out, since I don t do spoilers.What I felt was missing from this western romance was the romance it was virtually nonexistent Although I liked both main characters, I never really connected to either of them on an emotional level and I would have preferred that the author give them depth, backstory and of an emotional connection While this was a well written novel, it simply didn t pack enough of a romantic punch between Ava and Beau, or enough drama and conflict to make this novel a truly memorable one.I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this novel The opinions expressed are my own. A Cowboy and A Promise by Pam CrooksHer determination fuels his desire When her dying friend pleads for help to finish a renovation project, Ava Howell can t refuse, even though her promise means leaving her new career and familiar life in New York to travel to a remote ranch in Texas She s good at what she does, and the ghost town vacation resort would look great on her resume, but it means tangling with the ex military cowboy who is determined to stop her as soon as she arrives.Beau Paxton needs to sell the land and ghost town to save his family s struggling ranch He s a formidable enemy to Ava s determination, but the harder she works, the his attraction for her grows He doesn t want to set aside his plans so she can succeed at hers, yet he finds himself doing just that Will a promise bring a city girl and a sexy cowboy together Or will a broken one drive them apart This is Ava Howell and Beau Paxton s story.Ava pulled off the highway into the first gas station she found Correction the only gas station she found Except for a couple of bars and a handful of diners and small businesses, Paxton Springs, Texas, didn t have much of anything to choose from.Surely, there was a main street close by with to offer than what she could see, but she d have plenty of time to explore later For now, her trusty economy car was thirsty Despite being eight years old, the Toyota handled the long drive from New York City like a champ Her first car, and a used one at that, had proven to be a worthy investment.She pulled in next to the closest pump and shut off the air conditioning and engine She took her credit card and a couple of bills from her billfold, doing a quick recount of the one thousand dollars in cash she d brought, than she ever carried in the city or anywhere else, for that matter Withdrawing the money had meant a big hit to her savings, but she was determined to make it last while she was in Texas She hated racking up credit card bills It s all there, ma am A male voice, smooth as leather and gentled with a drawl, startled her He didn t have time to do much of anything but run Her gaze jerked upward to the tall cowboy, slanted with one hip against her car, muscled arms crossed casually over his chest The brim of his fawn colored Stetson shadowed his aviator sunglasses a red bandanna circled his neck.Clearly, he d been waiting for her A slow heat curled through her belly, a warmth that had nothing to do with the Texas sun and everything to do with the raw virility of this man You found him she asked unnecessarily Obviously, he had, with far skill than she d managed How I mean I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book I highly recommend reading.A Cowboy and A Promise by Pam Crooks is a wonderful well written 5 star book.Pam s Books with Tule A Cowboy and A Promise A short and sweet read 3 starsI always enjoy a cowboy romance especially an opposites attract Here we have city girl Ava coming down to Texas and sparring with rough and tumble cowboy, Beau What gave it a little extra in this department was that Ava, while liking her city comforts, was very much an independent, well rounded kinda girl who didn t let country life phase her It s nice to see a familiar trope without the usual cliches Speaking of the characters I very much enjoyed Ava As I said, she was smart, sharp and sassy Making it in the male dominated world of architectural construction or something like that but still coming across as vulnerable and very real I could see myself being friends with her When she was annoyed at Beau and giving him the silent treatment but couldn t stop being polite to him even if she growled it through clenched teeth these little things made me root for her while also laugh at how likely it all was.Beau was your typical cowboy but that s hardly a complaint from me He wanted what he wanted liked what he liked and those traits made me like him However, I felt that I only really got glimpses of his personality and his soul I would have liked of him.Another reviewer put it perfectly when she said that the love declaration was a little abrupt It surprised me so much that I actually scrolled back to see if I d missed a few chapters Up until that moment Ava and Beau seemed to only have spent minimal time together and had barely a few kisses While I enjoy sex in my romance novels, it s by no means something that I require in order to enjoy a story Unfortunately, for this book, I felt that it was an element that was definitely missing It needed something else be it romance or sex just to lift this to the next level for me To make me truly believe.Ava s trip to Texas all comes about due to her friend s death