Monday, April 13, 2009

Romance Book Review: A Real Live Cowboy

Author: Judy Duarte
Series Connection: Fortunes of Texas—Return to Red Rock
ISBN: 978-0373654468


This book is the fourth in the continuing series of the Fortunes of Texas—Return to Red Rock. JR Fortune is the older brother of both two other Fortune's seen in this series, Darr and Nicholas. JR has just moved to Red Rock from Los Angeles to be closer to his family. He purchases a ranch close to town and plans are making it a working ranch, something he has always wanted to do. After giving up his job for his father's company JR dives right in to making his new venture a success.

He enlists the help of Isabella to redecorate the house in its original style. Isabella has made a marriage pack with some of her girl friends. She hopes to be married by the end of the year. To that end she has created a list. Her list seems fairly simple and JR Fortune doesn't seem to fit the mold at all.

I am generally a fan of Judy Duarte's and really love the Fortune series, but I was a little taken a back by this particular book. The heroine in the book was frankly too snobbish for me. I understand her wanting to seek out a man who would be a good mach for the woman she wanted to be, but she never gave JR, the hero, and the chance to really show her who he was.

The character spent the majority of the book putting words in JRs mouth and never taking into consideration that he said in the beginning that he hired her because he like her dedication to her art and her heritage. How he wanted her to redesign his house in that manner. Instead the character, Isabella, constantly went on about how she refused to make the Kitchen too modern, albeit to herself, because it wasn't historically pleasing to herself. Not thinking that someone who lived in the house would want modern fixtures. She did the same on other issues in the house, even if JR didn't say one-way or the other how he felt.

I am all for characters who have issues in their past to work out and characters who may feel that rich men are spoiled and get bored easily, but after three quarters of the way into the book and the lead hero hasn't done anything that would prove her thoughts, it is long since time to let it go and move on with the plot.

Otherwise, I liked JR's character and the continuation of the mystery into the Fortune and Mendoza's current mystery. For those keeping up with the series, that's is the important reason to read this book and stay current with the series mystery.

Description from the back of the book:
He was a Texan down to his Stetson and books…
Isabella Mendoza knew what she wanted in a husband. And William "J.R." Fortune was so not that man. The irresistibly attractive businessman turned rancher might wear denim and spurs, but what happened when he got tired of playing cowboy?
Eldest son J.R. had come home to Red Rock to live up to the Fortune legacy. Now he wanted Isabella to share it with him. Hiring the fiery artisan to design his new ranch house was the first step. But when a devious enemy targeted both their families, he realized how far he'd go to protect the woman he loved. He'd prove that together, theirs was a heritage worth saving.

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