by Deborah Fletcher Mello, contemporary (2008)
Kimani, $5.99, ISBN 978-0-373-86069-2
Tame A Wild Stallion pairs a hero who enjoys his fast bikes with a heroine who is a professional when it comes to fixing fast cars and bikes. Mark "You Bet I'm Big Enough" Stallion meets Michelle "Mitch" Coleman when he sends his new Gold Wing to her uncle's workshop for a tune-up. Our easy-going hero is taking a break from the rat race to attend a black bike festival in Myrtle Beach, California. The rest of the story tells of what happens when Mark decides to pay some serious attention to Mitch. There isn't a single overreaching storyline here as much as small episodic little events that occur over the courtship song and dance.
I know what to expect by now when I read a book by Deborah Fletcher Mello. A likable and charming hero who may claim to be a player in the past but he exudes a strong vibe of dependability that it's easy to imagine that he will treat the heroine right. A heroine who is strong and sassy in a manner that feels more real rather than forced. In a way, Tame A Wild Stallion may not have a "wild stallion" since Mark comes off like a very nice guy, but it has a romance that is handled very well by the author. The characters talk when they need to get over what could be potential misunderstanding mini-dramas, they connect well, and their love seems pretty solid and real. Mitch comes off a little too prickly in the earlier chapters of this story, but she soon settles down fine and becomes a more reasonable character.
This story isn't the most exciting one around, I must admit. Still, I find myself liking the main characters as well as their support network of friends and family members (the hero's lesbian best friend is a very nice foil to the typical heroine's gay best male friend stereotype, come to think of it) well enough to keep reading. I like the interactions between these characters enough to find the story interesting enough to keep turning the pages despite the lack of a overreaching external conflict.
Tame A Wild Stallion is, therefore, a low-key but pleasant read featuring a solid romance between likable characters.
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