Wednesday, July 5, 2017


"There was a wonderful, slow build to romance between River and Leighton and when they came together, it was sweet and also hot and sexy." - Craves the Angst

TITLE: Country Nights
AUTHOR: Winter Renshaw
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: June 25, 2017
PUBLISHER: Winter Renshaw
PAGES: Approx. 484
Ardent Prose

RATING: 3.5 Stars!
HEA: Yes

Sixty country days and sixty country nights—that’s all I wanted.

I needed to get away from the city, away from the hot mess that had become my life.

When I stumbled upon my childhood home on, I took it as a sign, cleaned out my life savings, and hightailed it to the only place that ever meant something to me, a place I hadn’t seen since a lifetime ago.

Only when I arrived to the familiar South Dakotan farmhouse, I was met by a brooding, we-don’t-take-kindly-to-strangers cowboy by the name of River McCray, who insisted this was his house and most definitely not a rental property.

I’d been internet scammed.

And that cocky, smart-mouthed stranger had the nerve to make me a humiliating offer: I could stay in his house for the next two months rent-free, but I had to work for him.

He’d be my boss. And my roommate.

With no money and nowhere else to go, I agreed. But nothing could have prepared me for the tension, the attraction, and the bombshell revelation that changed … everything.

Purchase at Amazon

Country Nights is an Adult, Contemporary Romance written by Winter Renshaw. I was gifted a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review through Ardent Prose.

3.5 “I love your heart.” Stars!

The Review: 
This was a very simple, very sweet second-chance-at-happiness romance with a little bit of angsts and a great story. Leighton won me over and River made my heart weep at all he’d lost. This was my first book by this author, but it won’t be my last. I enjoyed the writing style and I connected with the characters. There were a few things I wished had happened differently, but overall, it was a good read.

Leighton Hart has just found out her fiance is a cheater and lier. Needing some quiet and peace to re-find herself and heal her wounded heart, she takes it as a sign when she finds her childhood home on a renters list. Spending her savings and packing her bags, she heads back to Bonesteel Creek in hopes to reconnect with a past she remembers fondly ... that is until she meets the surly owner of her family's old farm and realizes she’s been swindled.

River McCray is off the grid. After losing his whole world in the blink of an eye, he’s closed himself off from any kind of connection but when Leighton shows up at his doorstep with all her limited possessions in tow, he can’t seem to turn her completely away.

I loved River right from the start. He was intense, quiet and resistant to any and all connection. He straight up sends Leighton away but soon his caring and wholesome heart shines through and comes to her rescue. Leighton was a no-nonsense kind of character and I enjoyed and respected her .. all the way up until she makes a pretty bad decision in keeping quiet when she should have spoke up. After such a strong start, it was disappointing to see. I also didn’t really like the “potential” of a second love interest. In this kind of romance, I want my heroine’s eyes to be set on one choice ... the hero. Not swayed by another and with Seth in the picture, it kind of threw me at first as to who I should have been rooting for.

Also, when Leighton’s ex came back into the picture, I expected more. He shows up, tries to stake his claim and after all the underhanded things he did to find Leighton, he just leaves? I was expecting a bigger showdown. But I loved how River stood up to Grant and let Grant know Leighton was now his! FUN!

River’s heartbreak was well written. In fact, I loved how the author wrote him from beginning to end. He was grieving and hadn’t moved on from a painful past. I became emotionally invested in him and it only solidified as the story moved forward. I also enjoyed how supportive and understanding Leighton was. She could have let jealousy rule her, but she understood she was befriending a man who had a past and she respected that past and all the love it held. 

There was a wonderful, slow build to romance between River and Leighton and when they came together, it was sweet and also hot and sexy.

The Wrap Up: 
All in all, this was a great story. There were a few parts I wished had been different, but this book was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. I’ll be looking up more books by this author.


“You know it’s three o’clock in the morning, right?” Leighton closes the picket fence gate and steps lightly up the paved sidewalk. She’s grinning, coming toward me like a woman floating on a breeze. 

Anchored in a wooden rocking chair, I flatten my lips. “Your point?”

