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Jenna's Cowboy (The Callahans of Texas Book #1): A Novel

Jenna's Cowboy (The Callahans of Texas Book #1): A Novel

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Jenna's Cowboy (The Callahans of Texas Book #1): A Novel

3.5/5 (56 valoraciones)
328 página
5 horas
Jan 1, 2010


Jenna Callahan has a young son and rewarding work on her father's ranch. She's content. But she never expected to see Nate Langley back in town--the first guy she noticed, the one her father sent away all those years ago. And she never thought the attraction they felt would be as strong as ever.
Jenna's cowboy has some healing of his own to do, though, after two tours of duty in the armed forces. With the help of good friends, strong faith, and a loving family, he hopes to put the horrors of the past behind him--and become the man Jenna deserves.
With an emphasis on simple acts of love, Jenna's Cowboy gives romance readers what they want most: a love story with a Texas touch.
Jan 1, 2010

Sobre el autor

Sharon Gillenwater was born and raised in West Texas and loves to write about her native state. The author of several novels, including Jenna's Cowboy and Emily's Chance, she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. When she's not writing, she and her husband enjoy spending time with their son, daughter-in-law, and two adorable grandchildren. She lives in Washington.

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Jenna's Cowboy (The Callahans of Texas Book #1) - Sharon Gillenwater



© 2010 by Sharon Gillenwater

Published by Revell

a division of Baker Publishing Group

P.O. Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-6287


Ebook edition created 2010

Ebook corrections 04.18.2016 (VBN)

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—for example, electronic, photocopy, recording—without the prior written permission of the publisher. The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews.

ISBN 978-1-4412-0747-0

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is on file at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.

To my husband, Gene, who served his country as a helicopter pilot in Viet Nam. My hero then. My hero still. I thank God that he brought you home to me.

And to the members of the United States Military, both present and past, and to your families.

Thank you for your service and your sacrifice.

May the Lord bless you and keep you and give you peace.






























A special thank-you to Bill and Doris McClellan, recently retired from the Renderbrook Spade Ranch, for answering my questions about the large cattle ranches in our part of West Texas. I hope I didn’t mess anything up, but if I did, any mistakes are mine. Y’all are the best!

While I was researching combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder, my agent, Steve Laube, suggested I look at the books written by Chuck Dean. What a blessing! Thank you, Steve.

Nam Vet by Chuck Dean

Down Range: To Iraq and Back by Bridget C. Cantrell, PhD, and Chuck Dean

Once a Warrior: Wired for Life by Bridget C. Cantrell, PhD, and Chuck Dean

I only wish my husband and I had found Nam Vet twenty years ago. With God’s help, we muddled through on our own, but I suspect things would have been much easier and different if we’d understood what we were dealing with.

I strongly urge anyone who has served in combat—no matter what the war—or who has a loved one who has served, to read these books. They will help you understand PTSD and give insights on healing, both medically and from a Christian perspective.

If you think you or a loved one might be suffering from PTSD or any other potential service-related disorder, contact the Disabled American Veterans (www.dav.org). They will assess your situation, and if appropriate, serve as your advocate with the Veterans Administration.

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on Me,

because the LORD has anointed Me

to bring good news to the poor.

He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,

to proclaim liberty to the captives,

and freedom to the prisoners.

Isaiah 61:1 (Holman Christian

Standard Bible)


Callahan Crossing had changed some while he’d been gone. But then, so had he. A man couldn’t fight for his country and not be affected by it. Nate Langley had served with honor, and according to his army commanders, courage. Which he figured really meant he was as bullheaded as his father had always said he was.

But some things ran deeper than love of country, such as family loyalty and duty. It was time to protect those he loved by tilling the land his family had owned for almost a hundred years. Time to help his father, who could no longer handle the load of running a farm alone.

Thumbing through the latest issue of Western Horseman magazine, he glanced down the aisle of Miller’s Grocery toward the deli. The roasted chickens were still turning in the rotisserie, so he’d have to wait awhile longer. He’d already picked up the new battery for his truck, and it would be at least twenty minutes before UPS delivered the tractor part his dad had ordered from the farm implement store. Killing time at Miller’s was preferable to listening to long-winded fishing tales any day.

