Thursday, January 23, 2014

Review: Loving Cara (Under the Big Sky #1) by Kristen Proby

Loving Cara
(Under the Big Sky #1)
by Kristen Proby
Published:  January 21, 2014
Publisher:  Pocket Books
Source:  Publisher/NetGalley

In this new Love Under the Big Sky series from a USA TODAY bestselling author, Cara agrees to tutor her former classmate's nephew—and learns some lessons in love!

Josh King is an expert at running his family’s multi-million dollar ranch in Montana. (And all that outside manual labor has done wonders for sculpting his six-foot-three body, too.) But as sure footed as he is when it comes to the ranch, Josh doesn’t know anything about how to deal with an adolescent boy—so when his twelve-year-old nephew, Seth, is dropped off on his doorstep, looking scared and acting surly as hell, Josh knows he needs help in straightening him out.

Cara Donovan loves her quiet life as a teacher in her sleepy hometown, so she jumps at the chance to make a little money over the summer as a tutor. But when she learns she’ll be teaching Josh King’s nephew, Cara’s sweet summer job gets a little bit hotter. Cara tries to focus all her attention on tutoring Seth, but Josh proves to be a delicious distraction, while Josh’s memories of the shy girl he once teased in high school are nothing like the beautiful woman he’s facing now. Can he persuade her that there’s more between them than a summer fling?

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“Are you fu**ing me because you feel sorry for me?” I blurt out, and immediately wish I could grab the words out of the air between us and stuff them in my pockets.
Josh’s head whips around, his eyes wide in shock and anger. He clenches his mouth shut, tightens his grip on the steering wheel, and ignores the question altogether.
“Well?” I demand as he angrily flips on the blinker to turn down his driveway.
“Shut up, Carolina.”
“What did you say?”
“You heard me.”
“No, I must be mistaken, because if you just told me to shut up, I’m going to kick your ass.”
He pulls in front of his house, kills the engine, and turns in his seat to glare at me. “Why in the name of all that’s holy would you ask me that?”
“Just answer the question.”
“Cara, I’m going to warn you right now, I’m fu**ing pissed that you would even think for a second that I would f**k you, as you put it, because I feel sorry for you. Why is that thought even in your head?”
God, I’m stupid. I sigh and rub my forehead with my fingertips.
“Is this about Misty?” he asks, and my head whips back up to glare at him. “Shit.”
“What’s going on with you and Misty?” I ask, hating the accusatory tone in my voice.
“Nothing’s gone on with her for over a year.”
“You slept with her?” I ask incredulously.
“No, I dated her exactly twice, and then I found out what kind of person she is and stopped seeing her.” He shakes his head and brushes a finger down my cheek, but I flinch away from him. “What did she say to you?”
“She didn’t say anything to me.”
“Carolina,” he growls in warning.
“I overheard them,” I whisper, and look out the window, hating the tears I feel trying to form at the corners of my eyes.
He doesn’t say anything, he just waits, and I love him and hate him for understanding.
“Misty clearly has a thing for you.” I clear my throat as though it’s not a big deal. “She made it clear that a fat, ugly chick like me is no threat when it comes to a ten like you. You clearly just feel sorry for me and are trying to save me.”
“And you f**king believe that bullshit?”
“No, I don’t believe her!”
“Then why are we fighting about this?”
“I don’t necessarily believe Misty’s bullshit, but a tiny part of me can’t help but wonder why you’re attracted to me.” The last few words are whispered shamefully.
Josh stomps angrily out of the truck, slams the door shut, and moves in angry strides around the vehicle, yanks my door open, and, before I can do anything, pulls me easily over his shoulder, lifting me from my seat.
“I’ve heard enough.” He slaps my ass—hard—and carries me into the house, slamming the door behind us with his foot.
“I warned you.” He sets me on the kitchen island, slams his palms on the granite on either side of my hips, and pushes his face into mine. “I warned you the first day you were here that I’d spank your ass if you called yourself fat. It pisses me off.”
“So I’m gathering,” I whisper.
“Misty and her friends are bitches and most likely have been since the day they were born. I don’t give a f**k what they think about you or me or you and me together.” I hesitantly touch my fingertips to his cheeks and pull them down his face. “The only two people in this room are you and me, Carolina, and we’re the only ones who matter.”
He cups my face in his hands, his brown eyes on fire, and kisses me hard, his mouth claiming mine, marking me.
He grabs my hand in his, leading it to his erection, still covered by his slacks. “Trust me, sweetheart, this doesn’t happen around women I feel sorry for. Feel what you do to me.”
My cheeks flush and I just want to slink away and be mortified while he’s not watching, but he makes me meet his eyes with my own.
“Pull that dress over your head.” He takes a small step back, giving me room to do as I’m told.
I bite my lip, embarrassed all over again because I’d been brave earlier and gone without panties. Now I wish I’d worn them.
“Carolina,” he whispers, and drops to his knees, spreading my thighs wide. “You’re so beautiful.”

