Wednesday, 6 July 2011
365 books in 365 days Challenge ... book #89
The Ultimate Texas Bachelor - Cathy Gillen Thacker
Harlequin American Romance
Reprinted in Harlequin Showcase 2-in-1
N.B. This is a North American release
From the back cover:
"After his made-for-TV romance goes bust, Brad McCabe hightails it back home to Laramie, Texas. Swearing off women-and the press-he works tirelessly with his brother to get the Lazy M Ranch up and running. Miraculously, his wounded pride begins to heal when the domestically challenged McCabe men hire lovely Lainey Carrington to get their lives in order...
Trouble is, their tart-tongued "housekeeper" is here on false pretenses. An aspiring reporter on assignment for a splashy celebrity magazine, Lainey hopes to uncover the real story of Brad McCabe in a tell-all expose'that will end his tenure as America's Most Loathed Bachelor. But all bets are off when she falls hard for the gruffy tender cowboy... Now, once the truth comes out, this heartbreaking hottie just might break Lainey's own heart!"
I read this book the Showcase 2-in-1 edition, and didn't realise at first that this is an American Romance book. Just like the last book I read in this line, I was surprise as to how good it is!
The heroine Lainey is hired by her old school friend to help him and his brother settle into and organise their newly acquired ranch. That brother is the hero Brad, who was recently the male contestant on a love match style reality TV show. He has come back to his hometown to get away from all the negative publicity after his actions on the show portrayed him to be a cad, after he dumped his 'match'. He is suspicious of Lainey's arrival, and rightly so.
Lainey is trying to make a go out of the journalist career she had to give up when she married her ultra conservative husband. Since his death she has been trying to deal with the pressures of her in-law's as well as carve out a good life for herself and her son. One of her friends offers her the chance to write an article on the real reason for the break-up between Brad and his match, which will launch Lainey's career. Lainey knows that Brad has been portrayed as the bad guy on purpose and tries to get him to open up to her. He begins to and they become romantically involved, but Lainey doesn't tell Brad the truth about why she is there and the more time they spend together the harder it is to admit.
This is a really entertaining read. I just loved the whole insight into the 'staged' aspects of the reality TV show, definitely a hot button topic, and very well written. I likes both of the characters; Brad felt very real, and he was written with such honest. It's rare in the romance genre for a male character to feel hurt rather than bitter after a bad relationship, and hurt is how Brad feels, it's very refreshing to read. The way the relationship develops feels very natural and helps the book flow really well.
The setting is great, as is the dialogue. This is pure entertaining and heart warming romance!