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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Second Chance Cowboy by Crystal-Rain Love

Second Chance Cowboy by Crystal-Rain Love
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (100 pgs)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Chance Masters was her hero…

He held her the night her mother died, taught her how to defend herself, and saved her from a raging bull. But when Kenzie Calhoun confessed her love for Chance just after her eighteenth birthday, he broke her heart and fled.

Now ten years later Chance is back…

He ran away to spare Kenzie a mistake she would always regret, but he never forgot the pain in her eyes. When he learns her ranch is in trouble, his guilty conscience prompts him to help. But now the girl is a woman…and Chance can't forget he’s just a washed up bull-rider from the wrong side of town.

Can Kenzie convince him that every cowboy deserves a second chance?

Good things come to those who wait and this story proves it with an emotional punch that made me melt from sheer joy.

First I got to meet Kenzie, the heroine, right when she’s planning the big seduction. She had it all figured out except for the fact that life hadn’t taught her a few lessons yet but one man was going to. It really was a powerful scene because the author used her words well. I felt the sadness, confusion and mortification that Kenzie did.

Fast forward to when a now older heroine meets up with Chance, the hero, and it’s a great reintroduction between the two. The dialogue, the reactions from their words to each other, it all played out well with a lot of emotional layers for a reader to enjoy. Because I was getting the view from Kenzie’s perspective, I could empathize from where she was coming from. Later, when the point of view shifts to Chance, I was privy to his interpretation of things and it laid the groundwork for a great character driven plot.

There are a few internal conflicts that need to be addressed before Kenzie and Chance find their happily ever after. They are their own worst enemies. Pride comes into play, shame, lack of confidence and a bruised trust all play a part in tormenting these two destined souls. The author truly has an understanding of what makes her characters so special and was able to engage my emotions throughout.

Another thing I liked was being able to pinpoint when the little healing moments occurred. Each one made me sit back in amazement because I could see the growth and progressive movement of their romance. The author again worded them in such a way as to give a reader the most impact. I was most impressed.

As for secondary characters, Ms. Love presented me with the flawed yet endearing younger brother to Chance. The author also included a character that pushed both Kenzie and Chance to put up or shut up. It was delivered as a natural and believable course of events because it occurred at a certain point in the story where it had the most force. I believe that Chance, being as stubborn as he is, needed it. He certainly required something at that point and I like the author’s choice.

An aspect of the story that I also enjoyed and in which I think Ms. Love delivered with effective sincerity is the sensual buildup. The two characters practically vibrated with unfulfilled sexual tension and the author played it to the max. When they finally get to express their physical love it’s a scene so beautiful and tender, passionate and heartfelt that I had to reread it a few times. It was that enjoyable. It made the reading of Kenzie and Chance’s journey to love that more meaningful and potent and I challenge any reader to tell me otherwise.

Second Chance Cowboy defines what a romance should be. It touches the heart and mind of a reader and leaves a lasting impression that makes them feel good beyond that final page. On top of that it was a thoroughly entertaining read. Try it and see!