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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Elly: Cowgirl Bride by Trish Milburn

Elly: Cowgirl Bride by Trish Milburn
(Codys: First Family of Rodeo series)
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (216 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Poppy

Elly Cody, the only daughter of Wyoming's most powerful ranching family, set her sights on being a champion barrel racer long ago. Right about the time Will Jackson set his sights on Elly! Years away from Markton has dulled none of her appeal, and seeing the beautiful cowgirl again is like a one-two punch. He still wants her. Badly.

The tide has turned for Elly. Will the boy has turned into Will the man—and now he's the one making her heart beat triple time. But why is he back in town? And what the heck is he doing working for her brother?

When Elly finds out Will was hired to unearth a secret that's probably better off staying buried, she realizes it's time for a confrontation. Is he going to finish the job he's been hired to do? Or lose his chance with the only woman he's ever loved…?

This latest installment in the Codys: First Family of Rodeo series was the best one yet. Elly Cody, the sole female in a passel of male Codys, has always intrigued me. I truly looked forward to seeing her get her HEA, and even more so because there was no foreshadowing of who she’d be interested in.

Turns out “Billy the Kid”, a nerdy friend from school, is now Will the sexy lawyer. Newly returned to town from Colorado, Will is starting his law practice from the ground up and is hired by Jesse Cody to look into the legal ramifications if there turns out to be another heir to the Cody inheritance. Elly hates how the issue of whether her father was unfaithful to her mother, whether he sired another son out of wedlock, has torn apart her formerly stable family. And now, Will is smack in the middle of it all. Even so, she can’t bring herself to look at him as the enemy, no matter how hard she tries.

Will, as it turns out, only returned to town to see if the feelings he’s had for Elly all these years are real. From the moment he lays eyes on her again, he knows his heart. But he’s been thrust into a difficult dilemma and struggles to keep his potential relationship with Elly separate from his legal work for Jesse.

It’s not easy.

I was absolutely glued to this book ... the first two-thirds of the book flew by before I knew it. Will and Elly get along so well and things for them seem to be going swimmingly (dirty, threatening looks from Elly’s brothers aside!) ... but then comes the thing that tears them apart.

I have to admit – the thing that stops this from being rated higher had to do with Elly’s reaction to something Will did. I thought her behavior was far too extreme and it made me want to reach out and smack some sense into her. She was so far over the top that I actually stopped reading for a little while, I was so angry with her. On the one hand, it did lower the rating on this review, but on the other I was clearly invested in these characters to the point that I reacted strongly and with great emotion to this.

I did pick up the book again. How could I not? I needed to find out what was done to get Elly to come to her senses. And author Trish Milburn came through for me, giving me an ending that made me want to stand up and cheer. This book is both sweet and hot, with romance that makes your heart sigh and sexual need and tension to make your libido sit up and take notice. Throw in a great set of characters, a strong plot and some fabulous writing and you have a winner.

While Elly: Cowgirl Bride might read okay on its own, it is clearly part of a series, with the ongoing issue of Mark’s paternity being a very big issue. I really love this series, and strongly recommend you pick up the entire thing and then read it from beginning to end.