Adult Topic Blogs

Book Review · The Lesbian Review

Care Less, Cowgirl by D.J. Fronimos & Elke Lakey

Care Less, Cowgirl by D.J. Fronimos & Elke Lakey is an enemies to lovers, slow burn, forced proximity romance.

Two extremely different women travel from Germany to Texas for a two week vacation at the Gittie-Up dude ranch. Steph is looking forward to riding for two weeks after losing her long time equine companion. It’s one of several loses she suffers and she shows up in a bad head space.

After the art house manager forces her to take a vacation, Annika finds herself traveling far away with her only friend in the world, Leo, who isn’t into horses like his husband but loves to have a good time. She is terribly underwhelmed by the dumpy, overly helpful Steph. Surely she can find a woman good looking enough for a fling between long rides on a horse, not at all a thing she’s ever been interested in.

Both women are horrified to end up sharing a bunkbed in a child’s room of their assigned cabin. They only have two weeks to work through a multitude of personal issues they’ve brought along, while slowly discovering their roommate may not be as horrid as they first feared.


The authors make a point, an extended point, of making Annika and Steph real sad sacks when it comes to relationships and self esteem. These characters have a lot to work on, not least finally acknowledging to themselves what is going wrong with their life and do they have what it takes to make it better. The story is every bit as much about dealing internally with their own issues as it is about a romance. To that end, everything plays out at a glacial pace. I appreciated how the slow speed aided the women’s inner healing, because they just weren’t ready for love at the beginning of the book.

The last line of the book is super heartwarming and made me melt a little. It gave me a lot of faith that these women it took me a while to warm up to and then like very much will finally find the happiness they’ve been denied for so long.

Pros And My Favourite Parts

Because Annika and Steph are so far from being decent relationship material when they meet, the super slow fall into what might be a first real relationship is even more enjoyable. Their epiphanies are lovely mostly because each woman has a lot to offer if they can just get out of their own way. Steph struggles with the age old question of just how much butch chivalry is too much, and Annika is completely put off by her continual attempts to aid her. The tension on just this subject has deeper meaning than is obvious from the start and is just one way of several that the authors have of showing what the characters are made of.

Even though a reader can see where Annika’s infatuation with ranch hand Jessie is going, someone who has read the earlier book in the series can see even more clearly how much of a fall she’s setting up for herself. As her failure for introspection is a large part of her problems, this dilemma creates a delicious cliffhanger for that moment Annika’s fantasy runs up against the real world.

I’m not really a horse person, but the riding and horse care aspects are detailed and actually made for a great place to give characters chances to work on themselves and discover new aspects to their personality.

Heads Up

There is a somewhat non-consensual sex scene, in that one woman does things she uncomfortable with in order to please her partner.

The Conclusion

Steph travels from Germany to Texas for a two week dude ranch vacation at the invitation of her horse riding friend Tobias. His husband Leo persuades their friend Annika to use the vacation she’s forced to take by her boss to go with them. Annika is not into horses, but hopes to find a woman good enough to have a fling with. On first impression, that would not be overly helpful and dumpy Steph. It gets worse when they’re forced to share a tiny room in their cabin.

Steph and Annika have nothing in common, not even the friends who bring them along, and things only get worse after a rocky first meeting. Both of them have a long road to ride to work through their own life problems before a romance and maybe a relationship can even be considered.

Excerpt from Care Less, Cowgirl by D.J. Fronimos & Elke Lakey

Whatever expression had flickered across Annika’s face when she mentioned her mother had cleared by the time she unwrapped her own treat. “Thanks for this, by the way. My mother was, is, how shall I say this? My mother is not the nicest person you’ll ever meet. I mean, she didn’t beat me or anything, but I was not exactly the light of her life judging from her behavior. And frequent reminders. I think she would have happily remained childless if my father had not wanted a son. And as you may have noticed, I failed them in that regard as well.”

“She told you that? That’s downright mean.”

“Hence the not nice comment. Oh, she didn’t say it in so many words. She admits that my gender is not my fault. It’s everything else I do, or fail to do, that she finds fault with. I suppose indirectly it is my fault that she never gave Dad that son he wanted. And that they got divorced. Because after having to raise me, she sure wasn’t going to go through that again.” Annika took another bite of her chocolate and licked her fingers in a decidedly unmannerly manner. “Dad got his son with another woman, though. So it’s all good for him.”

Steph’s own mom and dad had always supported her even when they didn’t understand her need to be how she was. When Steph had proclaimed in fourth grade she wanted to get her head shaved, her mom had taken her to her own hairdresser, who’d talked her into only shaving the back and sides and keeping the top longer, a look she’d kept for many years.

“I was luckier than you there. My parents were always there for me.” Her dad had swallowed hard when he came home from work that night, staring at her for a long minute or two before he hugged her. “My dad never could say out loud that he was okay with how I chose to look and dress and what I was doing. But when I first had my long hair cut he gave me a present: a cravat of his. An ugly thing really, with blue stripes over maroon red, but I wore it proudly to school for weeks on end, just loosely draped around my neck. I didn’t know then how much it cost him to do it, but he even showed me how to tie the slip knot.”

Get It Online

When you use the links in this review and buy within 24 hours of clicking then we get a small commission that helps us run the site and it costs you nothing extra

Book Review · The Lesbian Review 1 Amazon US Buy Button Get 1 Book Review · The Lesbian Review 2 Amazon UK Buy Button Get 1 Book Review · The Lesbian Review 3 Amazon CA Buy Button Get 1





Book Review · The Lesbian Review 4 Amazon DE Buy Button Get 1 1 Book Review · The Lesbian Review 5 Amazon IT Buy Button Get 1 Book Review · The Lesbian Review 6 Amazon FR Buy Button Get 1





Book Review · The Lesbian Review Buy from Apple Books Get




Series: Gittie-Up Ranch

Foreign Facades

Care Less, Cowgirl


Bits and Bobs

ISBN number: 9781685506490

Publisher: JMS Books


If you enjoyed Care Less, Cowgirl by D.J. Fronimos & Elke Lakey then you should also look at

Losing Control by J.J. Arias










Note: I received a free review copy of Care Less, Cowgirl by D.J. Fronimos & Elke Lakey No money was exchanged for this review. When you use our links to buy we get a small commission which supports the running of this site

Related Posts

Leave a Reply