Monday, March 26, 2012

Early Review of 'The Cowboy Takes a Bride' (Jubilee, Texas Series #1) by Lori Wilde

  • Title: The Cowboy Takes a Bride
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Contemporary Western Romance
  • Format: Paperback, 384 pages 
  • Publisher: Avon; Original edition (March 27, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0062047752
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062047755
  • Author's Website:

"Has something happened?"
"Are you sitting down?"
"Sit down," Joe commanded.
"Just tell me," Mariah said, bracing for the worst.
"Dutch is dead," he blurted.
Mariah blinked, nibbled her bottom lip, felt...hollow. Hollow as a chocolate Easter bunny...
"You okay?"
"I'm fine. It's not like my life is going to change," she said quickly...
"Wait," he said. "Don't hang up."
Her hand tensed around the cell phone. "What is it?"
"Dutch left you his ranch."

When Miriah called back her father's number she wasn't sure what to expect. The two had been estranged for most of her life. She didn't expect to hear someone else's voice answer the phone and certainly didn't expect to find out he died and already had been buried. But what surprised her the most was that she'd inherited his ranch. The timing, however, couldn't have been better inheritance wise. She'd recently been fired from her prestigious position with one of  Chicago's most elite Wedding Planners. It had been her dream job and she'd been devastated. To make matters worse, her former employer of 11 years had black balled her and she couldn't get a job anywhere. Sometimes life just doesn't go as planned even for someone whose primary job is to plan things.

Joe Daniels was a wealthy young widower who had just lost his best friend, Dutch. With only two years between the loss of his wife and his friend he was in mourning and not taking things very well. Dutch's death brought back the feelings of loss he'd only recently been able to put behind him from his wife's tragic death. So when Miranda first encountered him he was not at his best. She found him practically naked in nothing but his BVDs, Stetson, and boots passed out in a golden plated horse trough. After attempting to make him leave her newly acquired ranch by threatening to call the police, she found out she'd made a mistake..."this here is is Green Ridge Ranch, and I have a sneaking suspicion you're looking for Stone Creek."  Oops! Not exactly the way you want to go about meeting your neighbor.

This was such an enjoyable read. In many ways Miriah and Joe are very similar. They both are relationship shy and both mourn, although, for different reasons. They try to deny their feelings for the other and are afraid of  being hurt and/or left behind. Miriah's feelings stemming from her father's abandonment of her and her mother all those years ago. Joe's coming from loving then loosing his wife. In other ways, however, the two are very different. She's a city girl although she has country roots, while he's country through and through. He's rich and she's poor. He's got a loving and supportive large family, while she's only had her mother and herself to rely on. He knows what it's like to love, while  she doesn't have a clue. Despite it all, or perhaps because of it all, each seems to be exactly what the other needs.

I enjoyed many of the background characters and the side story that was included. They helped to create the feeling of a caring and close knit community that is rarely seen these days. Of those character lurking in the background, Ila, Joe's sister-in-law and one of his oldest friends, was my favorite. She added a fun dimension to the story. She's secretly been harboring a crush on Joe for years and had been upset when he'd married her younger sister. If looks could kill, Miriah would be on her way to greener pastures because Ila was most definitely sending death glares her way.

Favorite lines/quotes/moments:
- "Never thump a man's Stetson...Unless you've got a death wish. You got a death wish?"

- "Will you look at that"...
  "What is it?"
  She peered at her ankle. He'd connected the teeth patterns and it formed the letter D.
  "That rat snake marked you with my brand." His dark eyes met hers. "D for Daniels."

- "Listen to me and don't you forget it. Make no mistake. What we did last night means everything. From here on out, I'm your man."

-"Miriah took a bit. Mmm, it was the best cranberry--Suddenly, her mouth ignited, it was all she could do to swallow it down instead of spitting it out. "What is that?"
  "My specialty, hellfire cranberry sauce." Gamma bragged. "Here you go." She extended a glass of water to Mariah that apparently she had at the ready. "Cranberries, orange zest, and habanero peppers. It was my husband's favorite thing about Thanksgiving. God rest his soul."
  Eyes watering, mouth aflame, Miriah gulped the glass of water. "What did he die from? A seared esophagus?" 

Overall, I rated this one 3 1/2 out of 5 roses. It was a wonderful blend of characters with a nice story line about love, loss, forgiveness, and letting go. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a FAN rating - the temperature in the room seems to have suddenly gone up a couple of degrees and a fan would be nice.

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