bed request A death bed request that we hear about right at the start of the novel That was a rough way to start a book and I debated giving up right there and then It just hit too close to the bone to immediately read the death of a 20 something from cancer.And I also didn t see the need for the Donnie storyline in the book It takes up only a little time in the book but I would have preferred to read about Ava and Beau rather than a random kid Presumably his own journey will continue in other books but I would have been happy enough if those elements weren t included.The ending was cute as a button and overall I easily sped through this fairly short book I would guess at about 225 pages as I can t seem to find an official page count while writing this review It didn t hit all the marks for me but was a pleasant way to pass a few hours 3 stars for a cute cowboy and city girl gone country. Ava Howell has lost one of her best friends to cancer She made a promise to her friend, Erin to finish the renovation of a ghost town being turned into a destination resort on the property owned by Erin s aunt and uncle in Texas Ava travels from New York City to Texas with hopes of fulfilling her promise to Erin and returning to her concrete jungle home in New York City as quickly as she can Somehow the wide open spaces, the friendly people and especially cowboy Beau Paxton make Ava think that Texas may be where she really belongs But how can she leave her mentor and boss and the career in construction management in New York she has worked so hard to establish Beau Paxton is a former Special Forces soldier who has returned home to his beloved family ranch, a welcome respite from the ugliness of war He was promised 300 acres that encompassed the ghost town on the family ranch where he planned to build a home and enjoy a family but his mother now has other ideas about his section of the ranch and wants to turn the old abandoned mining town into a resort Yes, Beau was granted a different section of the ranch but he, his two brothers and his father think this resort idea is a bad idea Can his mother and Ava convince him otherwise A Cowboy and a Promise by Pam Crooks is the first book in her new Blackstone Ranch series In this story city girl meets cowboy and sparks fly I liked how the author kept the attraction between Ava and Beau moving along despite how hard they fought it This is a good beginning to what I believe will be a very enjoyable series. This was a great opposite attract cowboy romance story that is the first book of a new series Blackstone Ranch for this author When you make a promise you have to do your utmost to make sure you fulfil that promise and it s even for important if it was made on your best friends death bed When you find the one and they are not the right one in the right place what do you do This is my first read by this author to which I enjoyed the story but did find the flow of the story at times to not grab my total attendance I did have to reread some paragraphs but that could have just been all about me, not the book its self This is a sweet read with not much than heaving kissing and explained feelings I was given a chance to read it by NetGalley and have given my honest and voluntary review of this book.City girl Ava Howell heads to the country to finish a job that she promised her best friend she would complete for her as it was a family job and dream But she didn t plan to be distracted by a very hot cowboy She was only here for three months before returning to her real job in New York.Beau Paxton was dead against his mothers plans to turn the ghost town on their ranch into a holiday resort and when his cousin friend arrived to complete the building he was not happy But one meeting with her had him totally distracted by her beauty and spirit.Some of the other characters in this book had a sneak peek at and I hope we get to read about them further in this series as I was very much taken with them all. I received a copy of A Cowboy and A Promise from Tule Publishing and Net Galley in exchange for a voluntary and honest review The opinion expressed are mine alone and not solicited A Cowboy and A Promise by Pam Crooks is the first book in her Blackstone Ranch series and it was quite a surprisingly refreshing and quick read Ms Crooks is a new author to me and even though it lacked some heat between the H heroine I usually read book with a lot heat , this was very good.Ava Howell makes a promise to her dying BFF to finish her Ghost Town project for Blackstone Ranch She leaves her comfortable home and goes to Texas where she encounters a reluctant Beau Paxton who wants to sell the land and save his family ranch not make it into a vacation resort She will have to convince Beau and not fall in love before returning to New York for her job Beau Paxton has returned back to Blackstone Ranch after serving in the Army but he finds that they are in danger of having to sell land to make the ranch profitable again When he meets Ava and lets her know he doesn t want the Ghost town developed But little does he know that he ll soon start to fall in love with her but can he convince her to stay instead of leaving They are also having to deal with a angry neighbor who could possibly change his life forever.