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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Review: Ride a Cowboy

Ride a Cowboy
by Carrie Destler

Sexy cowboy Mitch Cartwright is desperate enough to do just about anything to keep his ranch. Even if it means strutting his nearly naked self in an art class for extra money.

When Ava Clarington gets an eyeful of the handsome hunk, she can think of plenty of ways to help reduce his stress. There's only one thing standing in her way—how is she going to get to know him better when she has to serve him foreclosure papers on his ranch?

The comical first encounter between Ava and Mitch set the stage for this witty tale and the laughs just keep coming. Both Ava and Mitch are in financial straits and are in jeopardy of losing their respective homes. The wacky choices that they each make to bring in mortgage money throw them together more than once, and the combination of heat and playfulness between them from the beginning is tantalizing. I couldn't help but get caught up in their stimulating flirtation.

Ava's run of bad luck and estrangement from her family made it clear to me the subtle strength of this woman in the way she handles adversity. She doesn't shove her head in the sand nor does she wallow in self-pity; she keeps a positive but realistic attitude even when things become dire, and I find that ability refreshing. Her frustration is obvious as she is forced to work at a job — with a smarmy boss — she hates to try and hold on to her grandfather's estate and I felt sympathy for her situation. Her compassionate side shines through in her willingness to delay serving a foreclosure notice as long as possible, but it is her unselfish sacrifice for Mitch when she thinks she's hit rock bottom that warmed my heart and endeared her to me.

When Ava first meets Mitch, he's on display, in all his glory as a model in Ava's art class. Ava is kind enough to describe his very fine attributes in sizzling detail and I, the lucky reader, was grateful for her careful analysis. Buff, well endowed, with eyes a girl could get lost in, Mitch is my idea of the perfect male specimen (in other words, he is really HOT!), but I also appreciate that he's a good guy. He doesn't get mad at Ava for doing her job even when the result is detrimental to him and I was relieved he wasn't a kill-the-messenger type. And I thought he was fun — he demands payback (wink-wink) after a couple of Ava-induced mishaps and he collects the debts owed him in delightfully decadent ways. When things are at their bleakest for her, he rides in on his white horse to save the day. What more could a girl ask for?

"Ride a Cowboy" is a rollicking escapade that is sure to delight and amuse.

Review by Chamomile