Book Review and Excerpt: Promise Me, Cowboy by CJ Carmichael

Promise Me

Promise Me, Cowboy by CJ Carmichael


Promise Me Cowboy contains some of my favorite things: chocolate, a sexy cowboy, and a small town setting.  This is a second chance romance between Sage Carrigan, former barrel racer, and Dawson O’Dell, a bronco rider. Sage and Dawson met on the rodeo circuit years ago and he is one of her two big secrets. After being hurt and humiliated by Dawson and then suffering an injury during a rodeo 5 years ago, Sage went back home to Marietta, Montana. She now owns the successful Copper Mountain Chocolate shop. Dawson is in town for his last rodeo and is the towns new sheriff deputy. He’s ready to settle down and make Sage some promises.  CJ Carmichael is a wonderful storyteller. I liked the characters and story was well written and believable. The novella is an easy to read sweet story. This is the first book in the Carrigans of the Circle C series (which I love) and you’ll get to know Sage and Dawson more in the series as well as in other Montana Born books.

Publisher: Tule Publishing (October 9, 2013)

Contemporary Romance/Western


Sage Carrigan never meant to be the other woman. Unfortunately, bronco rider Dawson O’Dell neglected to mention he was married the night he invited her to his bed after they’d both placed first in their rodeo events. When his wife walked in on them – Sage was deeply hurt and humiliated. After an accident in the ring the next day, Sage decides she’s quitting the rodeo–and cowboys—to become a chocolatier in her hometown ranching community, Marietta, Montana. She’s doing just fine, but then Dawson shows up —five years later, with a little girl in tow. He’s here for the Copper Mountain Rodeo hoping to win big. But he’s also got plans of settling down with his daughter and buying a house—the very same one that Sage has been dreaming about. He says he’s here for her and he’s making lots of promises. But can he keep them?

Carrigans of the Circle C series

Hawksley Carrigan, owner of the Circle C Ranch always wanted a son to carry on the family name—but, instead, he got four beautiful, spirited daughters. After his wife’s untimely death, he withdrew into his pain leaving the girls to raise themselves. And they did. Join Sage, Mattie, Dani and Callan as they deal with change, loss, new life, secrets–and love in this series of heartfelt novels.


Book 1: Promise Me, Cowboy

Book 2: Good Together

Book 3: Close to Her Heart

Book 4: Snowbound in Montana

Book 5: A Cowgirl’s Christmas

Book 6: A Bramble House Christmas



USA Today Bestselling Author C. J. Carmichael has written over 45 novels in her favorite genres of romance and mystery. She has been nominated twice for the Romance Writers of America RITA Award, as well as RT Bookclub’s Career Achievement in Romantic Suspense award, and the Bookseller’s Best honor.

She gave up the thrills of income tax forms and double entry book-keeping in 1998 when she sold her first book to Harlequin Superromance. Since then she has published over 35 novels with Harlequin and is currently working on a series of western romances with Tule Publishing. In addition C. J. Carmichael has published several cozy mystery series as an Indie author. When not writing C. J. enjoys family time with her grown daughters and her husband. Family dinners are great. Even better are the times they spend hiking in the Rocky Mountains around their home in Calgary, and relaxing at their cottage on Flathead Lake, Montana.

Visit C.J.’s website at


A lot of people believe you can’t keep a secret in a small town, but that simply wasn’t true. Sage Carrigan was only twenty-nine years old and already she had two that would blow the minds of her sisters and her father and the girlfriends who thought they knew every little thing about her.

And one of those secrets was just now stepping into her chocolate shop.

Sage stepped behind the counter, needing something solid to lean on. It was really him, Dawson O’Dell, her biggest secret, her biggest mistake… her biggest weakness.

Right now O’Dell was one of the top ranked cowboys in professional rodeo. She’d met him back in her barrel-racing days, but five years hadn’t changed him much. He still dressed like the bronc-rider he was, in Wrangler jeans and dusty boots, western shirt unbuttoned to the white T shirt beneath. His dark blonde hair was a little too long, and his green eyes a little too astute.

The second his eyes met hers she knew this was no chance encounter.


He walked right up to the counter and gave her a look that made her instantly remember all the things she had once found so irresistible about this man.

“It’s been a long time,” he added.

He looked at her as if he knew her inside and out. Which he did. Or at least he had. Then his gaze swept the shop, the shelves of attractively packaged chocolate. However you liked it, she had it. Dark chocolate covering silky mint creams, milk chocolate over salt-flecked toffee, chocolate shavings and chocolate mixed with nuts. Bars of dark, milk or white chocolate. Chocolate in the shape of horses, cowboy boots…or the letters from A to Z. And more.

“Quite a departure from barrel-racing.”

“That was kind of the point.” Finally she’d found her voice. And now that the shock of seeing him was settling down, anger began seeping into its place. “If you’re here to buy something—please do it quickly. Otherwise, it would be best if you just left.” She looked pointedly at the door, hoping she’d kept the nerves out of her voice.

He rubbed the side of his face, using his left hand. No wedding ring, she noticed. But then there hadn’t been last time, either.

He gave her a lopsided smile. “Sounds like you’re still a little angry.”

“I’m not angry, O’Dell. Just really not interested in seeing you. Or talking to you. Or even breathing the same air as you.”

His eyebrows went up. “That’s harsh.”

Obviously not harsh enough because he didn’t leave. Instead he wandered to the display of chocolate letters and selected an “S.”

For Sage?

“I owe you an apology,” he allowed.

“Five years ago you owed me an apology. Now, you just need to walk out that door and let me go on pretending I never met you.”

He sighed like she was the dolt in the classroom who just didn’t get it. “I did try to apologize. But you left town mighty fast.”

Less than twenty-four hours after she crashed on that second barrel, her father had shown up in Casper, Wyoming and had whisked her home. But there had been time for Dawson to reach her. If he’d wanted to.

That had been the last rodeo she’d ever competed in. And it had been the last time she’d let herself get tangled up with a cowboy, too.

“Sage, even if it is a little late, I still want to say it. I was sorry then, and I’m sorry now.”

Damn, if he didn’t look sincere. But she hardened her heart. Facts were facts and how sorry could he be if he’d waited so long to find her?

Keeping her tone artificially sweet, she asked, “What exactly are you sorry for? Would that be for sleeping with me even though you were married?”

He winced.

“Or for your wife catching me butt naked in your bed and then pointing a rifle in my face?”

His gaze dropped to the counter and he swallowed hard. The words—she’d never spoken them aloud before—hung out there, embarrassing, and true, damn it. All too true.

“Sure sounds bad, when you put it like that.”

End of Excerpt

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