REVIEW: The Cowboy and the Princess by Lori WildeMonday, July 30, 2012 1:00
Sandy M’s review of The Cowboy and the Princess (Jubilee, Texas, Book 2) by Lori Wilde
Contemporary Western Romance published by Avon 31 Jul 12
I recently discovered Lori Wilde’s cowboys, so I couldn’t wait to start reading The Cowboy and the Princess. While it’s a good story, it unfortunately doesn’t have the fun, wit, and pizzazz as The Cowboy Takes a Bride does. I can still see Joe Daniels sprawled in that gold-plated water trough. Our hero here, Brady Talmadge, is a sexy, live-life-for-the-moment cowboy, and I fell for him as I did Joe, but it’s Annie and her need for adventure who takes a bit to warm up to.
Brady has five unbreakable rules, all from past life experience. You have to love a cowboy who can’t win no matter what in one day. Nothing goes right when he spies a hitchhiker as he’s on his way home to Jubilee, Texas, and it’s pouring down rain. His first rule is broke once he realizes it’s a woman out there. From that point on, his rules fall like dominoes. This is a great start with a good story idea, but this level of humor doesn’t survive.
Trying to escape the strictures of royalty, wanting nothing more than to be normal, an everyday Jane, Annie plots with a friend, who just happens to be the daughter of an ex-President of the United States, to give Annie a few weeks of freedom, to get a taste of what she’s been wishing for for years, before she is forced to marry for political reasons. So during the friend’s wedding Annie is able to sneak out and begin her one shot at normal. She wants to experience as much as she can, much like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday. When she’s picked up by Brady, they’re immediately attracted to one another, but Brady is sticking to his rules like maple syrup to pancakes – until Annie is accosted in the truck stop parking lot where they shared a meal. Another rule down.
So after the rescue, Annie tags along with Brady for his trip to Jubilee, where he’s going to help his friend Joe (yes, he of the horse trough fame) with his prize horse that is still suffering after an accident months before. Brady is a renowned horse whisperer. He has a way of feeling what horses feel, knowing what they need, and an instinctive way of getting through to them for healing. He introduces Annie to all of his friends, they all take to her immediately and assume there’s something going on between the two of them. While nothing is going on at that time, when these characters do finally decide to do the deed, it’s one of those no-strings, no-regrets, let’s-have-fun-and-then-go-our-own-way things. We know how long that’s going to last.
There are a few cute moments when Annie gets confused about something American she’s never heard of or says something completely incorrect, but a lot of those fell flat for me. I guess mostly because it’s a theme I’ve read a little too often. I knew it was coming because of the life Annie’s led so far. She hasn’t been anywhere, experienced anything except what is her duty in her super tiny home country. Of course she’s going to be ignorant of a lot of Americanims, slang, and loads of other stuff we take for granted. So some worked for me, some didn’t. What I did enjoy are the scenes featuring Brady’s and Annie’s dogs. Brady’s is, of course, a cowboy’s dog. Trampus is a huge monstrosity used to hard work and running free. The little, uppity nothing of a dog of Annie’s brings Trampus to his knees or he goes belly up just for a bat of her eyelashes. It’s Brady’s reaction to Trampus’ willingness to beg for Lady Astor’s attention that had me laughing out loud.
We know all along that Annie’s wedding is coming soon. So you try to figure out how Ms. Wilde will twist and turn the story to allow Brady and Annie to have their happily every after. Especially when Annie begins to make a life for herself in Jubilee, working for Mariah in her wedding consulting business and making friends all over the place. Brady even begins to have thoughts of staying in Jubilee, which is very foreign to him after a lifetime of knowing he’ll never settle down. I do have to say that after Annie finally fesses up to Brady and their time has run out, their good-bye scene is quite moving. Then comes the final twist, and it really isn’t that big a surprise, at least for me. But it’s a good out for Annie in the end, when she learns more truth than she ever imagined, and it doesn’t hurt anyone close to her.
So while this is a fun, cute story, it just doesn’t live up to TCTaB. I’m glad the lives of all the characters intersect so we can see how those before are getting along and also get a glimpse into the friendships they have with each other. I’m definitely looking forward to the next book in the series. Jubilee, Texas is a fun place to be.
Brady Talmadge was a cowboy with five unbreakable rules:
1) Never pick up a pretty hitchhiker
2) Avoid damsels in distress
3) Never order chili at a truck stop
4) Always trust your gut
5) Never tell a lie . . .
This is what happened when he broke all his rules . . . and got into a whole lot of trouble!
On the run from an arranged marriage, Princess Annabella of Monesta dons the guise of a hitchhiking cowgirl. But when she finds herself drenched, alone, and hungry, she has no choice but to trust the tall Texas horse whisperer who offers her a ride. He’s like no one she’s ever known—a strong sexy man who says just what he thinks. And when one wild kiss leaves her breathless, she quickly realizes she’ll give up everything to spend a lifetime of night times in his arms. But how can there be happily-ever-after with palace guards hot on her trail?
No excerpt available.
Other books in this series: