Review: The Cowboy Takes a Bride by Lori Wilde

Publisher: Avon
Where did you get the book: e-ARC from publisher
Release date: March 27th

Ex-champion bull rider-turned-cutting-horse cowboy Joe Daniels isn’t quite sure how he ended up sleeping in a horse trough wearing nothing but his Stetson and cowboy boots. But now he’s wide-awake, and a citified woman is glaring down at him. His goal? Get rid of her ASAP. The obstacle? Fighting the attraction he feels toward the blond-haired filly with the big, vulnerable eyes.

When out-of-work wedding planner Mariah Callahan learns that her estranged father has left her a rundown ranch in Jubilee, she has no choice but to accept it. Her goal? Redeem her career by planning local weddings. The obstacle? One emotionally wounded, hard-living cowboy who stirs her guilt, her heartstrings, and her long-burned cowgirl roots…

*blurb taken from Goodreads*

I’ve been a fan of Wilde’s books in the past, so when I had the chance to review this book I went for it. The blurb appealed to me, and it had been a while since I read a romance that featured a cowboy.

I thought the start of the book was great with an almost naked cowboy laying in a horse trough with only his stetson. Pretty original. I also liked that enough history was given about the heroine without bogging the story down with info dump. The heroine and hero had a great banter, and I was excited to see where it would lead. I’m disappointed to say that I really only enjoyed the first chapter, and the rest of the book left me wanting.

If there’s one thing I dislike about a hero or heroine that are widows, is that the deceased partner is either made out to be a horrible person, or they weren’t as ‘special’ as the the now hero or heroine. I felt that is what happened in this book. From my perspective, Joe’s deceased wife was made out to be less than perfect and that Mariah was his real love. I also thought it was super unhealthy for Joe to be comparing his dead wife and Mariah within moments of meeting when it was his POV. I also thought that there was too much attentive detail and dissecting of her personality when he had only just met her. I was also in disbelief from what the half sister, Ila, of Joe’s dead wife said and I quote:

“I’m just saying it’s narrow-minded to assume you only get one shot at this love business,” Ila said. “You might find something even better than what you and Becca had.”

The fact that Ila had been in love with Joe all her life, and hated the fact that her half sister married Joe, it’s not that surprising that she probably meant herself in that statement. And I didn’t get or understand the angsting that Ila had over Joe. It didn’t feel natural in the book, and felt like a contrived plot which set off her own secondary romance with the cowboy hand who had unrequited love for her which I found to be lackluster, and it was such a rush job because soon enough it was resolved with hardly any page time.

Mariah I liked as a heroine, but I didn’t feel the connection with her and Joe’s romance. It was just average for me and nothing really excited me about this book, and I wasn’t engaged with their story at all. I also thought it was kind of weird of describing Mariah has having pink cherubic cheeks which puts in mind of a little childlike girl. Also, I thought that there were some small town stereotypes that you must treat the city girl with suspicion, and because Mariah didn’t have a ring on her finger, things hadn’t turned out very well for her…

Mariah’s backstory with her Father I did like, and I got her anger and and frustrations, and it’s something that’s mentioned throughout the book and something she has to deal with, especially with his death. But I didn’t like how the story of Joe’s dead wife was played out, and how she was the flirty outgoing type V the good girl of Mariah.

All in all, I was disappointed in The Cowboy Takes a Bride.

I give it a D

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