Halfway down the aisle, two elderly ladies stopped by the birthday cards for a chat, their West Texas twang bringing a smile to his face. At the other end, two high school boys stopped while one of them scribbled on some paper attached to a clipboard.

Nate’s smile widened into a grin. It was the last week in September, traditionally the time for the local newspaper subscription drive. It was usually handled by two or three clubs at the high school as a fund-raiser, but he hadn’t heard which ones were competing this time around. It was also homecoming week, and judging by the boys’ appearance, Costume Day was still part of the celebration.

One was dressed as a stereotypical TV geek—pants a couple of inches too short, white socks and black loafers, white shirt with a plastic pocket protector holding pens and a short ruler, slicked-back hair, and dark-rimmed glasses. The other guy, who probably played tackle on the football team, wore a purple tie-dyed loose cotton T-shirt, yellow flowered bell-bottom pants, and sandals. An orange flower painted on his cheek clashed with a shoulder-length, cheap pink wig.

Pinky glanced up toward the checkout counters and tilted his head, giving somebody the eye. We haven’t asked her.

Quit staring at her like that. The Geek made a face. Dude, she’s old, and she’s got purple hair.

Just a couple of stripes for school spirit. So she’s cool.

Well, yeah . . .

She may be old, but she’s still lookin’ good. Pinky moved out of sight. The Geek rolled his eyes and followed.

Curious to see who they were talking about, Nate tossed the magazine into the cart and moved down the aisle. He stopped and peeked around an end display of hot dog buns, canned chili, and baked beans.

Jenna Callahan Colby.

Pinky was right about one thing. She did look good. Nate supposed that to a teenager, twenty-eight was old. Since he was a year older, he didn’t have a problem with it. She was still slender, with an athletic build. Her red hair, short now instead of shoulder length, was cut in a simple layered, flattering style. She wore a short-sleeved shiny gold top, close enough to the school colors to count. Her slacks and the purple stripes in her hair were a perfect match to the letterman’s jacket hanging in his bedroom closet at the farm.

He drew back and watched her between the shelves while she teased the boys.

Her turquoise eyes sparkled as she gave Pinky the once over. So are you in the drama club?

He shook his head, the pink hair flopping across his face.

Is there a hippie commune around here that I don’t know about?

Pinky chuckled and shoved a clump of wig out of his eyes. No, ma’am. At least I haven’t heard of one.

How about you? Jenna turned to the Geek. Science or math?

The kid grinned, but his face turned bright red. Looks like I should be in one of those, huh? He tipped his head toward his friend. We’re in FFA.

No! Well, you certainly fooled me. Great costumes.

A wave of nostalgia swept over Nate. The Geek was right— he and Jenna were old. He’d been in FFA a lifetime ago. For years, the letters had stood for Future Farmers of America. About the time he hit high school, the organization changed the name simply to FFA since there were many more facets to agriculture education than farming. He supposed that was progress, but he’d always think of farmers like his dad when he heard the name.

Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed the lady at the deli waving at him. She held up a couple of packages. The roasted chickens were ready. He nodded, then absently picked up a can of chili and some hot dog buns and started toward the deli, hoping nobody had noticed that he had been watching Jenna.

Nate had fallen in love with her the summer he was fifteen when his horse threw him into the big, water-filled dirt stock tank, and she hadn’t laughed. She’d watched him with a tiny frown of concern as he sat up, sputtering muddy water and dying of embarrassment. Then she asked if he was all right. Momentarily hurting too much to move, he stayed put and forced a grin. When he plopped his wet Stetson on his head, she dismounted, took off her boots, and waded in to cool off.

Between the time she got off her horse and sat down beside him in the water, he was a goner. He’d been crazy about her all through high school, although he never told anyone, not even her. He’d tried hard to keep his feelings hidden whenever he was around her and especially at her father’s ranch, where he sometimes worked.

He’d slipped up once his senior year, watching as she walked to the house from the barn. Her father, Dub, noticed and flat-out told him that he wouldn’t take kindly to a part-time cowboy making a move on his little princess. Though Dub liked him, the tough rancher didn’t pull any punches in letting him know he wasn’t good enough for his daughter. When she married, it would be to someone who was going places. And they both knew he wasn’t. He was a cowboy at heart, and working the farm came in a close second. Neither occupation would earn more than an honest living.

