Title: Rodeo Rebel
Author: Debra Kayn
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
May Contain Spoilers
When widower and land baron Cole Reardon acquired the Turner Grain Corporation, he didn’t know the company sponsored a bull rider. He refuses to support thrill-seekers dumb enough to get on the back of a crazed animal. He’s not willing to risk his fortune and livelihood when he has his daughter’s well-being to consider. Not even when the bull rider is the sexiest woman he’s ever seen.
Bull rider Florentine McDougal plans to turn pro after the season championship, fulfilling her lifelong dream of succeeding in a man’s world. That is, until Cole Reardon shows up and threatens to break his sponsorship contract with her. Now everything she’s worked for is less than eight seconds away from being destroyed.
Cole distracts Florentine with his sexy mouth and unreasonable demands, and he’s not going to compromise his integrity. But she’s not going to let him loose until she has pro status. And neither will come away from this dust-up unscathed.
This was a fun read because of the role reversals. Cole, a widower, has withdrawn from risk after his wife dies in a tragic accident. He doesn’t condone dangerous behavior in any form, and he shelters his young daughter from all possible harm. When he purchases Turner Grain Corporation, he is appalled to discover that he is now the unhappy sponsor of a bull rider. A female bull rider at that! Determined to buy out her contract, Cole and Florentine shoot sparks from their very first encounter. He doesn’t want to send a message to Sarah, his daughter, that he supports stupid, dangerous behavior. Little does he know that he’s met his match in Florentine.
Florentine is just as determined to make it in the male world of bull riding. She wants to make it to the top, so she can mentor disadvantaged girls, proving to them that anything is possible with the right attitude. When handsome Cole shows up demanding that she release him from her contract, she gets a major bug up her butt. Cole grated on both my nerves and Florentine’s with his unwillingness to see her side of things. While I don’t think that trying to ride a large, pissed off beast is very intelligent, I had to at least give her props for sticking to her guns and going after what she wanted. I would have been more comfortable with her career choice had she donned proper safety gear, you know, a helmet and a face mask, but then she probably wouldn’t have suffered from a concussion, which set up their courtship at Florentine’s family’s ranch.
While I would have liked more time on the rodeo circuit, I did enjoy meeting the McDougal clan. Florentine comes from a large family, and they exert a great deal of influence over their small town. Florentine developed her desire to help others while growing up on the large cattle ranch and watching her father give generously of his time and money. I liked this. Everyone was nice; there are no douchebags in Rodeo Rebel, no real bad guys to get ticked off at. Instead, you have a family that cares for each other, and an emotionally remote, seriously uptight dude who doesn’t know what’s just hit him. Cole is extremely slow on the uptake, and that frustrated me about him. He is so afraid of taking chances that he is willing walk away from Florentine and the chemistry zinging between them.
This is a quick, fun read. I loved Florentine’s drive and her ability to embrace risk – both emotional and physical. Cole needed a kick in the pants to re-engage with life, and Florentine gave it to him. While I have some concerns that he will remain a fuddy duddy, I am confident that Florentine will quickly set him straight again.
Review copy provided by publisher