07 July, 2016

Choose Me, Cowboy, by Barbara Ankrum #review




Pages -  193 pages
Publisher -  Tule Publishing
Published -  October 9, 2015
Kindle -  link
Genre -  Contemporary, Romance, Cowboys
Series -  The Canadays of Montana series #2
Language -  tame
Sexual Content -  3:5



SYNOPSIS


The Copper Mountain Rodeo has returned to Marietta and cowboy reputations aren’t the only thing at stake…
Marietta Kindergarten teacher, Kate Canaday, is doing perfectly well without the ex-love of her life mucking up her intention to stay gloriously uncommitted. So what if she’s become—according to her sisters—a serial dater? If pro-bullrider Finn Scott's untimely defection six years ago taught her anything, it was that men come with an expiration date. And she’s more than happy to oblige them.
Trouble is, the sexier-than-ever Finn, now a devoted single father, has just moved to Marietta with his adorable five-year-old twins. He’s in an unexpected custody battle with his ex and too proud to ask Kate for help in making his crazy life look stable. But Kate sees helping him as a way of sealing off the hurt from her past once and for all. If they can just keep their hands off each other. After all…expiration date, right?
Not if Finn has anything to say about it... 


REVIEW


Well, it wasn't great and it wasn't horrible, but it was worth the time it took to read because, for me, there was some semblance of plot involved that intrigued me.

I don't think I mind the use of abused 'tropes' as much as some readers do, and the fake marriage employed in this story didn't surprise or bug me as much as the h did.

Kate (30) never gave proof positive indication of her need to behave as gun shy and opposed to relationships as she insisted was the case 98% of the way through the story.

She comes from a loving, intact home with a well-to-do father, a concerned sister, a Betty Crocker stepmom (her real mother died when Kate was in her early teens) and a silly but interested stepsister.

Her father adored his first wife as much as he was lucky enough to find, marry, and adore his second one, and her sisters all managed to find worshiping fellows as well.

There is no trauma, no nightmarish existence to fall back on as an excuse for her refusal to let herself go and give herself to love.

I can't even blame her old boyfriend, the guy she met and fell in love with in college, because she left him (on the grounds of being unable to commit) a year before he ended up with another woman.

Yet, the premise behind her reluctance to reunite with the man is due to that marriage and the resulting twins.

Finn has returned to Marietta, MO, with his five-year-old twins after inheriting a ranch on a few acres of land that butt up against the foothills.

Kate is instantly indignant and Finn is ready to set the wheels back in motion now that he's divorced and wanting to settle down.

Here comes the juicy plot.

Then his ex-wife shows up and threatens legal action for full custody of the twins, and because the judge is pro-mom in custody cases, Finn needs to prove he's better fit and more capable of taking care of the twins than his recalcitrant ex.

In comes the fake marriage ploy between Finn and Kate.

She's overly willing to help him and the twins but just as stubborn about falling back in love with him.

Finn came off as a good guy with plenty of reasons why any woman would jump at the chance.

Kate, not so much.

Finn saw in her everything the reader is unable to see, and that was a shame, although she did end the HEA with a bang, I must say.

The two had sex a few times, but a majority of this story revolved around Kate's ambivalence and Finn's determination -- and family values stuff that makes me yawn.

The HEA was worth it, though.

Despite the below-mentioned issues, Choose Me, Cowboy had merit, and I hope the author finds a nice, helpful editor who won't overlook anything.

This is book #2 in a series if you are interested, and with book #3 in the works.


ISSUES


Issues that took me out of the story, wasted my time having to re-read parts of sentences, and made it difficult to fully engage.

She needs to fire her current editor and find one who knows how to do the job.

I gave this a 4-star at Amazon and a review here because despite the upcoming issues, I think this author has something to say.

Punctuation was a big problem.

Abused and misused commas: Fragmented sentences are red flags where comma insertion is concerned.

Redundancy included things like merge togetherclose proximityfar distance, and reserve ahead of time.

The use of determiners for pronouns and vice versa, and repetitive words in a single sentence: "...seeing you at that playground that day made me realize that."

Cliche and other colloquial phrases filled up too much of the required word count.

Italicize thought (usually a snarky remark or supposedly witty come-back) mingled with just as much smart-ass, witty dialogue made me groan, not giggle.

For me, it has two connotations: soccer mom or high school (and neither leaves a good impression).

Finally, she quoted song lyrics a few times, which I thought was illegal w/out expressed consent?

I hope the author doesn't get into trouble in that regard, and again, I wish her success not only in her career but also in finding a first-rate editor who knows her business.


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