by Vivian Arend, contemporary (2009)
Liquid Silver Books, $4.50, ISBN 978-1-59578-588-6
Vivian Arend's Rocky Mountain Heat has one of the most bizarre and off-putting prologues I have ever read in a while. Are we sure that this is not some subversive pro-chastity PSA aimed at getting teenage girls to keep their mouths as well as legs shut?
Anyway, our hero Blake Coleman's mother had fallen off an apple tree recently and is currently in a cast when the story opens. She's going to need someone to tend to her for the next coming weeks since the men would be busy doing manly rancher stuff like tending to the harvest and all. This is where our heroine Jaxi steps in. She used to date Blake's brother Travis when she was 18 but Travis dumped her shortly after she fell sick. It's okay, Jaxi is not too hung up over it because she'd rather become Blake's wife. She's had his sausage three years ago (see prologue, and really, don't ask me to explain) and now she wants the rest of him! What better way to show that she's born to be Blake's ranch wife than to take care of his mother, eh?
I don't know what to make of this story. There are parts of the story that seem to reaffirm some of the rude jokes about people living on ranches. For example, Blake and his brothers are all panting after Jaxi as if she's the hottest red and yellow taxi that has pulled up in the farm and she had snogged quite a number of them. Of course, she just wants to put out to Blake. And then we have the constant "Oops, we forgot protection... again!" moments. Let's not even start with Jaxi's lifelong dream of marrying Blake and being his ranch wife forever and ever. The whole thing is way too alien for a city coot like me to get used to.
Rocky Mountain Heat reminds me of corny country songs in the 1970s, the kind that always makes me laugh for all the wrong reasons. The men are oozing maschismo in a manner that I find more hammy than sexy. Perhaps you may enjoy this story more than me if you happen to find certain aspects of the fantasy appealing. I prefer hot guys in power suits than cowboys covered in sweat and grime, especially when the cowboys in question are going to be as hammy as they are in this story. Of course, my idea of ham may be another reader's idea of prime tenderloin, so you're on your own here.
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