Nate had only nodded in acceptance. It would have ruined a good friendship if he told her how he felt. By then she’d been crazy in love with Jimmy Don Colby, a high school football star who was being pursued by a dozen colleges.

After graduation, Nate went to work at a ranch in far West Texas and convinced himself that he was over her. That it had been a bad case of puppy love.

Then 9/11 happened, and Nate felt a call that ran deeper than anything he’d ever known. Less than a week after that fateful day, he joined the army. He was in Afghanistan when his mom wrote that Jenna and Jimmy Don had gotten married, and Jimmy had been drafted into pro-football by the Dallas Cowboys. Nate was in Iraq when he heard that she’d had a little boy. Another letter from his mom several months later said that Jenna and Jimmy were getting a divorce because Jimmy had found someone new.

Nate had thought of her often during the lonely nights camped in the windswept sands of the Middle East. Picturing her face, he had silently prayed for her and her son as he drifted off to sleep. In his dreams, he’d seen her smile, heard her whisper his name, felt her fingertips brush his cheek.

He caught another glimpse of her through the store window as she walked to her pickup. A familiar ache tightened his chest, one he thought he had vanquished long ago.

Maybe things hadn’t really changed at all.

Jenna took a deep breath and jumped up in the air a little, pushing on the tire iron with all her strength as she came back down. It didn’t budge. The guy at the service station had gotten carried away with the impact wrench the last time he rotated the tires.

She released the tire iron and straightened, huffing out a frustrated breath, silently threatening to wring his neck. She had specifically told him not to tighten the lug nuts so much that she couldn’t get them off herself. He knew she lived fifteen miles from town and probably figured he’d make good money driving out to fix a flat. No way, mister, she muttered.

She decided to call her brother Chance. Reaching through the open pickup door to the passenger seat, she took her cell phone from the outside pocket on her purse and hit the speed dial for his construction company. As she expected, his secretary answered. Hi, Pat. This is Jenna. Is Chance available?

Sorry, he’s way out north of town meeting with some potential clients. Do you want me to have him call you when he checks in?

She could always call him directly, but she didn’t want to interrupt his business meeting over a flat tire. Yes, please. On my cell. Thanks.

Frowning, she considered her options as she hung up. It wouldn’t do any good to call the ranch. Her dad and her other brother, Will, had gone up near Lubbock to pick up a new stallion. The ranch hands were wandering across sixty thousand acres on horseback, looking for a wayward bull. Even if she were fortunate enough to reach one of their cell phones, it would be stuffed into a cubbyhole or console in a pickup. By the time they returned to the truck and got her message, Chance probably would have the tire changed.

At least she’d stopped by one of the few trees next to the road, so there was a little shade. She tucked her phone into her pant’s pocket and rearranged some of the groceries, putting all the cold stuff into a couple of bags with a frozen package of meat in each one. Normally, she kept a small cooler in the pickup, but she had taken it out to clean a few days earlier and had forgotten to put it back.

Tapping her fingertips on the edge of the truck bed, she glanced at her watch: 3:00. Her mom wasn’t expecting her for another hour, so she didn’t need to call and make her worry. Mom had assured her that she was free to babysit all afternoon, so Zach was in good hands. He loved having Grandma spoil him.

She plucked the water bottle from the holder by the driver’s seat and took a long drink. The weatherman had predicted eighty degrees by mid-afternoon. She figured he had it pegged about right. And she had a carton of ice cream sitting in the backseat melting.

Shrugging, Jenna walked around the extended cab pickup and opened the glove box, rummaging through the odds and ends stashed inside until she found a couple of plastic spoons still sealed in clear bags, remnants of a stop at Dairy Queen. Taking one of the spoons and the carton of ice cream, she found a comfortable spot in the dry grass beneath the pale green lacy leaves of the mesquite tree and sat down in the shade. She pried the lid off the ice cream and took her first bite. Double chocolate fudge brownie on a hot day. Mmm . . . thank you, Lord, for small blessings.

In the pasture across the road, two Black Angus cows and their calves lay in the green grass beneath a stand of mesquites, swatting at flies with their tails, resting in the afternoon heat. Away from the trees, amid grass baked golden by the summer sun, stood a large valve and gauges on a natural gas pipeline. The gold and green rangeland stretched as far as she could see, ending with a brown mesa on the horizon. The field behind her was full of bright green plants a couple of feet high covered with green bolls of developing cotton.

