Series: Copper Ridge #3
Published by HQN Books on July 28th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Barnes & Noble
Can the bad boy of Copper Ridge, Oregon, make good—and win the rodeo girl of his dreams?
Kate Garrett keeps life simple—working hard, riding her beloved horses, playing cards with her brothers. Lately, though, she feels a bit restless, especially when family friend Jack Monaghan is around. Sexy and shameless, Jack is the kind of trouble you don't tangle with unless you want your heart broken. Still, Kate could always use his help in learning how to lasso someone a little less high-risk…
Jack can't pinpoint the moment the Garrett brothers' little sister suddenly stopped seeming so…little. Now here he is, giving flirting tips to the one woman who needs zero help turning him on. Love's a game he's never wanted to play. But he'll have to hurry up and learn how before the best thing that ever entered his life rides right back out again…
This is the third book in the Copper Ridge series, and I found it to be the weakest. I didn’t dislike it, but I found the connection between Kate and Jack a little forced. In the beginning, I couldn’t really see what the attraction was other than maybe proximity, especially on Kate’s part. I’m not saying Jack wasn’t a great guy, because he was. But he’s also the only man in Kate’s extremely small sphere other than her brothers. It seemed like she was starting to have sexual feelings for the first time in her life, and Jack was there, so she decided he would be the recipient of those feelings. Which was really disappointing. I’ve loved seeing Kate and Jack interact in previous books, so I really thought their story would be great.
Part of the issue I had was one I’ve discussed before. I’m really tired of the virgins. Specifically, I’m really tired of women who went to standard co-ed schools, had plenty of friends, both boys and girls, but never played even one round of spin the bottle so get to their mid twenties without ever even having a first kiss or even held hands with a man, have never masturbated, have no idea how their own body works, and yet go into multi-orgasmic bliss the first time they have sex with the hero. And then go on to decide they’re going to stay with that hero forever and ever. I’m not saying everyone needs to sleep with hundreds of people before settling down, but at this point Kate is only 23. I just don’t see why this needs to be her forever. Jack is 33. The age difference doesn’t matter, but I buy his readiness to settle down a lot more than I buy Kate’s. He’s done his oat-sowing. Kate has never done anything. (And this is specific to Kate. I’m not saying that no 23 year old is ready to settle. I’m sure there are plenty of people who settled down that age or younger and were perfectly content.)
But Kate has never left Copper Ridge. She’s never flirted with a boy, she doesn’t own a computer, she only owns a flip-phone, and she has no idea how to even smile at a guy. She’s really immature, and I just can’t buy that she’s ready for forever. She deals with her new sexual feelings by being bitchy and yelling at everyone around her every time they say hello. It reminded me of a toddler who’s throwing a temper tantrum because he’s tired and doesn’t have the capacity to just say he’s tired. She would yell at Jack, be really nasty, then turn on a dime, kiss him, then start yelling at him again. At the end of the book, she’s decided to go pro on the barrel-racing circuit. So she’s getting ready to leave her hometown for the first time. She’s getting ready to experience so many new things. She’s not going to be the same person when she gets home that she is when she leaves. It doesn’t mean she’s going to come home and suddenly be incompatible with Jack, but who knows. She might. She might realize there are more than 3 men in the world and find someone else. To borrow an analogy from Buffy Summers, Kate is cookie dough. She’s not done baking, and who knows what kind of cookie she’ll be when she’s done.