I write book reviews, I also write books, and occasionally I write about myself!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Harts of the Rodeo... COLTON: Rodeo Cowboy - C.J. Carmichael + Author Interview

COLTON: Rodeo Cowboy - C.J. Carmichael 
Harlequin American Romance
Harlequin, 2012
ISBN: 9780373754175

My rating

From the back cover:

"After years of tearing up the rodeo circuit—and shirking his family duties—Colton Hart shouldn't be surprised that his return to Thunder Ranch has been a bit thorny. His plan to put the Harts' prize stallion, Midnight, back into dangerous rodeo competition doesn't help.Colt's stirring up trouble off the ranch as well, especially in Leah Stockton's heart. Recently divorced, Leah is determined to make a new life for her two kids. The last thing she needs is a man who acts like a child himself.
And Leah doesn't even know about the biggest mistake of Colt's life. When his shameful secret is revealed, she'll never look at him the same again. But Colt also realizes it's past time he acts like the man Leah deserves…whether she wants him or not."

The glimpses of Colt given in the first book of this series (AIDAN: Loyal Cowboy-Cathy McDavid) intrigued me as to what might be coming in this book, so I was looking forward to reading it.

I'm really pleased that this lived up to expectation. Colton is exactly the kind of hero I like; full of pain, yet self-assured, and willing to love wholeheartedly. I adored the heroine. She is trying to make a new life for herself and her children after being badly hurt, yet she is constantly coming up against obstacles - an inconvenient attraction to Colt being one of them!

The love-story between Cold and Leah develops beautifully and the pacing of the book is spot-on, it really made me want to keep reading.

Colt's pain is very emotional, and understandable after what he has been dealing with alone for so many years. The author handles this well and doesn't hold anything back, including Leah's shock and disappointment when he confides in her.

This is a beautiful read and a great second-instalment to this series... Next please!

*N.B. ARC provided by Harlequin, with thanks, in exchange for review. 

Interview with C.J. Carmichael

About the book... 

Where did you get your inspiration from?

The story line for the Harts of the Rodeo series was developed by our Harlequin American editors…in particular Kathleen Scheibling. I loved the story Kathleen assigned to me. My hero, Colton, made a mistake in his past. That mistake has haunted him ever since and I loved writing about how he finally comes to terms with what he did and sets himself on the path of redemption.

Describe your heroine in 3 words...

Leah has spunk, humor…and she’s a good mom!

Describe your hero in 3 words...

Reckless, good-hearted…and hot!

What do you think comes next for your hero & heroine?

I see them building a house together on Thunder Ranch. I’m not sure if they’ll have more kids. Between them they already have three. I do think they’re going to add a bunch of pets to the mix, though!

What was the biggest challenge writing this book?

This was my first book set in Montana, my first book set on a ranch and my first hero who was a rodeo cowboy. So the learning curve was big. I spent a lot of time researching!

What was it like being involved in a multi author series?

Collaborating with 5 other authors isn’t easy. We all have our own ideas and developing a story arc that covers 6 books is a challenge. But as is often the case, what is the most challenging is also the most rewarding.
Cathy McDavid, Roz Denny Fox, Shelley Galloway, Marin Thomas and Linda Warren all have the three qualities that I love to see in people I work with: Talent, a good work ethic, and a terrific sense of humor!

What do you think of the whole series?

It’s a satisfying family saga with a bunch of really interesting characters. I love the fact that each hero and heroine is a unique individual. I think readers will really appreciate that. And I also love the story line that centers around the Hart’s prize stallion: Midnight of the Rodeo. Midnight is the real star of this series!

About you...

Being English I am naturally obsessed with all things American, especially cowboy's, that's why I love the American Romance line so much! But I have two questions... Where have all the cowboys gone?! And are they really like the ones in your books?

I live in Calgary where we have the tradition of the Calgary Stampede. This is a 10 year party/rodeo/exhibition/fair that sweeps over our city and fills our streets and bars with real cowboys. Yes, they exist!
But I think what women really hunger for are manly men with a sense of honor and a feeling of connection to the land and their family. And yes, those men do exist, but nowhere are they quite as ideal as in our books!

Much has been said on the topic and relevance of romance novels, what do you like most about the genre, and what is your response to the criticism about it?
I think, like all genre fiction, you find those authors who write what you like and you stick with them. Good romantic fiction delivers a story that sweeps you away. Dynamic characters, an engaging plot, and a warm, satisfying ending that leaves you believing in the good things in life.
I get frustrated with people who say they don’t read romance but enjoy watching films like Crazy, Stupid Love; The Proposal; When Harry Met Sally. Don’t they realize that these are romance stories in another form? Let’s support the books as well as the films!

Do you believe in the Happily Ever Afters we love to read about in romance novels?

I see them every day. And I’m working on my own Second-Chance Happily Ever After.

What's next for you?

My own cowboy series: Coffee Creek Montana! The Lamberts are a powerful ranching family with a controlling mother as the matriarch. Olive Lambert runs the ranch and tries to run her children’s lives as well. Readers will have to judge whether she succeeds…

What is your favourite and least favourite part about being a writer?

I love building new worlds. I’m very visual and like to visit the places I write about. I also collect pictures. I’ve just started using Pinterest to bring all these pictures together. I have a board for every book in my Coffee Creek Montana series. I invite you to take a look: http://pinterest.com/cjcarmichael/

Least favorite thing? When deadlines collide with visits from daughters or fun outings with friends…

Anything else you would like to say...

Readers…I’d love to have you visit my website. I have lots of background on my stories, research and writing process. As well as frequent contests. So come and stay a while! www.cjcarmichael.com.

Thank you Rebecca for inviting me to your blog. I love to hang out with people who love books!

Happy Reading!


Thanks CJ for visiting my blog, and for a great interview.

For a chance to win a copy of COLTON: Rodeo Cowboy, and read another fabulous interview with C.J. hop over to my wonderful friend Sara's (AKA Harlequin Junkie) Harts of the Rodeo site by the end of today - Link

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