Never Love a Cowboy - Lorraine Heath Jessye works in her father's saloon serving drinks. When she was sixteen she fell in love with a handsome, smooth-talking dude who promised her the world and instead left her heart and reputation in tatters. Jessye believes that she is unworthy of a husband and a family of her own because of her past. She dreams of becoming independent from men and making her way on her own. This is why she agrees to finance a half-cocked idea thought up by two Englishmen to round up cattle and deliver them eastward. They guarantee she'll make a fortune and since she knows more about cattle rustling than the Englishmen she goes along with them on the cattle drive.

Harrison (Harry) is the second son of an earl sent by his father to Texas to clean up his act. Because of his past Harry believes he is incapable of love and spent his youth drinking, gambling, and driving up huge debts. Harry believes he is indeed the scoundrel he presents to the world but deep down lurks a kind, generous and even insecure man. Because Harry doesn't enjoy working any harder than he has to he intends to make this cattle venture a success.

Harry is strongly attracted to the outspoken Jessye and turns on the charm full-blast in order to get her into his bed. Although Harry tempts Jessye (he is gorgeous after all) she turns him down and tells him flat out that he will never get her in his bed until he can offer her his heart - the one thing that Harry knows he can never do.

The two spend most of the book doing all they can to avoid falling in love. Harry because he believes he simply can't love and Jessye because she refuses to give her love again. These two characters are very wounded souls and have multiple layers to their character which is exactly what I've come to expect from a Lorraine Heath novel. But because Harry's reasons for holding out were not explained fully or early enough his refusal to admit that he was falling in love exhausted and frustrated me. I guess I've just burned out on the stubborn "I don't have a heart" hero. A terrible accident occurs about half way through which adds more fuel to Harry's refusal to love Jessye but it also makes him a much stronger man. This section was written believably and with much compassion.

Jessye is an admirable heroine who has had to make a heartbreaking choice and her reasons to avoid love were much more understandable than Harry's. There is a subplot involving a little girl that was just way too coincidental for me to believe but I was able to over look it because it did create some painfully emotional scenes and added much to Jessye's characterization.

"Never Love A Cowboy" has a good mix of action and emotion and is definitely worth a read. It managed to move me to tears and made me smile in quite a few places but it is not my favorite Lorraine Heath novel. I reserve that spot for TEXAS DESTINY.