She didn’t mean to kiss him…
When dude ranch wrangler Charlotte – aka Charlie – Randall kisses Zack Harris in an act of empathy, she falls hat over spurs for the handsome military veteran turned cowboy. Zack has too many demons, however, and refuses to get involved. A year later, he’s still stonewalling, and Charlie needs to move on with her life so she can find a fulfilling relationship, not frustrating unrequited love. Putting distance between them seems the best way to get Zack out of her head and heart…but that means quitting the job she loves and accepting a position in Colorado.
He didn’t mean to kiss her back…
Growing up, Zack longed for a real family, and had one with his squad while deployed in Afghanistan. Now, he’s back in the States and doesn’t want anything messing up his new ranch family, no matter how much he’s attracted to the sexy, hard-working Charlie. She could break his heart and ruin the comfortable working relationship they and the other wranglers enjoy. Besides, her friends claim she’s looking for the perfect guy, and perfect he’s not.
A kiss is just a kiss…or is it?
When Zack learns Charlie’s thinking about leaving the ranch, he decides to find her a boyfriend — someone so good, so perfect, she has a reason to stay in Montana. Until he realizes too late that the only cowboy he wants her kissing is him. Can he commit to love and convince Charlie not to leave? Or has she made up her mind to put the past, and the kiss that started it all, behind her and move on without him?
Source: ARC from NetGalley
I find the Montana Born Rodeo series interesting. This is a series of four novellas, all taking place around the time of the 76th Copper Mountain Rodeo, written by four different authors – and with nothing in common. Apart from the location and time, there is no connection between these four books, except the tiniest of cameos by other characters from other books, but several of those crop up from completely different series, so even that isn’t much of a connection.
It’s particularly noticeable in this book, because it takes place on a dude ranch just outside Marietta and clearly has tight links to other books about this town – none of which are part of this series. So take the whole series thing very loosely.
Anyway, on to this book. As you might have already guessed from my opening spiel this one didn’t really grab me. It’s a nice enough tale with nice enough characters, but it’s all a bit too nice and careful. Charlie is in a dilemma, having fallen in love with Zack after one kiss, except he’s not interested in a relationship. She’s tried to forget him, even spending the winter away to get over him, but it’s not working so she’s thinking about leaving. Except she doesn’t want to go because Marietta is her home.
Okay, that’s fine, I can see why she’d want to do that. However, she’s constantly going on about what a good guy Zack is. Zack is not a good guy, he’s an idiot. The way he treats Charlie is either oblivious or close to cruel. The way he sets about trying to find her a man so she’ll stay is ridiculous and selfish. I didn’t find him to be particularly kind, he’s actually quite childish. I wasn’t buying his whole military vet thing either, and when it was coupled with his difficult childhood it just… meh. He was too bland a character to live up to his backstory.
However, there was one moment when I really wanted to cheer Charlie on. Most of the time I was hoping she’d wake up and find someone more interesting to fall in love with, but then she lost her temper. Hurrah! It almost made up for everything else. Not that this is a bad book, it just felt a little bland to me. Perhaps if their original time together had more of a lead up, a bit more background to their friendship and a bit more of a glimpse of how it went wrong might have helped. Instead I was left a little unconvinced by all of it.
So, if you like cowboy romances with a nice feel and a happy-ever-after, this is a quick, light-hearted read. It showed me a part of Marietta I’d not visited before, and added some more depth to this great little town. As a way of passing a few hours it was nice, but not in any memorable way.
Kiss Me, Cowboy is Out Now!
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