REVIEW: Her Cowboy Defender by Kerry ConnorSunday, March 4, 2012 1:00
Category romance is the one area of the sub genre where I still actively impulse read. Now that said, I picked up this latest by Kerry Connor because I enjoyed one of her previous releases, and that “Thriller” tag-line that Intrigue likes to use sometimes tends to hook me. I go into those particular reads expecting a non-stop, action-packed suspense thread, with a wee bit of romance tossed in for flavor. Plus, “cowboy” is in the title. I’m a girl who has a hard time saying no to a cowboy. Unfortunately, with all that going for it, this story didn’t work all that well for me.
Cade McClain (best hero name EVER!) is driving down a deserted road near his ranch when he sees a broken-down car on the side of the road. He stops to help the lone woman, only to have her pull a gun on him and demand his truck. Well, that is until she realizes it’s a standard transmission and she can’t drive stick. So she kidnaps him to be her driver. When bad guys show up and start shooting at them? Cade realizes that today isn’t going to be typical.
Piper Lowry’s twin sister Pam is an FBI agent and is lying in a coma after a car accident. She rushes to her sister’s bedside in Dallas, only to get a phone call from a Very Bad Man. He has kidnapped their younger sister and is holding her for ransom. The price? Pam was supposed to squirrel away some information from the FBI. Being twins, Very Bad Man doesn’t realize that Pam is in a coma and thinks Piper is Pam. So now Piper has to figure out what the intel is that Very Bad Man wants, needs to save her baby sister – oh, and she can’t go to the authorities because she thinks someone in Pam’s FBI field office is bent. To add insult to injury, her rental car is now a smokin’ hulk on the side of the road and she’s late for her rendezvous with Very Bad Man.
OK, here’s the problem: I don’t buy it. Any of it. Piper pulls a gun on Cade, threatens him, he gets shot at by hired goons, and she gives him the ol’ Can’t Go To The Law Because I Don’t Know Who To Trust line and he…..drops his entire life to help her. Listen, I get that some guys have a Hero Complex and have a fetish for helping damsels in distress – but this one strained for me considerably. It just did. It also doesn’t really help matters that all this takes place over the course of 48 hours. It’s hard for me to believe in a lasting romance when in all likelihood the attraction was helped along by the danger elements.
The author does succeed in giving the reader an action-packed plot, though. This book starts with a bang and doesn’t let up all the way to the final chapter. It’s go, go, go. Never a dull moment. No downtime. However, even with all the action, it’s hard for me to stay fully engaged because I never really fully bought in to the setup. Also, things are helped along considerably by inept hired goons. Seriously, bad guys who don’t lock doors? They just don’t make villains like they used to.
While I never was fully engaged and had my issues, the writing is clear and crisp. I also stuck with it all the way to the end. And just because I don’t buy in doesn’t mean that other readers won’t.
From the moment he finds himself staring down the barrel of her gun, Rancher Cade McClain knows Piper Lowry isn’t just another stranded tourist. Armed and desperate, she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to carry out her mission. A mission she claims only he can help her with. Knowing it would be impossible to walk away from this tempting, determined woman, Cade offers her a place to hide from the gunmen on her trail. Despite his broad shoulders and intimidating gaze, it isn’t long before the straight-shooting cowboy realizes he can’t guarantee Piper’s safety. Even if his heart is beginning to tell him he has no choice but to try.…