She’d eaten enough to spoil her supper when she spotted a pickup coming down the road. Debating whether or not to retrieve her pistol from the console between the front seats, she waited a few minutes to see if she recognized the truck. If she didn’t, she’d get the gun. A lot of strangers traveled the highway. On rare occasions there had been trouble. A woman stranded alone miles from the nearest house had to be careful.

A few minutes later, Jenna relaxed. It was Tom Langley’s pickup. He and his wife, Chris, lived on a farm near the Callahan Ranch. He’d had neck surgery a month earlier, so she was surprised that he was even driving. The challenge now would be to keep him from trying to change the tire.

She went back to the ice cream, watching as the truck slowed and pulled off the road, stopping about ten feet behind her pickup. Jenna stared at the driver, dropping the spoon into the carton.

Nate! She hadn’t heard that he was coming home for a visit. Her heartbeat kicked to double time. She had lived elsewhere for several years and never made it to Callahan Crossing when he was home on leave. He still had the same affect on her that he’d had when she was fourteen. Unfortunately, if he’d ever had any romantic ideas, he certainly hadn’t given her any hint of it. And she’d never been the kind of girl to chase a guy.

He turned off the engine and opened the door. Was he all right? She’d heard that he’d been burned on the arm and been hit in the leg by shrapnel four months earlier in Iraq. His mother said neither wound had been bad enough for the army to send him back to the States. But he’d been awarded a Purple Heart, so it must have been more than a scratch. He’d earned a Silver Star that day too. There had been a write-up in the local paper about how he saved two badly injured soldiers even though he was also hurt.

Jenna held her breath as he climbed out of the pickup and slowly walked around the front of it. Wow . . . He wasn’t the six foot tall, rangy cowboy she used to know. This man was all muscle. Not the overdone Mr. Universe type, but either he’d been working with weights or carrying a lot of military gear around. Probably both. His snug, blue, short-sleeved T-shirt emphasized his physique. She had to force herself not to stare at his broad shoulders and thick, solid arms.

He moved fine, so he must not have suffered any permanent injury to his leg. A pink scar on the back of his forearm stood out against his dark tan, but it didn’t seem to bother him. And it wasn’t bad enough to freak anybody out. He crossed his arms and leaned against the truck fender with a smile, his bright blue eyes twinkling.

Jenna’s heart skipped a beat. How could his eyes have gotten even more beautiful?

He scanned the jack waiting near the right rear of the pickup, the tire iron still hanging on a lug nut, and the spare tire lying on the ground. He brushed a strand of light sandy brown hair off his forehead, and his gaze flickered to the ice cream before meeting hers. Refueling?

She laughed and stood, walking over to meet him. I couldn’t get the tire off, and the ice cream was melting. Didn’t see any sense in wasting it. Setting the carton in the truck bed, she swallowed the sudden lump in her throat. Welcome home.

Something flashed in his eyes, then he lowered his arms and straightened, taking a step closer. Don’t I get a hug? Was his voice a little thicker?

Jenna hesitated for a second, then chided herself. This was Nate, her friend. And he was home safe and sound. Quick tears stung her eyes. Thank you, Lord. You bet.

She slid her arms around his waist and hugged him, resting her face against his chest. He wrapped his arms around her too. What did it matter if he held her a little tighter and a little longer than was customary? She wasn’t going to complain.

Still, if she had any sense, she would end it quickly and not risk him thinking she might be open to anything other than friendship. She was a complete failure when it came to romantic relationships. Getting involved with anyone was unthinkable.

When he finally released her and she stepped back, tears stung her eyes. I’m glad you made it okay.

He gave her a lopsided grin. Me too. He walked to her truck, but instead of checking the tire, he looked over the tailgate at the ice cream. You gonna share?

Jenna laughed, feeling back on solid ground. Help yourself. If I eat any more I’ll make myself sick.

He picked up the carton, grinning when he read the flavor. I should have known it would be chocolate.

Is there any other kind? When he reached for the spoon, she touched his arm to stop him. There’s a clean one in the glove box.

Do you have anything contagious?

Not that I know of.

He scooped up a bite of the quickly softening ice cream and ate it. Considering the germs I’ve been exposed to the last few years, I doubt yours will give me a problem. A tiny smile hovered at the corner of his mouth. I like your hair that way. Though I’m surprised the purple doesn’t clash with the red.

