Everything's bigger in Big Sky country, including the hearts of the Montana Men
Champion rodeo rider Dane Bowden is eight seconds from winning under the Vegas lights, one last hurrah before reluctantly returning to his family's Montana ranch. But his bull has other plans. When Dane wakes up, he's sure he's died and gone to heaven . . . because the doctor who comes to his aid is the same girl who saved his life and disappeared years ago.
Bell would do anything for Dane. He's the fantasy that always kept her going. A child genius hidden away by her family, Bell was the secret no one talked about, the girl no one wanted. Despite finding success as a young surgeon, she's still the awkward girl who's never had a boyfriend. So why does Dane, a notorious playboy and sizzling-hot cowboy, insist on taking her on a real date?
Bell is the only woman in Dane's heart. When a rodeo rivalry turns deadly, it's his turn to save Bell's life—because he sure as hell won't lose his guardian angel again.
Ryan's third Montana Men contemporary romance (after When It's Right), set in tiny Bowden Ranch, Mont., has a seamless plot and two sterling protagonists. When tough cowboy Dane fell from his horse, a woman appeared, treated his wounds, and vanished. He thought she was a head-injury hallucination until she reappeared 11 years later and once again saved his life. Tired of being pursued by uninteresting women, he decides to win this beautiful physician's heart. For her part, the woman (whose name is Bell) was the product of her father's infidelity, and she was locked away for years by her evil paternal grandmother to preserve her father's reputation. She's clever and capable, but she's never experienced a real emotional connection with anyone and is determined to keep the audacious cowboy at arm's length, despite her attraction to him. However, his perseverance and magnetic smiles weaken her defenses, and the two become closer than she ever knew was possible. When a jealous ex-friend of Dane's sets his sights on injuring Bell, in a subplot that meshes perfectly with the main story line, Dane takes his turn at being the guardian angel. The spirited dialogue, charming characters, and engaging story will keep readers intrigued from beginning to end.
Jennifer Ryan has perfected another cowboy love story
Championship rodeo rider Dane Bowden knows everything hinges on this last ride. He wants the win, and he needs the money, so he holds on with everything he's got. But those few seconds change his life more than he could have imagined, when the bull turns on him and nearly kills him. But a crushed leg isn't nearly as jarring as seeing the face of his angel again, the now-grown woman who disappeared after saving him so many years ago.
The Verdict: No one could ever say Bell has had it easy. Abandoned by her mother to her already married father, she was then left to be raised by her grandparents. While her grandfather always doted on her, her grandmother only sees her as sin incarnate, but despite that misery, Bell continues to take care of her bitter grandmother long after the sweet old man passes away. Taught by him to love books and learning, Bell excelled in school and has gone on to become a surgeon, but for all her intellect, she never really learned how to interact with people. Now that she's trying to connect with her half-sister and falling for an injured cowboy, some social skills would sure come in handy.
Compared to what Bell went through, Dane's life has been easy. Raised with his brothers in a loving family, he's hardworking, honest, and blessed with the kind of looks that have women swarming around him. He's never forgotten the little girl that came to his rescue when he was thrown from his horse as a kid, but he's almost convinced himself that he just imagined her. Except now that he's in danger of losing his mangled leg, he finds himself face to face with her once more, and this time, he's not letting her disappear. She's awkward around him, but he's drawn to the sweet person inside, and he's got no problem fighting for her to stay in his life.
The last of the Bowden brothers to fall in love, Dane's actually been half in love with the memory of the angel that saved him so many years ago. Faced with her now, he soon finds out just how hellish her life has actually been, but he's determined to get her to open up to him and give them a chance together. He seems to immediately connect with Bella on an emotional level, but Bell is absolutely inexperienced and out of her element in her growing feelings. It's really sweet to watch Dane, previously quite the ladies man, patiently trying to win her over, and I was rooting for them from the get-go. Of course, this story wouldn't fit the series if there weren't an element of danger to things, and it seems like someone is out to get Dane by going through Bell. That just makes him more determined to take care of and protect her, though, and with sparks flying between them the whole time, their relationship simply gets stronger.
Her Lucky Cowboy is another great story in an already incredible series and shows just how alike in heart opposites can be. With lots of friendship, family, and heart-bursting romance, Jennifer Ryan has perfected another cowboy love story.
***FicCentral received this book from Harper Collins (via Edelweiss) for free in exchange for an honest review.