When Jimmy Rafferty woke up, he expected to be at home. At least in the stable at the J-Bar Ranch where he’d passed out. He didn’t expect to be watching his best friend receive a blow job while he waited in the cab of Eddie’s truck. What’s worse is when Eddie gets back in and they take off to a cabin in the middle of nowhere. Apparently with the future of the J-Bar up in the air after the death of its owner, the Boss and Eddie took it upon themselves to sober Jimmy up. But there’s a problem. Jimmy doesn’t see the need in sobering up. He doesn’t have a problem.
Alone in a cabin with only Eddie—the traitor—for company, trapped in the snow without a working vehicle, Jimmy is forced to face his demons, and mostly he’s forced to face Eddie, who he’s not sure if he wants to throttle or kiss. But Eddie has a man, at least that’s the impression Jimmy has—the surgeon who owns the cabin. The surgeon who’s married with children.
Detoxing with a side of denial never made for a good outcome. So when Jimmy finally shares his secrets with Eddie, things between them change, although Jimmy doesn’t tell Eddie how he feels about him. When his detox takes a turn for the worse, Jimmy and Eddie end up with Eddie’s lover and things between the three heat up. Jimmy tells himself that having Eddie for a moment is worth it, and even though he wants to hate Eddie’s surgeon, he can’t.
In the midst of the tangle of emotions is Alcoholics Anonymous and detoxing and finding himself and Jimmy is confused and scared and feels hopeless. But he does it. For Eddie. To see Eddie happy and proud of him. And then comes the true test, or at least that’s what Jimmy thinks, but strength of will and mind may not be enough to piece through his mess and win Eddie’s heart.
My Heartache Cowboy is the second book in The Cowboys series by Z.A. Maxfield’s.
I. Am. In. Love. I liked the first book in this series just fine, but I am head over heels for Jimmy and Eddie’s story. The feels in this book… just… wow! Maxfield took a villain from book one and completely and totally redeemed him with emotion and tough love and devotion. This book is beautiful and powerful and damn sexy.
So we met Jimmy and Eddie in My Cowboy Heart, and while Eddie is precious in that book, Jimmy is an asshole. But the truth is Jimmy is hiding and scared and stuck in a family curse. This book… ohmigod… Jimmy is one of the most vulnerable, loveable, real characters I’ve met in a minute. He’s all passion and heart and emotion, yet he has no idea how to express it so he drinks. He’s suffered at the hands of a father who hated him and missing a brother who passed tragically. So he drinks. His recovery, finding himself, discovering his life again is amazingly tragic and heart wrenching, but it’s also glorious. He tugged at every single one of my heartstrings. Now Eddie is the same today, yesterday, and tomorrow. He’s a rock, a foundation for Jimmy. He’s also something Jimmy strives for. But Eddie has his own secrets and that’s what colors this story. While we’re focused on Jimmy throughout the book, we don’t really focus on Eddie as much—other than wonder why he seems so heartbroken so often. And then Eddie lets loose and everything about his past and why he does what he does, why he is who he is, comes out in one fell swoop. These guys simply stole my heart. Well… not so simply.
Okay, so, wow… the addition of Don to this story is amazing. I didn’t know what to think about him at first. Don, for those of you who are confused right now, is Eddie’s lover. At first I didn’t want to like him because Jimmy didn’t want to like him. But then we meet him and his story is heartbreaking. Not only that, Don is a genuine, caring, sincere guy, and I found myself wishing that this story was a ménage. In a way it is. I’m not going to go into how—that will just serve to confuse you more, but all in all this story is about a relationship between Jimmy and Eddie with the addition of Don. In a way. But I can’t tell you how many times I wished for a permanent role for Don in Jimmy and Eddie’s relationship. And now I want a story for Don, though I have a feeling his story is pretty much complete now.
This book is not for the faint of heart. It’s not violent or trashy or graphic. It’s painful in other ways. Alcoholism can be such a taboo subject and Maxfield does a wonderful job shining a light on the horrible aspects of that life, but also showing the beauty that comes from recovery. It’s made real in this book. It’s not easy by any means. It’s a rough road and it hurts and it scars, but in the end comes enlightenment and forgiveness and true life. That’s what this author gave Jimmy. The journey brought me to tears more than once, but it was absolutely worth the pain to get to the reward.
I loved this book. It’s powerful and heartfelt and beautiful. I want more of these three guys—all of them. I cannot wait to read book three. I highly, highly recommend My Heartache Cowboy by Z.A. Maxfield.