Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wild For You

Expected Publication: February 5th, 2013
Wild for the Sheriff (The Sisters of Bell River Ranch # 1)
By: Kathleen O'Brien
ISBN-13: 9780373607549

Sheriff Dallas Garwood has followed the straight and narrow all his life. The one exception? When he tangled with Rowena Wright. The experience had lasting consequences he'd rather not repeat.

That may be easier said than done. Rowena is back, set on restoring her family's ranch to sell it. Is this Colorado town big enough for the two of them? Not the way his nine-year-old son keeps sneaking onto her land, forcing Dallas into her company. Every one of those encounters sparks an urge in him to tangle with her again. This time he'll call the shots—and be the one to leave. But he doesn't expect all these powerful emotions… and he's not sure he can walk away.


     Rowena Wright is back in her small hometown, somewhere that she never thought she'd be again.  But now fifteen years after she left, Rowena is back to fix up the family ranch and sell it for good this time.  It might not be as easy as that, with her old flame Dallas Garwood as the Sheriff and still just as tempting as ever.  Determined to resist him, Rowena pulls away at every opportunity.  But when she comes across a discovery that could take away any claim she has to Bell River, will all the secret dreams she has of turning it into a dude ranch go up in smoke?  And with Dallas, his son Alec and a mysterious girl named Bonnie all finding a way into her heart, will she be able to leave when the time comes, or will Rowena finally stay in one place - home?  This was very well written for a Harlequin romance!  I usually go in expecting light fluff, but this was definitely not under that heading AT ALL.  Rowena hasn't been back home in fifteen years, since her Father murdered her Mother and she & her sisters were sent to live with relatives.  Also, the last time she saw Dallas her Father caught them having sex in a pickup and shot him!  Rowena had serious trust issues and real reasons for having them.  But I adored her feisty personality and self-reliant nature.  Dallas was a good love interest, who had his own share of past heartbreak.  Alec's Mom had left him for another man, started a new family and effectively ditched Alec while she was at it.  Dallas describes his son as being like Huck Finn, and he is right.  Alec is adorable and mischievous to the max, which adds something extra to the book.  And the whole storyline where he thinks he has to get Dallas dating again before he can go live with his Mom (and THAT'S why she won't take him yet) is so sad, but definitely how an elementary aged kid would rationalize.  The strained relationship between Rowena and her sisters Penny & Bree is painful but truthful.  The resolution and beginnings of true sisterhood near the end of the book was a great touch.  The romance itself was swoony, but the angst was a little too thick for my taste.  Overall, loved this book more than I thought I would.  I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for the rest of the series.

VERDICT:  4/5  Stars

*received an Advanced Reading E-book Copy from the publisher, via NetGalley. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book's expected publication date is February 5th, 2013.*

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