She laughed and smoothed her hair as the breeze ruffled it. It was a losing battle. It does clash with some of my clothes. They’re hair extensions, so nothing permanent. I’ll have my stylist take them out next week. Are you here for a short visit or a long one?

He swallowed, his gaze skimming the countryside. Neither. I’m home to stay.

I thought you were going to make the army a career.

I was seriously considering it. But after Dad had surgery, I decided I needed to be here to help him. So I didn’t reenlist.

I’m sure your folks are thrilled to have you home.

He ate another couple of bites, then stuck the spoon in the carton and held it out to her. Regret shadowed his eyes. "Mom cried and Dad got all choked up when I told them. Every time I’d talked to them before, they’d brushed his neck and back problems aside, saying it was nothing to worry about. I think they were trying to prove it by flying out to see me when I got back from Iraq instead of me coming home then. I could tell he was in rough shape. But they both insisted that the neck surgery would fix him up. Maybe they really thought it would.

But I wasn’t convinced, so I called his doctor after he had the operation. Dad had given the doctor permission to talk to me, but I don’t think he really thought I’d call him. He said Dad would be fine as long as he didn’t work so hard, but that his neck and back are a mess. Several compressed discs and arthritis from the top to the bottom of his spinal column, some stenosis causing pressure on the nerves. The doctor said he shouldn’t run the farm by himself and especially not do any heavy lifting. Dad admitted last night that they’d been debating selling the farm because they couldn’t afford to hire anybody.

Then it won’t support them and you, will it? Frowning, Jenna walked a few feet away and dumped the ice cream in the grass. The ants were in for a treat. She straightened and looked back at him in time to see a fleeting grimace.

In good years it wouldn’t be too bad, but this isn’t a good year for cotton. I’ll have to make sure I don’t eat too much. He smiled, but his expression was strained. And live at home.

Putting the lid back on the carton, she pulled an empty plastic grocery bag from behind the backseat and wrapped it up. That isn’t going to be easy. You’ve been on your own a long time. So have they.

It will be a patience builder all the way around. I’ll look for something else part-time. He bent over, gripping the tire iron, and pushed down. The muscles in his arms flexed until the lug nut broke free, and Jenna silently thanked the Lord for sending her a strong Good Samaritan.

Placing the tire iron on the next one, he paused and glanced over at her. Know of anybody who’s looking for a slightly rusty cowboy or farmhand?

I do. She tried to tamp down her excitement. They could help him, and she’d get to see him a lot more often than if he were holed up at the Langley farm all the time. Not that she wanted to delve into why the thought of having him around made her so happy.

Who? He broke another lug nut free.

"We are. Virgil White has been semi-retired for the last year. He officially quit the end of August on his eightieth birthday. He and Nadine bought a place outside of San Antonio so they can be closer to the grandkids. They finished moving out last week.

We’ll need somebody to work three to four days a week, sometimes more, depending on what’s going on. The house comes with it, if you want to live on the ranch. You’d only have to pay for the electricity and phone.

You sure Dub doesn’t have somebody else in mind?

We’ve talked to a couple of people, but we weren’t all that impressed.

Nate was quiet as he quickly loosened the rest of the lug nuts. He moved around to the back and slid the jack into place, easily working the handle to raise that side of the pickup off the ground. Spinning off the lug nuts one by one, he set them in a little pile on the ground nearby. He lifted the heavy tire from the hub and laid it in the pickup bed with an ease that Jenna envied.

"That could be a real answer to prayer. But

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  • (4/5)
    This is a heartwarming romance that you will enjoy reading. The characters are genuine and their struggles are believable. Gillenwater's writing draws you into the town and the lives of the people who live there. Listed as a christian inspirational romance this book does not really quote scriptures or preach to you.

    Can you ever get a second chance at your first love?

    Jenna Callahan Colby thought she was content. A partner on her father's successful ranch, she is surrounded by family and friends. But she never expected to see Nate Langley back in town--the first guy she ever noticed, the one her father sent away all those years ago.

    And she never thought the attraction they felt would be as strong as ever.

