Welcome to Jubilee, Texas: where everyone knows everybody’s business—especially if that business is love!
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 this 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 towards the blond-haired filly with the big, vulnerable eyes.
When out-of-work wedding planning 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-buried cowgirl roots…
(Oh how I hate that the blurb refers to the heroine as a filly. Good old cowboy sexism, huh!)
Here’s another book that received mixed reviews, and yet I absolutely loved it.
Unlike a lot of readers, I don’t have an obsession with books set in Texas. This is perhaps coloured by some extreme – extremely opposite to me – social and political views some Texan authors have been expressing online over the past year. Probably unfairly, it has been a real turn-off for me. However, for whatever reason, I can always relate to the characters and situations in Wilde’s books.
I read The Cowboy Takes a Bride – the third book in this series – first, and knew immediately I wanted to read the others. For whatever stupid reason, the American publisher won’t sell the first two on Kindle to non-Americans, so I had to wait a few weeks for paperbacks to arrive in the post.
The Cowboy Takes a Bride is a book full of angst, but it is also a book that is balanced out with a lot of humour and genuinely interesting, fun characters.
I like that Joe is unashamedly a Texan cowboy. He loves what he does, and he loves those close to him with the same devotion. I loved that Mariah adapted to her surroundings, but still stayed true to herself. I especially liked that just when it looked like the author had introduced the perfect way for city girl Mariah to stay in town, she pulled it out from under us, and we were left to again wonder how these two could ever make it. I liked the angst-filled parts about Mariah’s father.
Now I just wish the author would stop talking about how sexy Clint Eastwood is in every book! He’s an arrogant lunatic! I also had a problem with Mariah’s fashion sense (animal print boots?!)… Oh, the important things to worry about when you read a book.
I think Lori Wilde captures Texas the way we all want it to be – and I know that’s why her books work so well for me when others with similar themes do not.