Monday, July 18, 2011

Recent Reads

One Lucky Cowboy by Carolyn Brown

Why this one: It was a good price on Kindle and had a nice cover. ‘both appealed to me.

Steam Level: Warm if I remember

Blurb: Jane Day is on the run from the paid assassin who had been her fiancé. In Wichita Falls, Texas, she meets Nellie Luckadeau, a spitfire of an old lady who desperately needs someone to work on her ranch. But Nellie's drop-dead gorgeous grandson "Lucky Slade" is sure he can spot a con artist a mile away. He's determined not to let some upstart like Jane fleece his granny.

When his signature intimidation methods don't convince Jane to leave, he pours on the charm to make her spill what she's up to. She's happy to play along, but she's not going to let this hot, hostile cowboy run her off his land when all she needs is a lucky break…

My Thoughts: So so books are the hardest to write aren’t they? You can’t get funny with the horribleness of them and you can’t rave about then as they aren’t raveable. So I will try and do my best with this book, but not sure how it will turn out. The best I can say is it’s OK.

During the recent RWA, one of the things that stood out for me is publishers are looking for Westerns. There was a lot of twittering going on and I asked if they meant historical Westerns or contemporary Westerns as contemporary Westerns don’t get me excited like their historical cousins. This is a good book as ab example.

The heroine was on the bland side. It was the eve of her wedding when she overheard a very disturbing conversation and as a result, hightailed it out of town, running for her very life. She ended up in a bus stop and was offered as a job as a chauffeur for Nellie an older lady who wasn’t allowed to do her own driving anymore. They get along fine but her grandson, Lucky, is furious with her for hiring a complete stranger and insists that Nellie get rid of her. I think we are supposed to find Nellie amusing, but I just found her annoying. And I’m not sure what we were supposed to see Lucky as – whether it’s a hard working rancher who had it rough as a child. Perhaps as a hero who is very protective of his granny. I suppose some readers might have seen that in him, but I just thought of him as rude. Some of the things he says to and about Jane are pretty harsh.

And I thought we were supposed to see the villains of this book as evil and intimidating. I just found them stupid, real stupid.

Although this review isn’t that positive, I didn’t think this was a bad book. I finished it and if I thought it were a bad book, I wouldn’t have. But neither did I really see anything to recommend it to other readers. It had a few moments of humor, but I’ve read funnier. Neither the hero or heroine popped at all for me and I found the secondary characters either lackluster or annoying.

Some may find this a better read than I did and I hope some have. As for me, I’m glad I didn’t pay a lot of money.

Grade: 2.75 out of 5

Taken by the Cowboy by Julianne MacLean

Why this one: I’m not really sure how this one came to my attention. I was checking out Kindle, think it was recommended to me by Amazon the price was right, it was a Western Time Travel and I was sold!

Steam Level: Hot!!

Former bounty hunter, expert gunslinger, and the toughest sheriff Dodge City has ever known, Truman Wade is a real man from the tip of his black Stetson right down to his spurs and leather boots. He’s never met his match in a gunfight, but he’s never met a gorgeous, gutsy woman from the twenty-first century either…

Newly single after a rocky breakup with her self-absorbed fiancé, newspaper columnist Jessica Delaney crashes her car in a lightning storm and soon finds herself dodging bullets in the Wild West. Before the night is out, she’s tossed in jail for a murder she didn’t commit, and if things don’t seem complicated enough, the impossibly handsome sheriff in charge of her arrest has danger written all over him - and a sexy swagger to die for. Jessica knows she needs to get home, but when
Sheriff Wade’s enticing touch sets her passions on fire, she begins to wonder if fate has other plans for her, and soon she must choose between the life she longs for in the future… and the greatest love she’s ever known.

My Thoughts: A time travel Western!!! Ke-wl. I’m guessing here, but I think this one is one of the the books in the new Amazon Line that Connie Brockway is part of and can I just say I am So In with this? I’m glad I have an i-pad with a Kindle app so I can read these books. A Western Time Travel isn’t a trope you see very often. Since I really like both, that’s why I was sold on this book right away.

In order to enjoy a time travel book, you have to be willing to suspend belief more that say a contemporary or romantic suspense or even some historical. Luckily I’m able to do that pretty well so I was able to enjoy this book quite a bit.

Jessica is a modern day heroine thrust back into the old West. Of course at first she has a hard time believing what’s happened. I found her reaction quite believable. I enjoyed her as a heroine. She was smart and intelligent and wasn’t intimidated by her situation.

And Truman Wade, our hero was just plain yummy-licious. A combination gunslinger AND a sheriff; one who wears spurs and a gun; one who has blue eyes and is strong confident, hunky and a sense of humour is very hard to resist. He doesn’t know what to make of Jessica, or Junebug as he calls her. She’s not like any woman he’s met before. He’s attracted to her but knows she is keeping secrets and is reluctant to get involved despite being very attracted to her, in case those secrets will compromise his job as sheriff. And Jessica is very attracted to Truman but she is also reluctant to get involved since she is determined to return to her family in her own time.

The resolution to this book was a bit unexpected and had me almost weepy. Not to worry though, it is a romance and has a HEA.

Amazon knew what they were doing when they put this one on my recommend list. I really enjoyed it. And at that price? My advice is to give it a try. It says on the site that this book will be available in print in August.

Grade: 4.50 out of 5


Wendy said...

I'm right there with ya re: contemporary westerns. I know part of me should just stop b*tching and be happy that westerns, period!, are getting published. But contemporaries? I don't know. Something about them just doesn't flip my switch. I really wish they did because, dang - seems like there's a lot of them being published right now.

Brandy said...

I read one book by Carolyn Brown and really enjoyed it titled-To Trust. Then I read another of her books, a Western and it was pretty okay. (Fluffy, you know?) The plot of yet another seemed pretty cool to me (Female sniper suffering from PTSD and a Carpenter Hero). But, that one book? (Honky Tonk Christmas) Made me cringe at the "HEA" and want to stomp on it. So, while the second book you reviewed sounded good. I'm not sure I'll ever read another Carolyn Brown book.

Kristie (J) said...

Wendy: *laughing* It was either Blythe or Lynne that tweeted that Avon was excepting Westerns and that was my very first question. I'm not a fan of contemporary Westerns at all, at all either. And yes - you're right! There are a lot.

Brandy: I hate saying never 'cause as soon as I do, that's when I do *g* but at the moment I don't have plans to try any more books by her. Probably not fair, but I was just too underwhelmed and I have too many that I do want to read. But - I surely did like the second book - heh, heh, heh

nath said...

I tried Carolyn Brown and they were okay. I'm not sure I read this one, so I guess it says something ^_^;

I'm glad you enjoyed the time-travel western though. That's unusual and I'm glad it worked out :)

Also happy to see you more on blogland, Kristie! I really miss you!! and you recently updated your sidebar right? There's some good books coming! Woohoo!!

Kristie (J) said...

Nath - yep, I've been out and about in blog land more and realize how much I missed my blog 'sabatical'
And there are some GREAT books coming out! August is looking to be a real good month.

orannia said...

YAH for you being back in blogland :) As for timetravel...nope, not for me. Still to this day don't know how I managed to read...that Scottish timetravel book *ducks* (Can't believe I can't remember its name!)