Series: Hot Cowboy Nights #3
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: June 2, 2015
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Blurb from goodreads:
TAKE YOUR BEST SHOT, COWBOY…
A Weary warrior… After eight years as a Marine sniper, war-scarred Reid Everett is back in his native Wyoming. He knows and loves this rugged land, so working for wildlife services to reduce the booming wolf population suits him to a T.
A Caring crusader… Wildlife biologist Haley Cooper is desperate to make a difference. Leaving the world of academia behind, she accepts a position as a wolf advocate to protect the animals she loves.
Raw attraction… Their jobs set them on a collision course, but chemistry sparks like wildfire between Reid and Haley. They’ll have to brave some rough territory if they hope to reconcile their polarizing views with a passion that won’t be denied.
I wanted to like this book. A Marine who's also a cowboy, a biologist/conservationist, a hot cover, intriguing blurb, the potential was there.
But. I just did NOT like the 'heroine', Haley. She was rude, contrary, judgmental, obnoxious, difficult, narrow-minded, and just about impossible to like. There were brief moments here and there where she would say or do something kind or decent and then she'd go back to form. Now she did have some good qualities and qualities that could go either way; she was passionate, had strong convictions, tried to do the right thing, and was stubborn.
The hero, Reid, was more likable. He was also stubborn, passionate, had strong convictions, and tried to do the right thing. But unlike Haley, he knew when to back off and he respected other people's opinions even when they differed from his. He also had a sense of humor and was honorable. Both Haley and Reid, but especially Haley, had a tendency to wall themselves off from other people emotionally, which was one of the challenges they had to overcome, and they both showed growth in that area during the story.
One of the things that really bothered me about Haley was how judgmental she was. Take her attitude towards Marines. Her father, a Marine, left her mother when she was pregnant with Haley. Therefore, all Marines are scum, worthless, and horndogs. It's not even certain that he knew her mother was pregnant but that's irrelevant to Haley. She behaved shamefully towards Reid and gave him a ridiculously hard time about his service. So why then was he attracted to her? He respected her passion and convictions, which is more than can be said for her, and he found her physically attractive, but beyond that I couldn't see her appeal for him. So, the romance just didn't work for me. Add in a cliched, flawed ending and the book didn't work. That said, I actually did like Vane's voice and her writing and while I didn't care for Haley, Vane did provoke a strong reaction from me; I wasn't bored or feeling meh. I'll probably try her again, but this book was a dud.