Review: Courting a Cowboy by Patricia McLinn

Courting a CowboyReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Sophie Vandercook works as an instructor at Mrs. Forestell’s Academy. She tells friends about having an absent husband and plans to convince them by trip to Wyoming. She’s actually using the trip to go visit her brother.

Nate Abbott has been corresponding with Sophie. But when she walks into the store he’s in, he doesn’t recognize her. Then eventually the light bulb clicks on for us, as we read their interaction. But something is amiss. The ranch hands will have you chuckling. They remind me of the male version of the ladies of River City from “The Music Man”.

The ranch hands think of Sophie as part of their family. How the ranch hands feel about Sophie is like how the lost boys felt about Wendy. And yet everything they know about Sophie, up until now, was based on letters that they received. But Sophie doesn’t realize what a flim-flam her brother was. The ranch hands respect her and don’t want to let her know the truth.

Nate seems to be a man that keeps his feelings close to the chest – makes me wonder if it was because of a woman. Sophie is as stubborn as they come. It will be interesting to see who wins this war.

I love the character named Doughy. I grew up watch Bonanza and thinking that Doughy would fit right in. He would be just like Hop Sing. My family watched the show religiously and I could picture Doughy cooking up a storm for the Cartwright family.

I love how Patricia describes the surrounding landscape. She’s like an artist putting bold colors on a canvas – but her canvas is paper. She also has a way with words. Sophie, at times, uses some pretty big words. I have to wonder if Patricia had to keep a dictionary or thesaurus handy. It also has me wondering if Sophie uses the big words so that people won’t get too close. I also get the impression that Patricia knows quite a bit about ranch life.

I fell in love with everyone at the OS. Sophie has a couple of women that she writes to at the Academy where she works. I wonder if Patricia will continue the adventures of the OS and have the story revolve around Alice. It will be interesting to see if she gets her own story.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Courting a Cowboy

Review: The Scent of Jasmine by Barbara Delinsky

The Scent of Jasmine Barbara DelinskyReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

This is a reprint of a book that was written back in 1985. You will realize this when certain music is mentioned.

Pepper MacNeil is a mail carrier in Naples Maine. She loves her classical music. As you are sitting reading this story, you may want to have some classical music playing in the background. If classical isn’t your thing, you could try listening to some music of the eighties. Personally, I fell in love with a Maine folk group years ago called “Schooner Fare”. So I will be putting on some of their music to give me some ambiance.

If you’ve never been to Maine, you may want to check out what that state has to offer. I have to warn you, some of the towns may be few and far between and malls may not be close. This is a state where you go to relax and enjoy the nature around you – unless you’re looking for one of the bigger cities. I also found it interesting that this story takes place in a town that I used to vacation in as a child.

John Smith is outside his house applying shingles to the roof. He’s new to Pepper’s route. They start flirting with each other almost from the first. Ladies, can we say eye candy? He certainly knows his way around tools.

Barbara describes a scene where Pepper has the day off and she’s in Portland. I feel like I’m right there with her. There’s nothing like being in Maine in the summer time. Even when the Portland Mall is crowded, it doesn’t feel the same as walking around my local mall.

There’s another scene where John and Pepper head south of Portland to go to the beach. It’s another reminder of my summers in Maine. We used to spend time up in Old Orchard Beach – I can smell the salt air now. This story just brings back so many family vacation memories.

This book is the greatest type of beach read. It sets the scene during the summer months. It’s set in a vacation state. And even the music is something that will relax you as you enjoy your vacation. Make sure to add this to your list of books when you take off to enjoy yourself – whether at a lake, an ocean, a pool, or even camping.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: The Scent of Jasmine

Why Did the Naked Man Jump in the Lake?

by Annemarie Hartnett, guest blogger and author of Head Over Heels.

No, that’s not a riddle, and it’s not a joke.

Chrissie, the heroine of my new romantic comedy, Head Over Heels, would tell you that’s a very valid question. At the same time Sam, the aforementioned naked man and the object of Chrissie’s vacation lust, would probably argue that dropping your drawers and flinging yourself into a body of cold water is perfectly acceptable behaviour for when one is on vacation.

Getting away does things to people. We leave behind our rituals and in doing so discover that it’s not the end of the world to be disconnected from the person we normally are. In Sam’s case, taking off his clothes and streaking into the water shows how he’s one of those people who accepts that disconnect. Chrissie, on the other hand, needs a little more coaxing: if she’s going to consider having that fling with Sam she’s been fantasizing about, she has to be already half-naked and in bed with him.

Not to say she doesn’t have a point when she thinks that no good can come out of this. I’m sure we all have those cringe-worthy moments (or, god-forbid, photos) from vacation, usually involving alcohol and the opposite sex.

But come on.  Sam’s gorgeous, funny, and completely into Chrissie.  Sometimes you’ve just got to let the vacation-self take over.  Get naked and jump in that lake! Dress up like a pirate and sing sea-shanties! Snog your vacation crush!

My latest release, Head Over Heels, is now available from Total-E-Bound.

They stood at the water’s edge and threw pebbles over the glassy surface as Chrissie recounted the trek from the parking lot to the lake.

Laurie’s shoulders shook as she laughed. “Tell me about how ripe Sam’s ass is. Tell me how nice and springy it is. Come on. I need it.”

Chrissie grinned. Her cheeks hurt from smiling. “Nice and firm, like a volleyball.”

“Oh God, I hate you.” Laurie held up her phone, studied the screen, swore, and tucked it back at her side. “You should try and grope him again tonight.”

“I can’t. You remember what happened in Florida with Miranda and Stuart.”

“Seriously? You are nothing like Miranda and Sam is nothing like Stuart—unless you plan to blow a Mexican waiter to get back at Sam for grabbing your boob in public.”

Chrissie sighed. “Still, why spoil a good vacation? If I want to get laid, I can wait until I get home, and then I can get laid by a doctor. Not like I don’t get plenty of offers at the hospital.”

“But none as hot as Sam. Plus, I’ll bet he’s got some kinky fantasy about being on his deathbed and only Naughty Nurse knows the cure.”

Before Chrissie could respond she heard a whooping sound come from the bushes.

“Would you look at that,” Laurie said as Sam and Tony came running towards them. Naked. Arms flailing above their heads. Other appendages flailing elsewhere.

“Woo hoo!” Sam whizzed past her and hit the water with a large splash. Tony did the same a few feet away. They emerged with a flurry of curses about the temperature of the water.

“That’s what you get,” Chrissie managed to say before she doubled over.

Laurie nodded and pointed. “Yeah, penises aren’t so mighty now, are they?”

Tony just kept on cursing and Sam huffed and puffed as he trod water. “R-r-right now I c-c-couldn’t f-f-find m-m-mine with the Hubble tel-l-l-escope!”

Book link: Total-E-Bound
Author Website: www.amhartnett.com

Giveaway: Annemarie is giving away one PDF of Head Over Heels to one lucky reader. Leave a comment to enter! Tell us about your vacation crush! ;) Ends: December 8, 2010.