Review: Rodeo Dreams by Sarah M. Anderson

rodeo dreamsReviewed by Jen

I’m not normally a big reader of contemporary romance, but I am always such a sucker for a scarred hero, I couldn’t turn this one down.  I found it to be a quick and easy read.  I ended up enjoying it for the most part, though I had a few small niggles that kept it from being a home run.

Jane is a Native American college student who has never wanted to be anything but a bull rider.  Unfortunately, it’s a man’s world and no one wants to let her in to the boy’s club, no matter how good she is. 

Thankfully, an owed favor gets her foot in the door, and after that, she only needs to prove herself… over and over again.  Jane can ride with the very best men in the circuit, but they don’t want her there.

Some of the other riders are jerks, but Travis Younkin tries to warn her away out of true concern. He nearly died in a bull-riding accident and he really believes the same thing could happen to Jane. He tries to push her out at every opportunity, but she is determined to make her dreams come true.  She is sick and tired of people telling her what she can and can’t do and she is not going to take it, even from her childhood idol and the sexiest man she has ever met.

I liked Jane. She had pluck. She is resourceful. And she is unwavering.  Travis was a little more of a mixed bag.  He has good intentions and his history makes some of his behavior understandable.  Sometimes, though, it got old watching him project his fears onto Jane, even after she had proven her skill.  I liked his struggles with his own recovery and how Jane’s affections helped him jump back into living, both emotionally and sexually.  Early on, the sexual tension is good and the love scenes paid off.

But I had some issues.  First, there was a bit of repetition, like in how many times Jane ruminated on how Travis was stealthy for a white man.  I think I read that at least four times.  I also took issue with Travis’s reaction to learning the secret of a secondary character.  It was almost enough to make me stop liking him entirely.  Not cool.  Please don’t disconnect me from the hero this way. (It also bothered me some that we never really learn how old he is. He could have been anywhere from 25-50.)

Overall, though, I liked it fairly well.  It wasn’t deeply emotional.  It was more a story of words than feelings if that makes sense.  But I liked the vein of female strength and empowerment.  I liked the dynamic between the hero and heroine. And I thought the ending was satisfying.

Rating: B/B-

*ARC provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon

Rodeo Dreams
by Sarah M. Anderson
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin

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