Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Book Review: Love and the Blue Eyed Cowboy by Sandra Chastain

Title: Love and  a Blue Eyed Cowboy
Author: Sandra Chastain
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: February 11, 2012 (originally published March 1, 1992)

My rating: 2.75 out of 5 Stars 
(Rounded up on GR since they don't have half stars)

From Goodreads:

Hunky cowboy Hunter Kincaid is bruised, broke, and brash enough to think that he can win the top prize in a motorcycle scavenger hunt through the backwoods of Georgia. What he doesn’t count on is being saddled with Fortune Dagosta as a partner. After locking horns with the back-seat driver, Hunter soon hopes to lock lips. Can a loner of the open road be a lover with an open heart?

Fortune has no idea how she’ll survive a week on the road with a smartass like Hunter. But she needs the money from the race to put a new roof on her halfway house for troubled kids—and Hunter’s her best shot at first place. Despite a few bumps on the way, Fortune finds herself lost in Hunter’s deep blue eyes. Neither expects the attraction to last, but Hunter and Fortune have embarked on the ride of their lives.

Includes a special message from the editor, as well as excerpts from these Loveswept titles: The Reluctant Countess, Wild Rain, and Silk on the Skin.

My Thoughts:

This was a cute, sweet romance novel that included a mild amount of steam. I really liked the hero, and his name was one of the most awesome hero names that I have ever heard. I mean, Hunter Kincaid.....is there a better name than that?! I don't think so!  I will say as a warning, a reader has to suspend their disbelief in several spots, but this isn't anything new to me when reading romance. That being said, I did like the premise of the book. A scavenger hunt via motorcycle? Awesome idea. Hunter seemed to be definitely more cowboy than motorcycle man though, which was a bit of a shame (cause I love a motorcycle man) but the combination here actually worked in his favor.

And what about Fortune? Also a good name. She was supposed to be this free spirit sort of woman, which was fine except a times I felt it didn't ring true. Don't get me wrong, I liked her. But at times I felt it was just a window dressing of sorts to try and make her unique. It just lacked depth, for me.  Also, there were times that the character's actions didn't match their age.  One minute Hunter was acting like an elder statesman (the cigar? Just didn't fit who I saw in my head), and the next like a spoiled brat pissed off at his parents. Fortune on the other hand at times acted too naive and young for her age. There was also heroine wavering, like a lot. Sometimes within thirty seconds it seemed. One minute she was thinking she was in love with the man and the next she was all, this could never work out. And the worst part of it was it all happened in an internal dialogue that, after awhile, got on my nerves.

Speaking of the narrative, in the beginning, we hear a lot of the characters thoughts. This was a distraction at times but as the book progressed this seemed to happen less. I was glad for this since I liked to see the two communicating more. After all, it was just the two of them on the open road around the southeastern United States trying to win the scavenger hunt. So it made sense that so much focus was on them.  And when the dialogue moved from internal to external this was much appreciated.

I did not run into major editing errors (grammar, typos, and the like) however, I did get confused at one point. In the beginning there is a mention of riding around the outback in Australia on the Phantom (the type of bike in the book).  However, the book takes place in the United States. And I know this because this is where they go for the clues-North and South Carolina, Georgian, Tennessee, Florida, etc.  So, where does Australia come into play exactly? This had me scratching my head and I had actually had to go back three times to try and figure this out. Maybe I was just reading it wrong? Or is it just that the bike itself is meant to be able to do such a thing, i.e. ride around the Outback? I still am not quite sure about this or where Australia fit in.

Steam wise this is mild. At least compared to books now a days. The first time together was a shocker for me. I didn't see that coming at all. I am still unsure if this is a good thing or not. (I won't give it away here for those who've not read it.)  All in all this was a cute romance and was a nice way to spend a couple hours on a Saturday. Had this been published recently I would have given it less stars, but taking into account the year it was written and it being pretty standard language for 1992, I cut it some slack.

Here are the purchase links for the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

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