Rowdy by Chris Mullen portrays the turbulent life of a man who lost his family at a very young age. First his mother when he was very young and then his brother and father during a raid. It was during this raid that his brother sent him down and away from danger. And thus begins Rowdy's new journey working on the deck of a riverboat.
This novel is an intricately-woven tale of a man coming into his own - learning new ways of life and how to be his own person. Because truly, one of the things the reader will notice is that life does not go easy on Rowdy. The way Mullen has gone about splitting up stages of his life allows the reader to follow Rowdy along each important step in his life. The writing allows us to feel the strength of this abandoned (by life, not intentionally by his family) child turned man, as well as the strength of whom he ultimately grows up to be.
Action scenes had me turning the pages, adventure and an engaging writing style did as well. Mullen does a fantastic job of placing the reader right into the story with his characters. He helps us not only take in the action, but allows us to be fully immersed in this story and to truly care for Rowdy.
I am still not enough of of a Western reader myself, but I think this story can definitely be appreciated by all readers.
The first time Aja Owens encounters the man of her dreams, she’s having a panic attack in the frozen foods section of the Piggly Wiggly. The second time, he’s being introduced to her as her favorite bingo buddy’s semi-estranged grandson. From there, all it takes is one game for her to realize that he’s definitely going to be a problem. And if there’s anything she already has a surplus of, it’s problems.
In Walker Abbott’s mind, there are only two worthwhile things in Greenbelt, South Carolina. The peach cobbler at his old favorite diner and his ailing grandmother. Dragging himself back after more than a decade away, he’s counting down the days until Gram heals and he can get back to his real life. Far away from the trauma inside of those city limits. Just when he thinks his plan is solid, enter Aja to shake everything up.
A hastily made bingo-based sex pact is supposed to keep this…thing between them from getting out of hand. Especially when submitting to their feelings means disrupting their carefully balanced lives. But emotions are just like bingo callers—they refuse to be ignored.
Jodie Slaughter's Bet on It is a heart-stoppingly fun, emotional romance that will have readers falling in love until long after the last page is turned.
I was pleasantly surprised how quick I was sucked into this book! I find myself being in a book reading slump after reading a good book (I had just finished A Flicker in the Dark), but I was able to jump right back in with this one.
Bet On It was equal parts sweet, fun, inclusive, and very steamy! I mean - I know the illustrated covers make a lot of readers think that the story might not be as steamy as others that use live models.
I enjoyed how much attention was placed on mental health - most specifically anxiety. As someone who experiences anxiety, I appreciated that anxiety wasn't just mentioned, it was explained and was a consistent presence throughout the book. That, mixed in with the awesome chemistry between Aja and Walter made for such a fantastic story. It truly was such a great read!
In Honor’s Defense by Karen Witmeyer is a great introduction into the world that is Western romance. As a (self-proclaimed) seasoned romance reader, I can tell you, dear reader, that you can expect to see familiar themes such as having an alpha with a dark past as your leading man and an eloquent and “soft” leading lady. Oh, but there is so much more.
Can I share with you, just how much I love a romance series that has “the last eligible bachelor of the group” theme/trope? I love it. Luke taking a job on that leads him straight into the path of a woman, Damaris, who threatens that eligibility status is so sweet and charming. These beginnings are what leads to a story that is full of heart and faith. Witmeyer’s writing definitely reflects this throughout the book - the writing is smooth and beautiful. There is so much love in these words that it’s difficult not to feel touched by the story they interlace.
For someone who has not read the complete series, I did not have a difficult time getting into the story. I can imagine that reading in order always has its benefits, but if you have an urge to just pick up Defense, definitely do so!