Book Review: Must Love Cowboys by Carly Bloom

About the Book:

Title: Must Love Cowboys

Author: Carly Bloom

Series: Once Upon a Time in Texas

Page Length: 657

Publication Date: April 27, 2021

Publisher: Forever

Synopsis: In this charming, sexy romance, a bookish beauty needs a fake boyfriend and finds a handsome cowboy who is just the man for the job.

Beau Montgomery is living his best life . . . until he’s left in charge of Rancho Cañada Verde. With his dyslexia, he’d choose a saddle over spreadsheets any day. His best hope is to ask the town librarian for tutoring. Only he’s had a crush on the book-loving beauty since his junior high days—and despite being a smooth talker, he can’t help getting tongue-tied every time they meet.

Alice Martin doesn’t regret putting her career above personal relationships—but when Beau comes to her for help, Alice decides to see what she’s been missing. She’ll improve Beau’s reading skills if the handsome cowboy teaches her how to flirt and agrees to be her date to an upcoming wedding. But when the town’s gossip mill gets going, they’re forced into a fake romance to keep their deal a secret. Soon Alice is seeing Beau in a whole new way . . . can she turn their imaginary story into a real-life happy-ever-after?

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon

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My Review:

Carly Bloom’s Must Love Cowboys is a charming fake-dating, friends-to-lovers romance. Beau is a co-foreman alongside his brother at Rancho Canada Verde. When Beau learns his twin got a new job, and Beau will be the lone foreman, he worries that he won’t succeed. Beau has dyslexia, and his brother has always helped him with the tasks that were challenging. So, Beau asks the smartest person he knows for help.

Beau has had a crush on Alice Martin ever since she was his babysitter when he was a boy. Now, fifteen years later, Alice, the town librarian, needs a date for an upcoming wedding. So, when Beau Montgomery comes to ask for her help, Alice proposes a deal – she will tutor him if he pretends to be her date at the wedding. Soon their fake relationship turns into something more.

Alice is a thirty-two-year-old librarian who is a bit awkward and shy. She’s quirky and intelligent and analytical. Alice put her education and career ahead of her personal life, and though she doesn’t regret it, she also doesn’t have much experience in romance. Beau, on the other hand, has ample experience. He’s a twenty-eight-year-old, sexy, and cocky cowboy who definitely turns heads. However, his arrogance hides his insecurities, as Alice learns throughout the story.

I love the relationship between Beau and Alice! I always enjoy the fake-dating trope, and theirs is wonderful. They have such fantastic chemistry, and their connection is really strong. Beau has liked Alice since he was a young teenager, and she was his babysitter. Though fifteen years have passed, he still feels the same. However, he feels like she is out of his league because of his dyslexia. I love how their relationship develops, how they support and encourage each other, how they help each other look at themselves differently and more positively, and how romantic their love story is. Both characters struggle with their insecurities, Beau because of his dyslexia and feelings of unworthiness, and Alice because of her shyness and social awkwardness, and I like how they help each other gain confidence and become more self-assured. It definitely deepens their connection, and their tender moments are almost as swoon-worthy as their sexy times.

The secondary characters are great too, and I love the strong female relationships in the story. Alice has a close-knit group of friends that are fantastic, and there are some great conversations and comical moments. The author does such a great job of bringing these characters and the town to life. It sounds charming and like a place I’d love to live, especially considering all of these dynamic people live there!

This is a fun, sexy, and sweet contemporary romance that I really enjoyed. The characters are so well developed and compelling, the friendships are strong, and the romance is positively swoon-worthy! Though this is the third book in the Once Upon a Time in Texas series, it can easily be read as a standalone. I didn’t read the first two books before reading this one, and I became quickly immersed in the book. Of course, I enjoyed it so much that I plan to go back and read the first two books now! Thanks so much to Forever Publishing for sending me a copy of the book.


Favorite Parts:

  • The romance!
  • The character development.
  • The charming town.
  • The great friendships.

Favorite Line:

“To him, Alice had been beautiful and sophisticated. Smart and talented. To him, she’s been everything.”


This is a great read for people who enjoy contemporary cowboy romances. Readers who like fake dating or friends-to-lovers romances will also like this one!

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