Sunday, November 3, 2013

Book Review: Saddled and Spurred by Lorelei James

Book Series: Blacktop Cowboys, Book #2
Author: Lorelei James
Genres:  Western, Erotica, Contemporary Romance
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Scarlet Chase
Length: 9 hrs and 15 mins

My Ranking:

This beauty is no greenhorn - and she's about to rope the man of her dreams.

Cattleman Bran Turner is left shorthanded during busy calving season when a bull tramples his hired hand. Rural Wyoming isn't exactly a hotbed of qualified candidates, and the only applicant for the position is the pampered town beauty, Harper Masterson. The curvy cowgirl gets under Bran's skin at every turn, but with no other options, he reluctantly hires her.

When sexual sparks ignite, down-on-her-luck Harper enjoys convincing Bran that not only is she capable of pulling calves, feeding livestock, and handling backbreaking ranch chores, but she doesn't mind getting down and dirty, either. Harper also discovers the hot-bodied cowboy isn't all work and no horseplay...and he's got more than a few tricks up his sleeve.

Bran will learn quickly that Harper is no country mouse-and that she might just have what it takes to stick around for the long haul.

As it stated above, the quick gist of this story is that an unlikely pair come together to help each other... in various ways. Former beauty queen Harper Masterson needs a job and cattle rancher Bran Turner is a man down during the ranch's busiest season. Though they're both unsure about the situation, they're equally desperate. So, Harper becomes Bran's new ranch hand... and the mutual attraction begins to smolder shortly after...

I loved Bran Turner. Thus far, he's my favorite cowboy of the series. There was just something about his quiet temperament in his dealings with others and his take-charge bedroom behavior that was so sexy. It's like the masculine version of "...lady on the streets, freak in the sheets". I tend like "the show" more than "the tell"... and boy, did he show!

I liked Harper. This was a first, because truthfully I haven't liked many of the women in James's stories. But I liked who Harper was. She was beautiful girl - a beauty queen, no less - who didn't let that define her. She had to deal with public scrutiny because of the choices her parents made and being a surrogate mother for her sister. And she did it with grace. And when things went from bad to worse, she did what she had to to survive. I found her admirable.

The tiny speck of a town called Muddy Gap, Wyoming holds a special place in my heart. This is one of my favorite series and this book was better than the first. Bravo, James!

Scarlet Chase is fantastic. She's got a great drawl but still speaks clear. She also is excellent at capturing the masculinity of these charming cowboys. Her performance enhanced my enjoyment of the story so much that I decided to stay "audiobook-loyal" to this series and will not read the printed version.

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