    Jenna's cowboy has some healing of his own to do, though, after two tours of duty in the armed forces. With the help of good friends, strong faith, and a loving family, he hopes to put the horrors of the past behind him--and become the man Jenna deserves.
  • (5/5)
    Oh wow. Where do I start? I've read so many books about cowboys and ranchers, but this book really does sound more realistic than most books out there. Nate is a former serviceman, back in the States after serving in combat overseas. He is home, but his adjustment period is anything but normal. While he appears fine physically, he battles his PTSD on a daily basis--flashbacks, insomnia, and other symptoms crop up throughout this book. (The author did her research very well!) Jenna is a woman with battle scars of her own resulting from a divorce. She has a beautiful two-year-old boy who is light and love of her life. The only joy in the darkest time of her life.

    Nate and Jenna have known each other since childhood-. Now adults, both are scarred by the events of their life and yet attracted to one another. After so much time apart, they finally confess a long-held torch for one another. You'll find that each one is a pillar of strength for the other. It's a beautiful story.
  • (3/5)
    This was a generally enjoyable read. It is a fairly gentle story, it made me think of some of the Mills and Boon books and Lucy Walker titles that I've read in the past - this was almost just a longer version.

    The plot follows the return home of Nate, a cowboy who enlisted after 9/11. He hopes to reunite with the girl he loved as a teen but he's coming home with a pretty hefty case of PTSD. This means that the plot is pretty patriotically American which was interesting to read.