“Why are you still up?” She takes the chair beside me, crossing her legs and leaning toward me. “Were you waiting for me to get home?”

“Nope.” I fold my hands across my stomach, staring ahead. 

“Couldn’t sleep?”

“Something like that.” I exhale. Story of my life. 

“Can I ask you something?” Leighton’s brows are furrowed, like she’s concentrating, and she rests her chin on top of her hand. 

“No.” I rise to head in, only she reaches for me, tugging on my sleeve until I return to my seat. 

“Talk to me.”

“We’re not friends,” I remind her. 

“We don’t need to be friends to talk.” She sits up tall in her rocker, squaring her shoulders. “I’m just curious about some things.”

“And those things are probably none of your business.” My words are sharp, cutting. 

“I know that,” she says, watching me. “Doesn’t make me any less curious.”

We linger in silence for a moment, nothing but the sound of cicadas and the rare bellow of a cow calling her calf somewhere over the hill. 

“When I talked to Molly earlier, she said some things…” Leighton pauses.
“Molly says a lot of things.”

“She gave me the impression that you weren’t always like this.”

I scoff. “Weren’t always like what?”

“Closed off. Bitter. Temperamental.” Leighton seems to choose her words carefully, but it doesn’t make them any easier to swallow.

I know what I’ve become. In fact, I’m well aware. No man has his heart and soul pulverized and comes out completely unscathed. I may not have visible scars, but it doesn’t mean they’re not there, taking up permanent residence just beneath the surface. 

I feel them every day, a stark reminder of everything I lost.

One day she was here …

The next day she was gone. And she took my whole world with her. 

And it wasn’t her fault. Not one bit. It was mine.

That’s something I have to live with the rest of my life. 

“Molly thinks you’re lonely,” she says, releasing a gentle chuckle. 

Dragging in a ragged breath, I ponder my answer before letting it go. “I’m not sure why you think any of that would concern you.”

“So you are.”

“I didn’t say that,” I snap. 

“Well, Molly seems to think that, and she says you guys have known each other since you were kids.” Leighton rocks, staring up at a starless sky with her hands folded across her lower belly. I glance away. “She’s worried about you. She wants to see you smile again.”

“Smiling’s overrated.”

“Molly wants me to stick around,” she says, “for your sake. I told her it probably wasn’t a good idea. I feel like you find me annoying.”

“You wouldn’t be wrong.”

Her brows lift, her jaw unhinges. “Really? So you do find me annoying …”

“You talk way too much. You ask too many questions. And for a city girl, you’re awfully na├»ve.” 

She stands, hands on her hips. “You don’t talk enough. You don’t ask nearly enough questions because you don’t seem to care about anyone but yourself. And for a small-town boy, you’re awfully rude.”

I rise, towering over her and breathing out my nose. She smells like a bar: cheap beer and stale cigarettes. I liked her better when she smelled like my soap and her exotic perfume. 

Nothing about this woman belongs here, in this town. She’s too polished and pretty, her eyes too filled with life and hope. This town would chew her up and spit her out, just like it has everyone else who stuck around.

“I’m going to bed,” I say. 

Her eyes narrow. “You can’t just walk away.”

“And why the hell not?”

“Because we’re fighting. And you’re trying to run from it.”

“Don’t use my words against me.” I shake my head, hooking my thumbs through the belt loops of my jeans. “I’m not running, Leighton. I’m tired. I’m going to bed. And trust me. We’re not fighting, sweetheart. You’d know if we were.”

Leighton’s hands grip the sides of her head, tugging at her dark hair, and she releases an exasperated moan. I imagine I’m infuriating her right now, but I don’t particularly care. In fact, I couldn’t care less.

“Goodnight, now.” I head back inside, letting the screen door slam behind me.


Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon bestselling author Winter Renshaw is a bona fide daydream believer. She lives somewhere in the middle of the USA and can rarely be seen without her trusty Mead notebook and ultra portable laptop. When she’s not writing, she’s living the American dream with her husband, three kids, and the laziest puggle this side of the Mississippi.

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