I really enjoyed Cowgirl 101 by Laina Villeneuve. The cover first caught my eye along with the title and then the blurb. Covers really are very important. I’ve always been attracted to westerns, both historical and modern, so you can see how I would be interested in this novel.
This book has all the elements of an exceptional modern western romance with two unique and individual main characters. Jo Harding is the typical loner, stand-offish type. She is an expert in handling mules, horses, and all the skills needed for leading backpackers and campers up into the beautiful High Sierras Mountains. She has few real friends and wants nothing to do with people like Daisy Lucero, a total greenhorn who doesn’t belong in this job or this place. Daisy is brand new to the job. She doesn’t even know how to ride a horse, but she wants more than anything to learn all she needs to know so she too can go into the High Sierra wilderness. She also has a huge but secret crush on Jo, which makes for a lot of conflict and angst in the tale.
The setting, of course, is gorgeous. The story begins a bit slow, but once you get into the tale, the pacing is good. The romance is kind of an enemies-to-lovers tale and definitely a slow-burn romance, but sweet and satisfying.
This is the first novel I’ve read by this author, and I’m definitely going to be looking for more of her work. If you love modern day western romance with distinctive and engaging characters set in a stunningly beautiful land, then I can recommend this novel for you.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and Bella Books for an honest review.