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Book CoverSandy M’s review of One Lucky Cowboy by Carolyn Brown
Contemporary Western Romance published by Sourcebooks Casablanca 1 Nov 09

I’m not sure which title is correct for this book, One Lucky Cowboy or Lucky Break as is depicted on the icon here. My book is titled One Lucky Cowboy, so I’ll go with that. And that’s not the only problem with this book. It took only one chapter for this story to go from pretty good to now I’m not so sure how good it is. Then things really fell apart.

I liked the beginning of this book, meeting the characters, learning about why the heroine is hiding from her fiance. I didn’t even mind the sniping and snipping between the hero and heroine. In the beginning anyway. That’s another story that will come later. The main problem with this book for me that started early is the dialogue. Most of the time I couldn’t picture people speaking the way these characters do. A lot of the conversations never read right, sounded stilted and awkward. Now, that’s not to say there aren’t good moments with the dialogue. There are. A couple even made me chuckle. They’re few and far between, but they can be found.

A part of that problem with dialogue is the aforementioned snipping and sniping. Slade Luckadeau (I also don’t like this last name, but I’ll let that go for now) doesn’t like it one bit that his grandmother picked up a stray, lost woman off the bus and brought her home to work as a cook for the Double L Ranch. He thinks she’s a con artist. Therefore, they don’t hit it off very well from the outset and they’re constantly at each other, bickering, fighting, snapping, snipping, and sniping. At first that’s all fine, but this attitude between them lasts througout the book. Even after they’ve made love (another story that I’ll get to soon) and they’ve admitted their attraction to one another. It just got old fast. Near the end I know the author tried to placate me by having this couple love the bickering between them, that’s part of what attracted them to each other. Okay, fine, I can live with that. But just not practically every line of the book.

Now for that lovemaking. That didn’t happen until the last two-thirds of the book. And when it did, after waiting all that time for it, for that one pivotal moment when the hero and heroine finally come together in my romance novel, I got hardly anything at all. Definitely not the fiery, passionate scene that should have happened between these two after all this time. And all that fighting. And that’s the only love scene in the book. Zero sexual tension before or after the deed. No romance hardly at all. There are maybe a few times that things do get tender between Slade and Jane, but they don’t last long because the fighting starts again, just as it did after they made love.

There are some good things about this book, despite other problems like constant POV changes. I like the storyline of Jane overhearing her fiance’s plans, forcing her to run and hide for the next six weeks until her birthday, which is when she takes over the family company and can clean house of the vipers who are trying to get rid of her. Even the idea of how she met Nellie, Slade’s grandmother, is nicely done. Nellie herself and her sister, Ellen, are a hoot most of the time. They do a little matchmaking for the couple, but it stops short of being the fun it could have been. Despite their bickering, I do like Slade and Jane. They’re independent, know what they want (except when it comes to wanting each other) and they know how to have fun. I also like the secondary characters in the book, even the villains. They’re written very well.

It’s these few good things that kept the review grade from hitting rock bottom. There are two other books in the series, and, believe it or not, I’d actually like to read one or both of them. Why, you ask? I’d like to read this author without the snapping and biting taking front and center throughout the story. The writing is good, along with some good ideas. This particular book just wasn’t for me, but who’s to say her next one isn’t.

SandyMGrade: D


Jane Day is on the run from the paid assassin who had been her fiancé. In Wichita Falls, Texas, she meets Nellie Luckadeau, a spitfire of an old lady who desperately needs someone to work on her ranch. But Nellie’s drop-dead gorgeous grandson “Lucky Slade” is sure he can spot a con artist a mile away. He’s determined not to let some upstart like Jane fleece his granny.

When his signature intimidation methods don’t convince Jane to leave, he pours on the charm to make her spill what she’s up to. She’s happy to play along, but she’s not going to let this hot, hostile cowboy run her off his land when all she needs is a lucky break.

Read an excerpt here.

Other books in this series:

Lucky in Love Getting Lucky