By T.J. Kline
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Release Date: November 26, 2013
Scott Chandler has no use for rodeo queens. Experience has taught him that they are pampered, self-absorbed divas who will stomp on a man's heart then hit the road without a backward glance. He doesn't agree with his boss's decision to hire Sydney and has no intention of making things easy for her. Instead of softening his feelings toward her, the fact that she's a hard worker and seems to be a nice person only makes him dig in his heels harder. But the fact that she's drop dead gorgeous and sexy as all get out has him more than willing to indulge his desire for her even if he still thinks she's hiding her true nature.
Just when Sydney and Scott begin to realize that there might be more than desire at the root of their growing feelings, the past intrudes on the present, putting much more than their fledgling relationship at risk. Will they allow negative forces to come between them or will they find the strength and courage to fight for a happy ending?
I have mixed feelings about this book. It has several elements that I enjoy: a western theme, a strong heroine, a brooding hero, horses, sexy cowboys and a touch of danger as well as an author who knows the life about which she writes. There's a lot of potential here for character growth, a gradual deepening of sizzling desire into a solid emotional commitment and a triumph of love over hate. I wanted to like it a lot but there were issues that tempered my enjoyment. Maybe I'm just used to reading about contemporary characters with more life experience and stability but I found the hero of this story very immature. True, he's had heartbreak in his life but he had more mood swings than a 13-year-old girl and I didn't care for his treatment of the heroine nor her willingness to have an ongoing physical relationship with him in light of it. I was happy with the heroine's growth over the course of the book but I would have had more confidence in a happy-ever-after if the hero's growth had been commensurate with her's. Having said that, there are still many things I like about the author's writing and I'm sure that there are many people who will like this book much more than I did.
This is T.J. Kline's first book and, while it didn't knock my socks off, it shows enough potential for me to definitely check out her next one.