by Abigail Sharpe – I love this book! It’s a terrific take on the cowboy-romance genre, with characters you care about (and some you want to kick square in the hoo-hoo), dialogue that’s believable, and settings you can visualize and wish you could visit. The main characters are flawed and struggling, but their bone-deep goodness makes you root for them, even on those rare occasions when they seem to change their minds with what seems (to the reader) like insufficient provocation.
The writing is strong, one of my favorite things about the book, in fact. It doesn’t talk down to the reader, and it also doesn’t strive to be lofty and literary. It’s rhythms are so natural to me that I zipped right through the book.
There are a few typos or typesetting errors throughout the text (fewer than 10 in the whole thing, I’d estimate). They don’t disrupt the flow of the story or confuse the reader, but some people are especially sensitive to them and might find them annoying, as anything that catches the reader’s eye can yank them out of the story and into the “I’m reading a book about fictional things” place that is not ideal for reveling in a story.
For those of us who have read so many stereotypical romances in our lifetimes that we could predict the events in those books with eerie accuracy, this book is a breath of fresh air. I mean, yes, there’s the happy ending we expect from genre romances, but the execution of it, with its parallel love stories and its unusual gimmick (the beta-testing a lovers’/dating dude ranch), takes to a new level of fun.
Oh, and the hot sex scenes rock, too. (You know, if you’re into that kind of thing.)
Full disclosure: I was a beta-reader for this novel and received my finished copy from the author as a thank-you gift and a review copy. Thanks, Abigail, for the book and for the story. Both are winners! (finished 6/5/13)