    One thing I hadn't noticed when I picked the book up was that it's classified as Christian fiction. As a result there are a lot of Christian themes running through it, for example characters frequently pray. This was quite a surprise and did take some getting used to.
  • (4/5)
    Very strong christian romance but well written and not preachy
  • (2/5)
    Overall, this book had a lot of potential. I actually mostly enjoyed it. But, one trap I come across again and again with Christian fiction is their need to beat you over the head with "the message." For me, it is much more effective to just show me. Unfortunately this book fell into that trap with a handful of points where the narration beat you over the head with their Christian values.As a Christian, I am not against the values they are promoting. But I find it heavy handed and often times abrupt. It jars me out of the flow of the story. I think the characters' actions spoke loudly enough that the book could have cut those not-so-subtle diatribes and been a wonderful book that perhaps even non-Christians could enjoy.The writing was good and I really enjoyed and felt invested in the characters. Despite that, I likely won't read anymore in the series, sadly.
  • (5/5)
    This is a great read!!! My name is also Jenna and that is what made me want to read it. I love Christian fiction and this was such a cute book. I wanted it to go on FOREVER! Can't wait to read more of Sharon Gillenwater's books!
  • (4/5)
    Jenna's cowboy is Nate Langley, who has just returned home after serving his country through two tours of duty in the armed forces. He returns home a hero, but has alot of healing to do in his mind to put the horrors of the war behind him. Nate returns to the ranch he helped out on while growing up, the Callahan Ranch. Jenna Callahan Colby is someone he has always loved from afar, but when he gets back from the war he finds her also back home on the Callahan ranch with a son. This book had alot of good romance in it. It also helped me to see just how difficult it can be for those men who come home from fighting for our country and how much they have to deal with in order to return to the "normal life". It was good to read how God and his word helped Nate through his struggles. Nate is a great guy and any girl would be glad to have him on her side. Jenna also has had a rocky time in her life and it is good to see how her family loves her and wants to protect her from any more hurt. I enjoyed getting to know each one of the family members and look forward to reading more about them in the upcoming books in this series.
  • (5/5)
    Jenna's Cowboy is emotionally-gripping and beautifully done romance. I think I ran through all of my feelings in a good way while reading Jenna's Cowboy. The characters of Jenna and Nate have been through so much, Jenna a divorce and Nate service to the country in Iraq and Afghanistan. The romance is set up from the beginning so the book is more about Nate's healing as the romance progresses. There are a few surprises along the way and the plot moves at a wonderful pace. There is never a dull moment and some moments you will feel tears in your eyes and some you will be laughing. One other thing I really liked was the fact that they were both Christian from the start of the book, they were not perfect, but they both had a strong belief in God. So the Christianity was just there through the whole book and the whole book was a testimony to believing in God and trusting Him to know what is best for your life. Don't get me wrong - I enjoy the stories where someone comes to Christ also, but I felt the use of both hero/heroine as Christians from the start was a refreshing change. The characterization is also stunning, Nate and Jenna who are fleshed out so well I feel like I am friends with the two. Jenna's son Zack adds another interesting dimension to the story - I can just imagine this adorable little toddler and his speaking sounds so much like my boys when they were little ones. I loved getting to know the Callahan family and look forward to getting to know them better in future books. Will and Chance are interesting as Jenna's brothers and Nate's friends and look forward to them finding women of their own. Sue and Dub are also great as the parents to the clan. I like how Dub is tough yet deep down he is a teddy bear. He also makes some mistakes but like Jenna and Nate, he makes good on them.Jenna's Cowboy should fit with anyone who loves the romance genre - Nate and Jenna are one of those perfect-for-each other couples and I enjoyed getting to know them for the time it took to read the book. The small town of Callahan's Crossing is also wonderful - this is one of those Texas towns where football is king, but the family is still most important and neighbors help neighbors when they need it. This is also a book that will stay with me because of the subject matter it deals with. I knew little to nothing about Post-traumatic stress disorder and how it can affect our soldiers. Now I feel a little more informed and it will make me pray each day for the men and women who are serving our country whether here at home or abroad fighting the war on terror. Thank you to Ms. Gillenwater for highlighting this disorder and the love and support needed to get through it.
  • (5/5)
    This was wonderfully written. It is a touching story of friendship, first loves, and second chances. The author did a magnificent job at capturing me completely. I could truly feel all the things that Jenna felt. And the things that Nate went through! Man, I sure felt everything that Jenna's cowboy did! From being scared of fire to the flashbacks, it was as if I was going through it all. While I loved that(because that's what makes a book fantastic!), what I loved most was the detail the author put into a veteran's life (flashbacks, jumpiness,nightmares) and the reliance on God for strength. Those were two of the best features of this book. Reading about the flashbacks and the military life of Jenna's Cowboy, Nate, brought me to tears. And Jenna's reliance on God to guide her in her struggles with letting the past go and moving forward with Nate was absolutely powerful. I would love to give this book more than 5 stars, but I can't. What I can do is sing it's praises and highly recommend this moving story to all those people out there who support our military and all those who want a great story that will make you laugh, cry and smile! I can NOT wait for book 2! **This book was provided for review by Revell,a division of Baker Publishing Group**
  • (5/5)
    Jenna Callahan Colby knows what it's like to hurt, real bad. Her husband left her without a second thought. Leaving her not only empty and lifeless but leaving their son without a father. She returns to Callahan Corners to heal and work as a partner with her family on the ranch.Enter Nate Langley. After two tours of duty in war time he has seen and experienced lots of horrible things. He returns to Callahan Corners to help his father run the farm. When he sees Jenna needs help changing a flat he helps her out and realizes that the feelings he's had for her all his life are still going strong. Jenna feels that same pull. After all she has had feelings for him as well. Will these two scared souls ever be healed? Will they find the love they both so much desire?I loved this gentle and tender story of what God can do. Nate was such a great hero. He was so real and I loved how he spoke to Jenna. Jenna was a wonderful heroine. She was fun and loving and loyal to her family. I'm looking forward to getting to know the Callahan's better. I also learned about PTSD. I have heard that term but didn't really know anything about it or how it can effect you. Wow! It's something you deal with for the rest of your life.I highly recommend this romantic tale.
  • (2/5)
  • (5/5)
    I absolutely loved this books! it was one of the few books I will read again! <3
  • (3/5)
    It is plain to see in reading this story that Sharon Gillenwater is good at her research and explains things very well. I know nothing about ranching or farming, but I felt from the explanations and pictures drawn by her imagery were great. I thoroughly enjoyed the romance of the story and the cover is perfect for the character of Nate. While reading this book I was thinking about the different things that I was going to say in the review about how much I enjoyed the characters and the visualizations as well as their witty banter. Easily I could say that I enjoy this author and look forward to reading her books in the future. However, I felt that the last three chapters were such a lurch from the rest of the story. Perhaps I am on my own in that opinion, but I felt that it went in rather abruptly and then the story just ended. I know why "it" happened and understand that, but I feel that the "big event" could have had more closure. It felt to me that the story was going along great, and then just amidst the action it ended and did not wrap down. It leaves me feeling like I missed something and I think could have ended better. Overall great writing though and enjoyable.