If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. - Oscar Wilde
We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. - B. F. Skinner
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. - Mary Wortley Montagu

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Review: Her Lucky Cowboy by Jennifer Ryan / @TastyBookTours @JenRyan_Author

Title: Her Lucky Cowboy
Series: Montana Men, Book 3
Author: Jennifer Ryan
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Western, Romance
ARC Received From: Edelweiss
Reviewed For: Tasty Book Tours

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Champion rodeo rider Dane Bowden is eight seconds from winning under the Vegas lights, one last hurrah before reluctantly returning to his family's Montana ranch. But his bull has other plans. When Dane wakes up, he's sure he's died and gone to heaven . . . because the doctor who comes to his aid is the same girl who saved his life and disappeared years ago.

Bell would do anything for Dane. He's the fantasy that always kept her going. A child genius hidden away by her family, Bell was the secret no one talked about, the girl no one wanted. Despite finding success as a young surgeon, she's still the awkward girl who's never had a boyfriend. So why does Dane, a notorious playboy and sizzling-hot cowboy, insist on taking her on a real date?

Bell is the only woman in Dane's heart. When a rodeo rivalry turns deadly, it's his turn to save Bell's life—because he sure as hell won't lose his guardian angel again.

Other books in this series

The synopsis pretty much laid this story out for me--beginning, middle, end--and I went into it knowing what I was getting into.

Bell's brilliance and intelligence were refreshing to read about only because of her humility. Dane's desire and need to have Bell in his life was expected but his patience at getting her there was a pleasant surprise. Bell's slow acceptance of Dane's presence in her life was frustrating at times; pursuit of a person will only go on for so long before the pursuer gives up and the pursued misses their chance at something potentially amazing. Still, I gave Dane props for hanging in there because the prize was worth waiting for.

Yet, for me, their relationship and the love that grew between them wasn't the point of this story. Both were beautiful to see but paled in comparison to the overwhelming sense of needing to belong and what it meant to be family.

Dane had family in spades. Parents, brothers, sisters-in-law. When it came to familial love, there was never a shortage. But Bell was the opposite. Abandoned by her parents, rejected by the grandmother who raised her, she struggled to fit in pretty much anywhere. She met her half-sister's attempts at getting to know her, spending time with her, with reluctance. Her sister was a representation of the life she'd been denied: a loving home with parents who were proud of her.

Bell might not have had that growing up, but Dane made sure she had it from then on. His family became hers. Their acceptance of her left her speechless. Their inclusion of her brought her to tears. To love and be loved so freely was beautiful to see, especially for a woman who, I think, truly deserved to know what that was like.

Book one of this series was thought provoking. Book two was gripping. Book three, Dane and Bell's story, is very slow, sometimes frustrating, but lovingly sweet. The theme of family, of belonging, rides stronger in this book than the other two. It hit home with this reader and gave me a greater appreciation for the family I have, love, adore, and yes want to kill sometimes. But I have them, wouldn't trade them for the world. That's a sentiment I know Bell understood by the end.

Jennifer Ryan is the New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of The Hunted Series and The McBrides Series. She writes romantic suspense and contemporary small-town romances featuring strong men and equally resilient women. Her stories are filled with love, family, friendship, and the happily-ever-after we all hope to find.

Jennifer lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three children. When she isn’t writing a book, she’s reading one. Her obsession with both is often revealed in the state of her home and in how late dinner is to the table. When she finally leaves those fictional worlds, you’ll find her in the garden, playing in the dirt and daydreaming about people who live only in her head, until she puts them on paper.

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