Saturday, July 19, 2014

Last of the Red Hot Cowboys by Tina Leonard

The Basics:
Last of the Red Hot Cowboys by Tina Leonard
Book One of Hell's Outlaws
Published June 24, 2014
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Why I picked up this book:

I've got a thing for cowboys.


Ava Buchanan dreams of a career on the rodeo circuit. Winning a spot on a one-of-a-kind team would be her ticket to the life she’s always wanted. Ava won’t let anyone stand in her way—not even a stubborn cowboy whose slow-molasses smile and red-hot swagger set her senses aflame . . . and whose talents as a trainer could make her a star. Rodeo might be a man’s game, but Ava knows the right woman’s touch can tame the wildest heart.

Trace Carter believes his mayor’s plan to raise the town’s profile has disaster written all over it, and he won’t allow the Hell’s Outlaws Training Center to be dragged into the fiasco. Yet watching Ava’s delectable body on horseback proves too much of a temptation, and his fantasies stray to her riding skills outside the arena. Soon Trace is fighting like hell to rein in his unbridled desire for the petite brunette before it becomes a passion hotter than the Texas sun.

My thoughts:

Last of the Red Hot Cowboys fell far short of the mark, for me. This book felt dated, with chest-beating, manly men and scheming women. It definitely reminded me of some of the first romance novels I read, that had been published in the 1980s and 1990s. The gender stereotypes were out in full force, and it made me extremely uncomfortable.

Trace is a manly man - a former military man who now runs a training center with his two best friends. It's a men-only zone - one of the foundations on which the business is built is that women aren't welcome. And of course, they live in 'Hell' - a town that's short on women as it is.

Until Mayor Judy - who basically runs around scheming and manipulating and promising her Sheriff boyfriend his Saturday Night Special if he keeps her happy - brings in three gorgeous women that she wants to train as rodeo clowns to raise the profile of her small town. Or,  you know, she wants to pair off with these three friends. Because that's what scheming mayors do. Truly, she spends so much time running around with her team and shaking her fist at Ivy, a woman who has her eye on Judy's boyfriend, I wanted to know what her actual duties as mayor were.

I felt extremely uncomfortable not only because Judy brought the women to town on false pretenses, but also because of how the stereotypes played out. Trace's thoughts were cringeworthy - women as delicate flowers or else manipulative.

This is very much a men vs women type romance and I did not enjoy it at all.

Bottom line:

Not my cup of tea, Last of the Red Hot Cowboys struck the wrong notes for me with the gender stereotyping and manipulation. This one might be fun if you can see past those things or if you're *really* into cowboys.

2 stars
For fans of cowboys.

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