Tuesday, December 17, 2013

So Tough To Tame - Victoria Dahl

So Tough to Tame Victoria Dahl book cover
So Tough to Tame by Victoria Dahl
Series: Jackson #3
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Source/Format: Netgalley (Thanks, Harlequin!) || e-galley
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review.]

Charlie Allington is supposed to be on the fast track to the top-a small-town girl who was making it big in her career. Instead, she's reeling from a scandal that's pretty much burned all her bridges. Now, out of options, she needs a place to lick her wounds and figure out her future. True, working at a ski resort in rugged Jackson Hole, Wyoming, isn't her dream job. But if there's one perk to coming back, it's a certain sexy hometown boy who knows how to make a girl feel welcome. 

Cowboy Walker Pearce never expected a grown-up Charlie to be temptation in tight jeans. She's smart and successful-way out of league for a man like him. But he's not about to let that, or his secrets, get in the way of their blazing-hot attraction. Yet when passion turns to something more, will the truth-about both of them-send her out of his life for good...or into his arms forever? (from Goodreads)

When it comes to contemporary romance novels, I find that my opinion is ultimately swayed by one element in particular: characters. There's something to be said for a guy and a girl who are written so well that you are simply rooting for them to end up with their happily ever after. So Tough To Tame certainly offers that kind of tale, and it was with utmost pleasure that I read this book all in one sitting.

The novel's main romance involves Charlie Allington and Walker Pearce, who are two characters that I just couldn't get enough of. Charlie is quite a personality! I love that she used to be simply a good girl, a smart student, who was going to follow that trajectory from high school to the rest of her life. But in her university years, she grows up, gains a bit of life experience and suddenly becomes this strong, sassy, outgoing gal who I couldn't help but love. It's a great combination of sassy and sweet, balanced even further by the fact that she makes mistakes and learns from them like any normal human being.

And of course, there's Walker Pearce, who is one hot cowboy. I definitely wouldn't mind having a next door neighbor like him! He was such a sweetheart, a decent, damn good guy... even though he was also an incorrigible flirt too. (Side note: I'd probably fall all over myself in front of him.) What I loved best about him was that there were certain things -- his issues with his father, his solid love for his little brother, (mini-spoiler) his dyslexia -- that made him feel more human and less like a good-looking god.

Even though romances that are tempered by misunderstanding and misguided impressions can sometimes come across a bit old, it worked well in this novel. It was fun to watch their playful banter, and to witness it becoming something more in a slow, steady way. Their sex life was incredibly hot too, with certain parts making me blush and fan myself!

I love that this book is primarily a romance, but each of them has a strong story individually. Charlie struggles with her job, her reputation and how to move on from her past. Walker has his own troubles with work, and low self-esteem to boot. Watching both of them finally take charge, and take the first few steps towards changing their paths was pretty great.

So Tough To Tame certainly hit the spot! While I don't read a lot of adult contemporary romance, if I were going to, I would certainly read more from Victoria Dahl. Her ability to create a character I can care about, an intense romance and a compelling story is truly good. I look forward to reading more from her -- and of this series too!

4 comments:

  1. So glad that these characters are so great!! I have the biggest soft spot for cowboys. I must read this book! And I'm glad that there's a strong story to go with it too! Definitely nice to have a good balance between the romance and their story!

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    1. I am learning that I also have a soft spot for cowboys! It's pretty fun to read about Charlie and Walker's relationship, but even cooler that they each have to deal with their own individual problems too.

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  2. I've read quite a few of Dahl's books and this one is probably my favorite--she does some very interesting things with the characters, which makes it really stand out. The second book in this series is quite good as well--with a nerdy girl as the main character, which is pretty fun.

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    1. I've not read her other books. But now that you mention that one of her MCs is a nerdy girl, I'm much more inclined to check that book out! Yes, I agree -- this contemporary romance is essentially unique from what I've read before, which is really nice.

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