Renegade Heart by Nina Barrett

The rodeo is headed to Sin City! Sounds like a lethal combination, no?

What’s it About? 

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As if Vegas didn’t have excitement enough, December brings the National Finals Rodeo to the city. Heading the Imperial Hotel’s participation as a host hotel, Kerstin Hennepin is rushing to a meeting when a fall sends her tumbling into a stranger’s arms and he’s in no hurry to let her go.

Jake Aaron is a troubleshooter for the rodeo Or maybe he’s just plain trouble. Their attraction is instant and one close encounter leads to another, but Jake comes with plenty of questions. True he’s busy handing the offstage antics of rowdy rodeo contestants, but does his job also include romancing a young barrel rider and carrying a concealed weapon? With the finale of the Finals approaching, Kerstin needs answers. But when her search for the truth reveals more is going on behind the scenes than on the arena floor, she and Jake are squarely in someone’s cross hairs.

First Impressions

Yes, this novel definitely had a romantic aspect to it. However, I felt like it could also almost be categorized as a “How To” book. Basically, how to run a large scale event at a hotel, and how to manage rodeo activities. There was so much detail included on both subjects! I’m sure a lot of it was spot on accurate, as it seemed like there was a lot of research involved to make it as realistic as possible. Unfortunately, I felt like this resulted in our characters being pushed aside in order to focus more on logistics of event planning. Definitely unfortunate, as I love me some rodeo cowboy.

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Heroine vs. Hero

We definitely focus more attention on Kerstin’s character rather than Jake’s. Her relationship with the rest of her family back East, not to mention her ex-boyfriend who is suddenly back in the picture, meant that it was much easier to connect to her personality. As for Jake on the other hand, I felt like we never really had the opportunity to get to know him completely.

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I think his character was meant to remain a bit mysterious and distant. However, he always seemed off in the background, without much meaningful interaction between him and Kerstin. When they were together they were delightfully flirtatious, and I guess I was intrigued enough that I wanted them to spend more time together! At the very end we do find out a crucial hidden detail about Jake, but it was only brushed upon briefly, and I wish I had learned more about his background. Basically, gimme more!

*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Stand-alone

Should you read it? There were some slight rumblings of illegal activities happening behind the scenes, but I think the story would have benefited much more if the suspenseful story line had been focused on more than the details of how to host a holiday hoedown for rodeo guests.

Smut Level: Overall this is a fairly clean read. One sexy make out session that is cut short, and a little something more at the very end of the book. I must say though, I’m not sure they are a forever couple.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $4.99 Kindle Price. The Wild Rose Press, Inc. 170 Pages.

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Wedding Day by Erin Bevan

If you’re looking for a light-hearted romance featuring a dashing cowboy, a bit of intrigue, a good handful of sexual innuendos, and not too many detailed sex scenes, then this is definitely the book for you.

What’s it About?

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Famous Bull Rider Dallas Day met Cassie Bailey briefly in high school, but her plain looks and quiet personality left no lasting impression on him. Cassie, however, couldn’t say the same about Dallas. Their paths cross again ten years later when Dallas is home recovering from an injury, and Cassie is the only veterinarian who volunteers her services at the home-town rodeo. She’s jump-starting her new practice, and every eligible man within a ten-mile radius is trying to land a date with the attractive vet.

Dallas’ older brother bets him that, even with all his charm and fame, Dallas can’t land a date with the reserved lady vet. Not one to turn down a challenge, Dallas makes it his mission to win a date with Cassie. After seeing her, he realizes they’ve met before, but he doesn’t remember her being so pretty. His persistence pays off, but when Cassie finds out about the bet, their new love is put to the test. Determined to win her back, Dallas meets his biggest challenge yet: saving her life when a casual admirer turns into a deadly stalker.

First Impressions

This was such a delightful romance that I couldn’t ever seem to put it down. It really draws you in right from the get-go with it’s lovable characters and interesting story line. The romance between Dallas and Cassie starts off as a challenging bet for him, and an old high-school crush for her. But as the two get closer, spend more time together, and Dallas shows nothing but love and caring to Cassie’s daughter, Briana, this simple high-school crush turns into something more heartfelt and passionate.

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Multiple Themes

There’s really a plethora of different romance novel themes represented in this book. From single parents to stalkers, bets, a cowboy contemplating his rodeo career, and a virgin heroine torn between two men, it’s all here! I could see how some people might find all of these themes to be overwhelming, but I personally thought they all converged and flowed into one cohesive story with a dramatic and exciting conclusion. Every element had a part to play and it all came full circle.

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Mystery Stalker

The mystery stalker element of this novel also balanced very well with the budding romance between Cassie and Dallas. I did guess the identity of our stalker rather early on, but the author does an amazing job at making you suspect quite a few different characters, and second-guess yourself. Everything comes together in one final scene that is so unbelievably intense you can’t help but love it.

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*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: I sincerely hope this book is turned into a series because there’s a suggested future romance between Dallas’s brother and Cassie’s best friend. I want, nay I need, to see it come to fruition!

Should you read it? This is a great read that will make you giggle with delight, sigh from the fabulous romance, and hold your breath in anticipation. If I had one teeny weeny complaint, it would be that Dallas and Cassie come together extremely quickly. The whole novel takes place in the span of about two weeks.

Smut Level: This cowboy has posed for the month of June in a calendar wearing nothing but his Stetson. I need to get me one of those! Overall the sex scenes are very tame, but satisfying nevertheless.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $2.99 Kindle Price. Soul Mate Publishing. 236 Pages.

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