Image from Goodreads

Title: Once Upon a Cowboy
Series: Almost Royal #2
Author: Rachel Lacey
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 2 July 2019

Synopsis from Goodreads

Megan Perl went from beauty to beast when a car accident left her permanently scarred. Before, Megan was outgoing and vivacious, always with a man at her side. Now? She spends more time behind a camera than in front of it. She’s ready to turn her hobby into something more by offering photography sessions at the castle where she works. This year is dedicated to her career, not men. If only she wasn’t so crazy-attracted to the cowboy who’s renting the stable on the castle grounds…

Jake Reardon is no stranger to tragedy. After a fall left his bride in a coma on their wedding day, he was forced to watch her slowly fade away in a hospital bed. Now, he finds himself in the unwelcome position of virgin widower. At Rosemont Castle, he can finally focus on establishing his career as a horse trainer. The only problem is that his new landlady makes him hotter than the Virginia sun.

Sparks fly every time Jake and Megan cross paths, but there’s no way he’s going to lose his virginity with the woman who manages the property he’s leasing. As their attraction grows, though, so do their emotions. Jake carries his scars inside, but Megan has to wear hers for the world to see. Can love heal their wounds, or will it tear them apart?

Review

Prior to her accident Megan relied on her looks to boost her self-esteem and never delve into the world of feelings. A slightly shallow existence but one that worked for Megan until she no longer had the one thing she always took for granted. Although Megan doesn’t admit just how traumatising she has found dealing with her facial scars.

Megan develops quite a bit within Once Upon a Cowboy, mainly due to her cowboy, Jake, but also via a connection she makes to an injured horse. A kinship if you will due to their physical imperfections.

Once Upon a Cowboy makes you face your own subconscious prejudice to physical disabilities via the way in which people react to Megan on the initial meeting. While uncomfortable to think we would react in such a way as to be unable to look directly at Megan, I could also be objective and think it may be their way of not making Megan distressed when in fact it has the opposite of the desired effect.

Jake, on the other hand, carries deep emotional scars stemming from his first and only relationship resulting in the loss of his wife on their wedding day. Jake is an absolute angel, remaining faithful to a woman who continues to slip away day by day. I adored how Jake was able to always look for the silver lining. Not only that but Jake’s openness and lack of pretense won my heart. Jake falls hard and fast, he doesn’t believe in playing games making him the ideal person to support Megan in regaining her confidence.

Once Upon a Cowboy is a fairly fast read with limited amounts of angst and a lot of warm and fuzzy feelings, with the added bonus of cuteness overload in the form of the rescue animals from the Fairy Tales Program 😍