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Monday, January 23, 2012

Ivy League Cowboy by Helen Hardt

Ivy League Cowboy by Helen Hardt
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (162 pgs)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed By: Dianthus

Dusty doesn't fear the feisty bull...but his owner's another story.

Dusty O’Donovan, an accomplished bull rider, isn’t afraid to ride El Diablo, a feisty stud whose owner, Zach McCray, is offering $500,000 to anyone who can stay on him for a full eight seconds. Though Zach refuses to let a woman ride his bull, he's intrigued by the headstrong Dusty, who he last saw when he was thirteen and she was six. Sparks fly when they’re together, but will Dusty’s secrets tear them apart?

Being a part of a rodeo is something to definitely keep your blood pumping, but when you’re a girl in a man’s world having to fight for every chance you get you learn to pick and choose your battles wisely. For Dusty O’Donovan, she has been fighting for everything in the last five years: for the chance to prove herself, for one more day of living, for everything. Will running into friends from her past bring the joy that she needs to brighter her days or will it lead to more heartache that she can’t handle?

For Zach McCray being a cowboy is a way of life for him. Though he did go away to Harvard for schooling the idea of owning a ranch has been in his blood for as long as he can remember. Until the day he ran into Dusty at the rodeo, he figured his life was about as full as it could get, but she turned his life upside down from the first smile. Growing up with Dusty and her brother Sam, there was always something about her that called to Zach. Seeing her again after seventeen years confirmed that he was sunk without a fight, he fell head over heels without an idea it was happening. Could making Dusty see his love be the best thing for the two of them or will her secrets and evasions make this relationship something that could never work?

While this story did start off a bit slow I was surprised at how simple it was to get into. The characters were easy to relate to, and although at time the country slang of “darlin’” that Zach seemed so fond of did get a bit old, it is something you hear in the south.

I did like that Helen Hardt made the characters so easy to fall for, and not completely perfect; she made them human and it made the story that much more enjoyable in the end. Having never read any of her works before, I was pleasantly surprised by this story and find that I will be looking for more stories by her in the future.