This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.Rugged Texas Cowboy by Lora Leigh
Series: Cowboys and Captives #1 #2
Genres: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Romance
Release Date: December 5, 2017
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Format: ARC, E-book
Length: 7 hours, 37 mins
Purchase at: Amazon ◊ Barnes & Noble ◊ Book Depository ◊ Google Play ◊ Kobo ◊ IndieBound ◊ Audible
COWBOY AND THE CAPTIVEMelina is one of two gorgeous twin daughters, the clever and considerate one who always spared her parents the humiliation of what her sister Maria had wrought. But now, Melina is finally ready to stand up for herself and seize control of her life—until she is kidnapped by a cowboy, named Jardin, who is dead-set on settling the score with her family. There’s only one catch: In capturing Melina, this tough, rough, hunk of a man has actually found a way to unleash her greatest fantasies, body and soul. . .
COWBOY AND THE THIEF Beautiful, spirited Angel Manning has always longed to experience the power of her ancestors’ most precious heirloom. Her mother once told her that the legendary Irish torque would lead Angel to the one man worthy of possessing her heart. But when Angel learns that her father, now a widower, has sold the torque to the notorious two-timer Jack Riley, she is furious. Of course she plans to take back what is rightfully hers, by whatever means necessary. But the fate of the ancient Druids works in mysterious ways. . .Could it be that this slick, smooth-talking cowboy was destined to satisfy Angel’s deepest desires all along?
Rugged Texas Cowboy contains two novellas in one book. The first novella is titled Cowboy and the Captive and the second novella is titled Cowboy and the Thief. I will be honest and say that I set the book down after about twenty percent into the first novella and declared it a book that I was not going to finish. I picked this book back up again the next day though because I decided that I needed to give the second novella a chance. So, I have split this review up with my thoughts on each novella.
Cowboy and the Captive: 0 stars
What really turned me off in Cowboy and the Captive was the mistaken identity trope with a kidnapped trope. Luc Jardin hates Maria Angeles because she dealt with him and his partner very badly in a deal gone wrong. He has awaited his revenge for years and conspired with her brother to kidnap her and hold her for a period of time, during which he would get his vengeance. When he says vengeance though he means sexual dominance and posturing. He doesn’t know why, he should hate her and he does, but his body just “responds” to her.
Melina Angeles has been used and abused by her family and she isn’t going to take it anymore. After finally standing up for herself and refusing to take her twin’s place she was kidnapped by Luc who believed she was Maria. When Melina was taken hostage by Luc she didn’t know what to think, other than her body wants him and has wanted him since she first saw him when he came to confront her family about Maria’s misdeeds. Even though she resents his kidnapping of her he has been the star of her darkest fantasies for years and she can’t help wanting a taste of him.
I could have gotten behind the romance if it had been believable. If the whole mistaken identity had been worked out in the beginning and then the characters fell in love, okay I could see that but that is not what happened. Luc’s character was a turn off for me from the start and Melina’s character made my eyes roll way too much with her acceptance of the situation. Also, Luc believed that he was with Maria for a large majority of the book and Melina was a kidnap victim who fantasized about her captor. Overall the story was way too Stockholm Syndrome for me and not a romance.
Cowboy and the Thief: ⭐️⭐️ stars
Now I enjoyed the second story Cowboy and the Thief a little more. Angel Manning is a woman who has had her heart injured by some rather unimpressive rogues but she has never had anyone who sets her body on fire. Jack Riley is a man who knows the pleasures of the flesh and while visiting his client, Joseph Manning, he was intrigued by Angel. She was captivating in her off-putting way and after weeks he wanted to see her undone. Knowing what it meant to her, he bought the family heirloom that Angel prized as a way to get her to crack her cold exterior.
After Jack’s purchase of her family heirloom, Angel was furious and vowed to get it back no matter what the cost. After breaking into his home in search of the heirloom she comes face to face with Jack and this time she is on his territory. Jack knew that there was a connection between him and Angel and he was not letting her go until she acknowledged what burned between them. What neither of them expected was that what burned between them was a fire not so easily extinguished.
With Cowboy and the Thief there was at least an acknowledged connection between them before the insta-love took place. My feelings on the Cowboy and the Captive was that it was confusing and unhealthy. Neither story reminded me of anything cowboy and for the most part the “connection” between the couples were not very developed. What I can say about Rugged Texas Cowboy is that both stories are erotic in nature and are quite steamy. They were not for me but may appeal to another audience of reader.
*Thank you to Netgalley & St. Martin’s Press for this eARC of Rugged Texas Cowboy*