Joint Review – Rocky Mountain Desire by Vivian Arend

Publisher: Samhain
Publish Date: March 13th
How we got this book: eARC from author

Matt Coleman always figured at this point in his life, he’d be settled down with a family. Since his ex split for the big city, though, no way will he give anyone else the chance to drop-kick his heart. Physical pleasure? Hell, yeah, he’ll take-and give-with gusto, but nothing more.

Hope Meridan is working long hours to hold on to her new quilt shop, going it alone since her sister/business partner ran off. Sex? Right, like she’s got the time. Not that she doesn’t have the occasional dirty fantasy about Matt. Fat chance he’d dream of knocking boots with her-the younger sister of the woman who dumped him. Nope, she’ll just have to settle for the F-word.

“Friends” would be far easier if there wasn’t something combustible going on between them. And when casual interest starts to grow into something more, their tenuous bond strengthens in the heat of desire. But it may not survive the hurricane-force arrival of the last person either of them ever wanted to see again…

Warning: Small-town rivals, men in pursuit and family meddling-in good and bad ways. Look for a cowboy who knows how to rope, ride and rein in a hell of a lot more than eight seconds of sheer bliss.
*Blurb from Goodreads*

MinnChica: I’ve been a long time fan of both Vivian Arend and cowboys, so when Viv WROTE cowboys, I was sold. I’ve adored this series since the first book, but was especially excited to see what would happen with Matt, especially after the way he was treated by his long-time ex-girlfriend. I have to say, sometimes stories where the hero falls for the sister of his ex-girlfriend doesn’t work for me, but this one totally did. I LOVED Matt and Hope together. They didn’t go into a relationship easily, and were hesitant to screw up their friendship, but man-oh-man where these two so perfect for each other!!

E: I LOVED this book.  Ms Arend took some tropes that don’t always work well for me because they are prone to being used as shortcuts and she worked the heck out of them.  Matt didn’t just jump from one sister to the next but was given time to heal.  Hope was also scarred by her sister’s actions and didn’t want to get involved with Matt despite her attraction to him.  I really enjoyed their first “meet cute” and thought that they second encounter was just as much fun.

MinnChica: Yes, I loved that they both had time to come to grips with Helen’s betrayal of them before jumping into anything serious. I also have to admit that after reading this book, I have a new fondness for bathtubs. *wink wink* There were so many wonderful moments between Matt and Hope in this book. I loved that the friends to lovers aspect was also very prevalent in the story. It was obvious that they didn’t want to jeopardize their friendship with any kind of serious romantic relationship either. Everything in this story was handled wonderfully!

E: This was really a great friends to lovers story.  I have mentioned when talking about other stories that the hero and heroine’s journey was too easy but I didn’t quite know how to verbalize what was missing.  After hearing a rather successful author talk about needing to have three types of conflict in your story; internal, external and romantic I realized that one or more of those had been missing.  Thinking back on how much I enjoyed this story I noticed that Ms Arend included all three in Rocky Mountain Desire in a great combination.  One of the other things I really enjoyed about this book is that Hope wasn’t sitting around waiting for someone to come rescue her.  She figured out how to achieve her dream despite Helen’s actions and she REFUSED to let Helen ruin it.

MinnChica:   Oh I agree completely. I absolutely LOVED Hope! She didn’t put up with any BS, whether it was from Matt or Helen. She knew what her dream was and she went for it – in both her business and her professional life. I loved that she took her circumstances in life and ran with it. When Helen abandoned her to the business, she did what needed to be done to get her business successful and running under a one-woman operation. When Matt pushed her, she pushed right back and fought for what she wanted from life. I loved that she was a sweet and loving and somewhat docile character, but that she also didn’t become a pushover!

E:  When I am reading a contemporary one of the things I need is a strong female character and Hope certainly provided that.  Another thing that I need is a strong male character who loves the heroine because her strength is such an intrinsic part of her.  He doesn’t have to be the uber alpha male but secure enough so that he isn’t threatened by her independence and doesn’t depend on her to take care of him.  They are partners who encourage and support each other.  Matt was perfectly wonderful at that.  Yes, he ran into Hope’s independent streak a few times but he learned.  He also never gave Hope reason to think that he wanted Helen instead.  I think he totally stole my heart when he called Jaxi to ask if she would provide some back-up to Hope as she dealt with a rather messy situation instead of insisting that he take care of the issue.

MinnChica:  I usually like my heroes to be absolute Alpha males, but I have to agree that a man who is secure enough to let his leading lady take the reigns for awhile can be totally sexy. Matt was one of those heroes who wasn’t necessarily an uber-alpha, but he was one who was able and willing to sit back and let Hope handle her life as she saw fit. He let her take care of herself without trying to coddle her. I adored that about him. He might have become my favorite of the Coleman brothers!!

E: Depending on how you count I have been waiting either *counts on fingers* two years and seven months or just two years for this book to be released.  Even though I complained bitterly that I had to wait for the revision and re-release of the first two Six Pack Ranch books,  Rocky Mountain Heat and Rocky Mountain Haven, Ms Arend made the wait worth my while.  As I mentioned on Goodreads Matt has become my favorite hero of this series.  I had all the conflict, the strong characters and I can’t forget the sense of community and family that tied it all together.  Plus we had a glimpse of poor Travis who is still dealing with his issues…
I give Rocky Mountain Desire an A.

MinnChica: All in all I think that this has become one of my favorite Cowboy series out there, right up there with Lorelei James and Mari Carr/Jayne Rylon. The romance between Hope and Matt was sweet and sexy and everything in between. The on going relationship between Matt and his brothers is always built and developed more and more in each book. I can’t wait for Arend to write more in this series, and hope she does so soon so that we don’t have to wait long for another glimpse into the Coleman boy’s lives. This series is a must-read for cowboy lovers!
I give Rocky Mountain Desire an A-


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