Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Early Review: Cowboy, Take Me Away by Kathleen Eagle (ARC)

Book: Cowboy, Take Me Away by Kathleen Eagle
Release Date: 19 Apr 2011
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Summary: Her camera didn't lie.
When photographer Skyler Quinn first fixed her lens on gorgeous cowboy Trace Wolf Track, she liked what she saw but didn’t give it much thought. Until everywhere she went—the rodeo, the Double D Wild Horse Sanctuary— there he was, and the heat between them built to the boiling point.
As a widow struggling with debts and loyalties from a former life, Skyler needed to stay focused, especially if she wanted to achieve her dream of becoming a mother. Was Trace a fatal distraction, a mere summer fling? Or did this younger man—so deep, so passionate—hold the key to a future that would make all her dreams come true?
Note: Please note that I received this book for free from the publisher via netgalley for the purpose of review. I did not receive monetary compensation for my review and receiving this book in no way affected my opinion or how it was expressed in my review.

Review: I love cowboys and horses so the summary of this book really interested me despite the pregnancy storyline which I was quite hesitant about. For nearly the whole book I was anxious in regards to that conflict, which is one I don't care for, and how it would be handed. I think Eagle did a great job addressing it then moving on. It wasn't drawn out and painful like many authors would have made it. I think that made the book a lot smoother and enjoyable read for me.
I liked Skyler. She was fun, smart, interesting... And I liked Trace even more. Definitely loved the cocky, sexy cowboy image he had going on. Their relationship just didn't work for me though in the first half of the book. Passionate moments felt cold and other than great one liners, I never felt them connect in conversation. However, I did love their instant attraction. Sure the build up can be fun but it often contains some angst or denial, neither of which I find enjoyable. I really liked that there was no pretense or nonsense between Skyler and Trace in regards to attraction. They liked each other so they let it happen. The second half of the book was a whole different rodeo; it was a wild ride and I loved every second of it.
The love scenes can go either way. If you're looking for something explicit and detailed, you won't enjoy the sex in this book. If you're looking for something a little more subtle then you'll really enjoy what Eagle's got in store for you.
Something about this book didn't feel modern, it felt more like something from the mid-eighties. I think it was a combination of the author's narrative language and the dialogue given to the characters. Some lines had a current witty and cleverness but much of it had an older feel. This wasn't a problem for me, but it was a surprise that took some adjusting to.
Lastly, many people aren't going to get the rodeo or equine talk and it isn't really explained. It's not necessary knowledge for the story but it will be frustrating to encounter that type of language not knowing what's going on considering both characters' lives revolve around horses.

Thoughts as I Read:
  • ""I don't even know your name." "It'll be on the program." Safely out of returning-the-ticket distance, he paused. "You gonna tell me yours?" "I haven't decided. And I'm not on the program."" I really like Skyler so far. She seems shy and uncomfortable around people but still manages to be sassy. As someone who works with horses, I'm also enjoying all the equine talk.
  • ""What's happening tomorrow?" His fingers skimmed her palm. "Our first kiss."" Trace has all the perfect cowboy traits, I'm especially appreciative of the cockiness and swagger.
  • ""All who?" He waved her answer off. "Nah, forget it. Just tell me when I'm like nobody else. Whisper it in my ear. You're different, Trace. I've never met anyone like you, Trace." His smile mellowed. "Because you're already here, Skyler. You're like nobody else."" Some of the things that come out of Trace's mouth are so dreamy. I don't know how Skyler is resisting that.
  • ""We're on the first floor. No stairs." "I never stay in town once the rodeo's over." "But there's only one bed." He took her hand. "Like I said, it sure would be nice to lie down and elevate."" And we get to the turning point of the book. Definitely enjoyed the hotel scene.
  • ""A dog will choose you over his own kind, but not a horse."" I do not care for Trace's high handed, know it all horse talk. Yes, it's very in character for him but half of what he's spouting is total bullshit. All of the horse facts seem spot on to me thus far, but I'm wondering if Eagle's ever been around a horse for just the fun of it.
  • ""The house has its rough edges. It's pretty old, but it's solid. Worth saving." "And it all fits together. What do you use for heat?" He jacked up one eyebrow. "Love." "Oh, good," she quipped. "Too bad it's summer."" I'm so glad they moved past the 'issue' quickly. I hate it when things get drawn out.
Rating: 3½ Bites

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