Monday, May 25, 2015

review || SHARP SHOOTIN' COWBOY { blog tour }

Sharp Shootin’ Cowboy by Victoria Vane

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (6/2/2015)
Series: Hot Cowboy Nights, book 3
Genre: Contemporary Western Romance
Source: NetGalley / Publisher
Purchase links || amazon | bn | BAM | ibooks | indigo | indiebound || add to goodreads


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.

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.

about Victoria || Victoria Vane is a multiple award-winning romance novelist and history junkie whose collective works of fiction range from wildly comedic romps to emotionally compelling erotic romance. Victoria also writes historical fiction as Emery Lee and is the founder of Goodreads Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers and the Romantic Historical Lovers book review blog.

{ from Victoria } .
SHARP SHOOTIN’ COWBOY is not a typical romance. Reid Everett and Haley Cooper are two very different personalities. They are like opposite poles of a magnet and just as powerfully attracted to one another even though they are constantly at odds. This was a risky book for me because I knew many readers would tend to side with one character over the other based on who is more closely aligned with the reader’s own socio-political views, but I had to write it anyway.

To quote my hero Reid Everett, “Being on different sides doesn’t necessarily make us enemies. Good people are allowed to disagree. Some of the best solutions to the hardest problems result from differing minds coming together, meeting in the middle.”

That’s what SHARP SHOOTIN’ COWBOY is really all about- meeting half way and finding compromise, even when the odds are against it. I hope readers will enjoy getting to know and like both Reid and Haley.

Warmest regards,
Victoria Vane

{ questions with Haley & Reid } .
How old were you when you had your first kiss?
Haley – “Sixteen. It was my prom date set up by Yolanda. He gagged me by sticking his tongue down my throat.”
Reid – “I don’t rightly recall. I think I musta been about thirteen. It was with Tonya, my almost fiancĂ©.”

What do you most dislike?
Haley – “Cruelty. Especially to animals and children.” 
Reid – “Dishonesty, mainly. Liars, cheaters, and manipulators. People who take advantage of others’ vulnerabilities and misfortunes. I’ve got no use for ’em.”

What is your earliest memory?
Haley – “Probably learning to shoot pool. Grandpa started teaching me when I was only 3 or 4.”
Reid – “Shooting my first rifle. I musta been about 5 when I got my first .22.”

{ excerpt } .

He could see her getting more worked up by the minute, and damned if he wasn’t also—just not in the same way. She’d been baiting him from the start, spewing arguments that usually just pissed him off, but in this case, it was turning him on.

His gaze locked on her mouth. Her tongue darted out as if she read his thoughts. She drew a breath as if to formulate another rebuttal, but he’d had enough. Before her lips could spout off anymore of the Pacifist Tree Hugger’s Manifesto, he pulled her into his arms and silenced her with his.


The kiss came without warning, and Haley was too stunned at first to react. He began gently enough, his lips sliding over hers, hands cupping her face, thumbs stroking her jaw, and then he grew more insistent, his tongue probing the seal of her lips. His callused hands were simultaneously firm and gentle, and his lips paradoxically soft and commanding.
Mere seconds had her head spinning and stomach fluttering. She was slipping fast and not about to let him pull her in any deeper. Part of her wanted to give into it, to see where it might lead, but the other half resented his audacity. Her pride won out. She resisted the urge to soften, to open to him, then stiffened, pressing her hands against his chest.

He released her instantly.

She stepped back, knees weak and pulse racing. “I didn’t come here looking to hook up.”

“Neither did I. But sometimes unexpected things happen.” His gaze locked with hers, a look of speculation gleaming in his eyes. “When they do, it’s best to just go with your gut instinct.”

“That so? Well all my instincts scream ‘no marines,’ so don’t let it happen again.”

Suddenly remembering the cue in her hand, Haley turned back to the table. It took all of her will to focus back on the game. She could hardly believe how he’d nearly unraveled her with a single kiss. Then again, no one had ever kissed her like that. She made her break, pocketing the one, and then moved methodically around the table, calling each shot as she sank every solid. Only the eight ball remained, but it was trapped behind two stripes.

Reid’s lips curved with smug certainty. “Looks like I’ll get my turn after all.”

“Don’t count your chickens, cowboy.” She laid down her cue and searched the wall behind her for a shorter one. “Jump cue,” she answered his silent question.

“You’re kidding right?”

“Nope.” Approaching the table, she angled for her shot. She could almost feel his eyes on her ass. She glanced over her shoulder. Sure enough. He was leaning against the wall with both arms crossed over his broad chest, his gaze zeroed in on her behind.

“Enjoying the view?”

“Sure am,” he confessed, unabashed.

He was sadly mistaken if he thought he’d unnerve her. Keeping him in her peripheral vision, she widened her stance and stretched out over the table. All sign of smugness evaporated from his face. He tugged on his jeans.

Haley grinned, reveling in her small victory, and then prepared for a bigger one. “Eight ball, side pocket,” she declared with confidence. On a three count she took the shot, jumping the stripes to pocket the eight. “Yeah baby!” She threw down the cue and fisted the air, gloating in her triumph.

Reid gaped at the table. “I’ll be goddamned. How did you learn to do that?”

“My grandpa was a regional pool champion.”

“That bit of information was mighty sneaky to withhold.”

She shrugged. “You didn’t ask. Loser buys. I’ll take a mojito.”

{ review } .
It's not very often that I'm torn when reviewing a book.

I really liked this story. I liked the idea, I liked the timeframe, I liked the characters.

So why the 4?

...ok, here's where I remind myself that a 4 really isn't bad. 4's are good! They really are! I can't give everyone near perfect scores, right? I still feel like a schmuck, though...

So again, why the 4?

There were just little things that ended up amounting to big things. A good large chunk of the story takes place when Reid and Haley first meet, when Haley is still in school (not yet drinking legal), and Reid is a semi-new Marine who is about to head out on his third tour. I loved watching these two interact because they're so damn different. At first, I really enjoyed the bickering -- but it did get old after a while.

Reid and Haley are what I considered two different sides of the same coin. Because they were back to back, they would never see eye to eye. They both had their opinions, and their lives helped them form said opinions. The thing was, though, they were pretty explosive together, and as much as Haley drove Reid crazy, he wanted to see her again -- even if it was after his deployment.

When all was said and done, though, Haley was sure that they were too different to make it work.
"I know Reid's not the right one for me, Grams. Time won't make any difference, she insisted with forced conviction.
Oh, but Haley, Haley, Haley...

When the two of them are thrown together again due to her wolf conservation project and a tour gone terribly wrong on Reid's part, it was as if the years hadn't passed.

These two -- when things were hot, they were hot. When arguments were heated, they were heated. Neither was afraid to voice their opinion, but the question was whether or not they could bend just a little bit to see the other's views.

So yes. I loved Haley and Reid. I loved their story. I loved that they fought and bickered, but still got along for the most part. Pool and ferris wheels... Oh, those ferris wheels. Gotta love him for sticking around after that one, even though she tried pushing him away (...again). Add in the fact his sister wasn't a big fan... Reid was a good one.

I loved their epilogue ;)

I loved their friendships with Rafi and Yo -- and I loved Yolanda's thought on the whole Reid thing.

So yes, I still feel that my 4 is harsh, but this is a book that will be a re-reader for sure; I also would love to see Reid and Haley again in the future.

{ giveaway } .

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for the book spotlight and for your candid review. Redi and Haley are a polarizing couple for certain (LOL!) but it was still a story I absolutely HAD to write! Warmest regards, Victoria Vane