My Thoughts:  I've been wanting to read a book by Kristen Proby and when I saw this one, I thought it would be the perfect series to begin with.  I just love a hot cowboy, and that is exactly what you get with Josh King.

Carolina (Cara) Donovan is a schoolteacher and a very good one  She's looking for a summertime tutoring job, something that lands her at the home of Josh King.  Josh's 12-year-old nephew Seth is living with them after his mom abandoned him.  His dad, Josh's twin brother Zack, has been in Afghanistan.  Seth's a smart kid with a bad attitude, but not too big a challenge for Cara.  Josh on the other hand, makes her weak in the knees and the more time they spend together the closer they get, and they have a hot time in the process, as well as overcome a few road blocks along the way.

Loving Cara is told from both Josh's and Cara's point of view.  I liked Cara's character.  She is self-conscious about her body image, the reason being that when she was in high school she was a little on the chubby side with frizzy hair, and the brunt of jokes by a not-so-nice group of girls, some of which still haven't grown up.  Today's Cara, however, is a knockout, a fact that doesn't go unnoticed by the horse-riding hottie Josh King.  Despite his affections, she still struggles with her self-image at times.  Josh is a very dominant guy and has a commanding presence.  It's obvious he's used to being in charge, but he's really a nice guy, though he can loose his temper and behave like a jerk on occasion.  He's crazy about Cara and determined to make her see that.  The other characters were great to get to know also.  I loved Seth, the 12-year-old nephew, and Kristen Proby has laid the foundation for some really good romance between some of the characters in future installments, which I'm really looking forward to.

The romance is hot, and there are some pretty intense sexual scenes, so this is definitely for the 18+ plus crowd.  There is not an over abundance of drama, though the story is still good and I did really enjoy it.  It is a light read that is relaxing, entertaining, and sexy.  I have to say that I have enjoyed my first Kristen Proby read and I am definitely looking forward to more from this author.

About:  Kristen Proby has made a living as a massage therapist, a medical biller, a registrar in an Emergency Room, and a professional photographer. But what feeds her soul is writing romantic, erotic love stories about strong women who don’t necessarily need saving, and gorgeous, alpha-type men who want to save them anyway.

Kristen lives in the amazing Pacific Northwest where, conveniently, her muse lives too.

Kristen loves hearing from readers! You can contact her on her Facebook page or via email.


  1. I love hot and sexy cowboys! I think it's great that this was a light, sexy, and entertaining read. I need a break from all the angst books that I have been reading. Wonderful Review Ellen!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

  2. Have you read her With Me in Seattle books? I love those! I'm getting this audiobook soon and I'm looking forward to listening to it. I absolutely HATE this cover! Hate it!I wish authors would try better than half naked people on covers...

  3. I love that there isn't an overabundance of drama in this one, I am kind of getting sick of all the angst and drama in NA books lately.

  4. I'm going to be reading this one soon, and can't wait. I really like Proby's writing. Great review, Ellen!

  5. I haven't read anything by Kristen Proby but this sounds great! I'm really not a fan of that cover though :-\ I'm pleased to see you enjoyed this.

    A lovely review Ellen! :-)


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