Monday, September 30, 2013

The Trouble With Cowboys - Review

Review by Rachel Hamm

Amy Sorentino has just returned to the family farm after a humiliating appearance on a reality cooking competition.  She’s prepared for the small town gossip and her dysfunctional family, but she’s not prepared for Kellan Reed.  Kellan is a real-life cowboy, a troubled youth turned self-made cattle rancher.  And Amy has a big weakness for cowboys.

Their immediate and mutual lust for one another breaks Amy’s first personal rule: “Stay Away From Cowboys.”  Amy has a lot of rules for her life, all of which stem from not wanting to follow the same paths as her parents.   She’s just not very good at following them.

Though both try to deny wanting more, neither Amy nor Kellan are satisfied with a sexual-only relationship.  But, as they get to know each other, Kellan discovers a conflict of interest in their business affairs.  He wants to do the honorable thing and step away, but between Amy’s curves and the emotional trauma she’s facing dealing with family issues, he can’t stay away.

Cheese, cheese, extra cheesy.  But not in a bad way.  This is one of those don’t-take-yourself-so-seriously books that every girl should keep on her nightstand or in her beach bag.  Cutler paints a portrait of New Mexico farm life that is sad at times, wicked at times, and almost always HOT.  The steamy scenes aren’t overdone (no ick factor here) , though I would have liked the characters a little better if they could have held off more than two hours after meeting each other.  Call me a prude, I guess!

Mechanically speaking, Cutler has a great way with words.  I love when an author is able to effortlessly vary sentence structure and vocabulary in a way that does not intrude on the reader.  Her characters always seemed intelligent, without sounding overly so.  There’s nothing more annoying to me as a reader than characters assuring me how smart they are.  The dialogue felt a bit stiff at times, but for the most part, flowed well and always moved the story forward.

There were a few times, especially toward the end, that I teared up.  The family difficulties heaped on Amy were heartbreaking, but it was touching sharing her struggles and watching her hold tightly to her sisters to get through them.  Any woman with sisters will understand this.  Women without sisters will long for it.  The best part of the sisters’ relationships, though, was that they weren’t perfect.  They fought.  They kept secrets from one another.  They had different outlooks on life.  But in the end, they always found support for each other.  A true testament to family.

I’m a Southern California native, born and raised.  At eighteen, I moved a hundred miles down the coast from Orange County to San Diego to attend college and knew instantly that I’d found my heaven on earth.  Meeting the love of my life there was icing on the cake.

I love my life as a writer, wife, and mom.  With every unfolding day, the world seems more wondrous, more crowded with possibilities.   But while I still harbor dreams of fronting a rock-and-roll cover band, traveling to every corner of the world, and driving a race car, writing and reading romance novels are still my greatest joys.

When I’m not chasing after kids, trying to coax my nervous Siamese cat out from under the bed, or experimenting with cocktail recipes, you can find me hunched over my computer, dreaming up perfectly flawed characters and timeless romances…and those all-important love scenes.

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