RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge: How a Cowboy Stole Her Heart by Donna Alward

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Title: How a Cowboy Stole Her Heart
Author: Donna Alward
Publication Info: Harlequin 2011
ISBN: 978-0373177608
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Book Cover This review was written by Lindlee. This story was nominated in the Best Contemporary Series Romance category.

The summary: Clay Gregory's known Megan Briggs her whole life, and he's been plenty worried about her while she's been getting medical treatment. Now she's back home and hiding away on the family ranch. Knowing the stubborn cowgirl won't accept his help willingly, he invites her to a family wedding to help him avoid his aunt's matchmaking! He plans to remind Meg she's still the girl who can beat him in a horse race! But as she steps out in her curve-hugging red dress, her skills on a horse are suddenly the furthest thing from his mind….  

And here is Lindlee's review:

How a Cowboy Stole Her Heart starts when Megan returns home after going into remission from breast cancer. She lived in Calgary, a few hours away from home, while she was undergoing treatment. Coming back is difficult, but it is during this time that Clay and Megan’s friendship turns into something more.

Alward does a great job of portraying their friendship. Clay and Megan are close and aren’t afraid to be honest with each other. When they fight, neither one is too proud to say “I’m sorry.” Sometimes it did feel like the friendship would overshadow the romance. Clay and Megan’s already close relationship added with the serious subject matter meant there weren’t many light-hearted, falling-in-love moments.

Megan is the type of heroine that felt like she had to be strong for everybody. Sometimes this type of heroine can be annoying, especially when she pushes everyone away because she “doesn’t want to be a burden.” Thankfully Megan didn’t fall into this trap. Even though she can go overboard trying to protect her loved ones, she actually has good solid reasons behind her actions. Also, her need to be strong is really a coping mechanism and she acknowledges this.

“(I)f I admit a weakness to [my family and friends], I might have to admit it to myself…I thought beating this thing would make the rest of it easy, but it’s not at all, and I can’t seem to figure it out. And that’s why I yelled at you this afternoon and I’m sorry.”


Clay, on the other hand, is one of those heroes afraid of love because of his past. Normally this means that some evil woman “did him wrong” but in this case, it’s a little more complicated. Clay’s mother left when his father was diagnosed with cancer. Clay is afraid of both losing anyone he loves and his reaction if Megan’s cancer comes back. I thought Clay had good reasons to be scared. His father’s death and mother’s desertion scarred him so badly that I felt like the author had to convince me that Clay had staying power. I had to believe that Clay would stick around and not go running scared if Megan’s cancer came back.

However, by the end, the author had me convinced that, regardless of what might happen, Clay would never leave Megan’s side.


This book is available from: Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Sony | Kobo HQN | All Romance eBooks.

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Dee says:

    thanks for this review… I will be picking this one up.

  2. 2
    Bnbsrose says:

    Nicely done, and now I’ve got another book on the tbr list. I’m not thanking you for that.

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