Howdy folks. Welcome to our week celebrating those who work the land, work with their hands, and make us wanna giddyup and ride! For those who may not know, I am one of those strange gals who has a running soundtrack in her head. Ever since Saturday, I have had R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World as We Know It" stuck on repeat. Thankfully, the world as we know it did not end this weekend. Which is a good thing, because my TBR pile has not shrunk one bit! I am so excited summer is nearly here and I can't wait to settle onto my deck whenever possible with my Nook, a glass of wine and a large bottle of....50 SPF sunblock (yeah, I am a ghostly pale chick!) Speaking of the world not ending....in honor of the fact that we are all still here, how about celebrating with a delish, calorie free nibble of some eye candy???? (I know it's Monday, but we're survivors!)
Emily Cale, Tamed, Breathless Press, November 2010
Can a hot fling on a Wyoming ranch lead to more than just sex?
Tired of bringing home unsatisfying and nameless men, Delia Hawthorne needs a change of pace. When her Aunt invites her to spend some time at their family's Wyoming ranch, it takes little prodding for her to agree. Time away from work, bars and men is exactly the break she's been looking for.
When Delia arrives, she finds what she has come to avoid: a take-charge ranch hand Lucas Dane. Despite her Aunt's warning of Lucas' womanizing reputation, she decides he may be worth the risk. What starts out as just sex quickly turns into more--forcing Delia to choose between the guy she is falling in love with and her responsibilities back home. What's a city girl to do?
Emily Cale's TAMED proves to be a sweet, sassy little romance guaranteed to make you appreciate cowboys and rethink city life. A story of crossroads, Delia appears to have it all: a solid career, good friends, the occasional lover. One-night stands don't seem to be as fulfilling and she would almost rather spend her personal time in the bath with her vibrating rubber duck. Where can a city gal go to get mental clarity? Wyoming, of course!
Delia gets a call from her Aunt Erica who reports her childhood mare, Snickers, has had a foal and she gets first dibs on naming it. Longing for the easy days when she spent summers at her Aunt and Uncle's ranch, Delia makes a spur of the moment decision to come for a visit. Dropping her business in her partner's lap, Delia heads off to have some much needed family and equine bonding.
Ranch hand Lucas spies the stylishly yet impractically dressed niece of his employers arrive for a visit and assumes she is precisely who she appears to be -- a "city chick" who wouldn't know a chore from a chair. First impressions get shelved pretty quickly when Lucas and Delia meet -- sparks fly. Their encounter in the barn smolders and where there's smoke, there's bound to be fire!
Things get complicated when the icy-hearted Delia begins to have feelings for the charming rancher. Who wants to mess things up with a relationship? Delia believes herself immune from feelings of vulnerability, and yet a fairly simple misunderstanding has her sobbing like a teen with her first heartbreak. A fairly sympathetic character, she still feels incredibly naive even after we first meet her in bed with a random hook-up who ends up getting kicked out before the finish because he doesn't "get it".
Lucas doesn't feel nearly as fleshed out as a character, perhaps because he still remains a bit of a mystery -- he's a player on the ranch scene but hasn't had any real highs or lows. He does, however, score high with his staging for a romantic date without ever leaving the ranch.
One wish for this novella would be to make it slightly longer to give more depth to Lucas and his romance with Delia. Watching a country boy woo a city girl was never more enjoyable. TAMED should guarantee even the staunchest city girl will hope for romance under the open skies of the West.
Nevertheless, I give this sweet treat a delish four chocolate covered strawberries - eaten under starlight skies with a hunky cowboy by my side! Yummmmmmmm!
This review was originially written for The Romance Reviews.