Thursday, May 5, 2011

Should've Been A Cowboy by Vicki Lewis Thompson

The Back of the Book:
Party organizer Tyler Connelli is on the fast track to her dream career. She’s so close she can almost taste it. But when she returns to her family and sees her one-night stand, Alex Keller, all done up in his cowboy gear, her self-control is stretched to the breaking point....
They’re worlds apart. She’s a busy career girl, and Alex is a cowboy. But while getting together might not bode well for anything longterm, it more than makes up for it in sheer hot chemistry! Problem is, this is one wrangler she might want to get tied down—and tied up—to...indefinitely!

 The Sons of Chance are the men of the Last Chance ranch, where people and animals are given one last shot.  For Alex, a former Chicago DJ recovering from a bitter betrayal and divorce, the Last Chance is his shot at a fresh start in life.  His sister married a Chance cowboy and Alex decided to settle down in the nearby town and start a new job as marketing director for the ranch.  When another Chance cowboy gets married, Alex hooks up with the bride's sister for a toe-curling night of sex in the hayloft.  For the next several months Tyler O'Connelli and their one night together are all Alex can think about.  When she returns to the ranch to visit her sister, they run into each other and the sparks fly as their sexual attraction flares to nuclear meltdown levels.  Turns out both Alex and Tyler have not been able to forget that one amazing night, and they are soon going at it like rabbits, in the barn, the truck and every other place they can.  As Tyler's sister says, they are attracted to each other like magnets.  The sexual attraction between these two is described in sexy, breathless detail, as each tries to resist the other.  But their physical attraction is masking a deepening emotional one.  Tyler plans to leave in five days to return to her cruise ship job, and has never been tempted to stay in one place.  But seeing the happy couples and family lifestyle at the Last Chance is making her reconsider her life plans.
The strengths of this novel are the detailed descriptions of the setting - I felt like I was at the ranch near the foothills of the Tetons, and I could almost smell the pine.  The lovemaking between Alex and Tyler is combustible and sexy, with enough humor and real life concerns to make it realistic.  The characters are well-drawn with depth of personality, especially Alex and Tyler.  My only complaint was the wacky behavior of Tyler.  When a new pregnancy is announced at the family dinner her first night there, she has such a crisis of "What do I really want out of life?" that she asks Alex to drive her IMMEDIATELY to an ancient meditation site.  Such behavior seemed more in line with a nervous breakdown, but the course of romance is never smooth, particularly with a looming departure deadline.
Overall this was a fun romance, with hot and steamy love-making, a beautiful setting, a fast paced plot, and strong characters I cared about. Although I have not read the previous books in the series (and I would like to now!), this book easily stands alone.

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