Wednesday, 31 August 2011
365 books in 365 days Challenge ... book #165
Undercover Cowboy - Beverly Bird
Silhouette Books, 1999
From the back cover:
"Sworn to serve and protect
Secret agent Jack Fain had chased his arch-enemy around the world to a small ranch in the middle of nowhere...and to captivating Carly Castagne. Now Jack was the only thing that stood between the killer and this innocent woman.
Jack's job description didn't include and undeniable attraction to Carly or a fatherly bond with her adorable daughter. Personal involvement would only raise the stakes of the game. But suddenly Jack wasn't just trying to catch a killer, he was protecting the woman he had fallen for. And just one mistake could cost them their lives...and their hearts."
This is a book my husband found for me on a secondhand book stall. I remember that this type of Silhouette Sensation books were some of the first romance books I read when I discovered the Mills & Boon/Silhouette/Harlequin range, the bright pink covers appealed to my teenage self!
The hero Jack is a burnt out secret agent, whom for the last 11 years has been trailing an assassin known as Scorpion. After almost being killed he is ready to give it all in, until he hears that Scorpion has seemingly done his last job, and Jack knows exactly where is heading. The heroine Carly is a down on her luck rancher. Trying to keep her ranch running as well as dealing with her sometimes obnoxious 11 year old daughter as a single mother and tax debts, she is forced to open up her ranch to tourits. Jack follows Scorpion to Carly's ranch, neither of them are expecting to find a bunch of tourists ready to experience a cattle drive, so they both blend in. Jack knows why Scorpion is there; he has come to collect Carly, his wife, after leaving her 11 years ago. Carly has no idea that one of her tourists is her ex husband, as well as being unaware of his 'occupation'. Jack decides to keep close tabs on Scorpion by staying close to Carly, and despite needing all his awareness in order to finally get Scorpion, he finds that he can't stop his growing feelings for Carly and desperatly wants to protect her with his life.
I was intrigued by the plot of this book, it sounded very exciting. Unfortunatly it wasn't as exciting as I was hoping for. The 'action' didn't really happen until the very last chapters. But that's not to say that I didn't like it, as I did. I loved the whole dude ranch/cattle drive idea (although I did keep thinking of the move City Slickers!). Carly is a really well written heroine, I liked her spunk and independent spirit in spite of her vulnerable situation. I didn't really respond to Jack, he had way too many issues. I got a little frustrated at the whole 'tracing the assassin' thing. In my opinion the plot has quite a few holes in it and it dragged on a bit too long.
There isn't really much romance in this book either, but there is enough to satisfy. It also has some nice plot twists that kept me interested. An OK read.