5 Stars, Genre Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Pride Publishing, Reviewed by Maryann, Sarah Masters

Review: Outcast Cowboys by Sarah Masters

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Title: Outcast Cowboys

Author: Sarah Masters

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 202 Pages

At a Glance: I was not disappointed in this page-turner at all.

Reviewed By: Maryann

Blurb: What’s His Passion?

You can run but you can’t hide. Problems have a habit of following you, even if it’s only inside your head.

Ross decides to start a new life away from the grim belly of London, England, unable to stomach being a cop any longer. He tells himself he’s moving miles away to find himself a bed partner, but he’s lying. He has to. Facing up to the real reason he’s leaving isn’t something he can handle. His last undercover job proved too much—his life was at risk—and if he stays in London he’ll likely end up dead. Nightmares plague him, his subconscious unable to switch the past off. So he moves to a ranch in America, thinking the new surroundings and different lifestyle will help him to heal—and to forget. What he soon realizes is he’s jumping from the frying pan into the fire…

Joe’s passion—that of caring for the horses—is the only thing that keeps him sane. He’s a surly man, and for good reason—a reason he hasn’t told a soul. Folks think he’s mean and unapproachable and suspect him of committing murder. More than once. Locals assume that Joe got let off the hook. Nothing could be further from the truth, but Joe lets people think what they will. He’s done with their speculation and sly looks.

When Ross and Joe meet, tension is rife. The air between them prickles with animosity as well as sexual tension. Both have a past they can’t get over. Both have skeletons in their closets they wish would turn to dust. And both have to make a decision. Can they cast their fears aside and trust each other, or have the terrors they’ve experienced ruined them for love?

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Review: Sarah Masters is one of my favorite authors, so I decided to see where she was going with Outcast Cowboys since cowboys and ranches are not usually what Ms. Masters writes. I was not disappointed in this page-turner at all. Outcast Cowboys is heartrending, with a dark psychological feel, and is a little eerie too, as death seems to be a part of this ranch—along with a horse that has a mysterious role. The book does have a warning about non-consensual sex, but it also contains several suicides, which might be disturbing to readers as well.

When the story begins, we meet Ross Jones arriving in America to start a new life on a ranch—which is extremely different from being a cop in England. As a former police officer, he doesn’t scare easily, and he’s out spoken and suspicious. As the story goes on, it takes us into Ross’s world: him working undercover, the intolerance he faces because he’s gay, and the realization he’s never felt safe. He fights to face his demons too.

Ross arrives at the ranch and meets Grenadier, Joe, and Limmy, and learns of a fourth brother, Mike. The brothers are hiding terrible secrets, and Joe is always at the center of all the trouble at the ranch. Jealousy, threats, guilt and harassment, it was heartbreaking to see brothers treat each other so badly.

When Ross first meets Joe, Joe’s rude and mean. The more we learn about him and his brothers, we see Ross’s feelings change towards Joe. Ross did have his doubts about Joe at times, but he also defended him, struggling with his cop-side and wanting to do the right thing, especially when he begins to fear for Joe’s life and comes up with a plan to take him out of this ugly environment.

l feared for both Ross and Joe throughout the story, especially Joe because of his brothers. Sometimes I even doubted Joe’s innocence. And even towards the end of this story, tragedy prevailed, but Ms. Masters did leave me feeling that Ross and Joe had an HEA and found closure in their lives.

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