Review: Tending Tyler (Lone Star #1) by Jodi Payne and B.A. Tortuga

Rating: 4🌈

Tending Tyler is another of Jodi Payne and B.A. Tortuga’s incredibly sweet contemporary cozy cowboy romances. The beginning of the Lone Star series , that’s Texas, ranches, and cowboys, with the addition of cute kids.

Truly you can’t go wrong with those elements and these writers.

Payne and Tortuga have the local lingua and food of the heart down pat, as well as the expected community musts (WallyWorld anyone). Their affection and cellular knowledge of the people and regional landscape add such a richness to this and each story that you know immediately who authored them.

There’s other aspects too. The instant love factor that needs a firm grounding to make us believe in it and the relationship. As well as the ability to write children, of multiple age groups, realistically.

The character of Tyler McKeehan, a NYC bartender who’s had a lifetime of loss and just undergone another heartbreaking one, is a portrait of lonely vulnerability and stasis.

The recent death of his best friend has him moving in place, from the flow at the gay bar he works at to the overtime that fills his schedule. The tragedy behind Will’s death is part of the storyline I feel was underutilized by the authors.

It’s a connection shared by the other main character, rancher Matthew Whitehead. The cowboy had come to NYC for the book fair and ends up with not only boxes of books, but meeting Tyler with whom he shares an immediate bond.

And more , as his sister underwent much the same devastating loss.

With such a strong, emotional topic to help bind the men together, I’m not sure why this thread was dropped altogether. For me, it would have been a deeper journey , full of familial ties, a shared history, and growth.

Instead, for dramatic impact, we had another less developed idea. One that came, hit, then was just as quickly resolved, without much explanation or background.

A shame, because the romance. The welcoming of Tyler by the girls into ranch life, however, overwhelming, was lovely and adorable. Tyler and Matt worked without too much effort as a delightful couple that readers of contemporary romance, and lovers of cowboys, will slide into.

Payne and Tortuga bring along a cast of other fabulous characters to support the love story of Tyler and Matt. These people always make each book so much stronger.

I’m recommending Tending Tyler (Lone Star #1) by Jodi Payne and B.A. Tortuga . Another captivating cozy cowboy romance from these wonderful authors!

Lone Star series:

🔹Tending Tyler #1

🔹Roped In #2 › showTending Tyler (Lone Star #1) by Jodi Payne – Goodreads


Bartender Tyler McKeehan feels like his whole life is on hold. All he does is work and sleep because he doesn’t know how to move on with his day to day after the shocking loss of his best friend. When he meets Matt at Les’s Bar where he works in New York, though, he thinks he might have found someone who can nudge him out of his rut. The cowboy seems to live on fast forward, but at the same time this kind, generous man makes Tyler feel wanted and safe.

Ranch owner Matthew Whitehead is just in New York for a visit. But when he runs into Tyler at Les’s Bar, he knows right away that Tyler is special. Matt’s family thinks he makes snap decisions, and they worry about him, but he knows what he wants, and even after just a few days he’s willing to fight to keep Tyler in his life. When Matt has to head back to Texas, he asks Tyler to come visit him and meet his kids. Soon.

Tyler doesn’t know if he can pick up and go to Texas, but he misses Matt’s affection and calming presence, so when life gets overwhelming, he makes the call. Between Matt’s huge, boisterous family, his children, his busy ranch, and the vast differences between New York City and Texas, Tyler wonders every day if he should go back to his old life. Matt is determined to keep Tyler right where he is, but can they overcome the odds against them and make a new life together?

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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