Respond to Reading, Responding to Reading, Romance, Sob-Inducing Stories, Tule Publishing

Responding to Reading: Tempting the Deputy

Heidi Rice‘s Tempting the Deputy

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Tough, taciturn and wounded in ways that no one else knows about, Marietta rancher and part-time Deputy Sheriff Logan Tate is a man in total control of his life. Until he catches British photographer Charlotte Foster hitchhiking and ‘insists’ she gets a ride into town in his squad car… 

After her run-in with Deputy Hardass, Charlie Foster is ready to ride her thumb right back out of Marietta the very next day. But that night, a trip to Grey’s Saloon fires up her imagination – and her wild side – when she overhears the town’s first responders panicking over how to come up with the money needed to repair Harry’s House in just 90 days. 

Charlie has an ingenious solution to their problem, that might just require her to photograph twelve smokin’ hot guys naked. And, as luck would have it, also involves getting some much needed payback on Deputy Hardass–who isn’t too enthusiastic about participating in the calendar shoot.

But as he spends more time with Charlie, Logan can’t ignore the chemistry sizzling between them. Can a man who lives by the rules fall in love with a woman who breaks all of his?

So I’m not entirely certain why it’s taken Heidi Rice so long to write a cowboy hero.  As heroes go, they’re usually fairly alpha – without fitting into the overbearing Christian Grey mould – fit as f— and are part of a close-knit community; all traits that I’ve seen in previous Rice heroes…but Logan is her first.

And is he a good one?

The short answer is yes.  He’s a great hero.  He’s kind, a little clueless about his own feelings at times (which I find unbelievably adorable) and has a backstory that makes your heart ache.

How about our heroine?  Charlie Foster’s a British photographer, passing through the adorable town of Marietta, who takes on a photography project to raise some money for a local cause.  Of course, it means she has to see certain male members of the community in various states of undress, but she’s not particularly complaining.  They’re all fairly easy on the eyes, and it’s good exposure for her work.

But the thing I really like about her, is her frankness.  She’s straight talking and there’s a scene where they’re out in the “wild”, with her taking photos of him, when she starts telling him what she wants to do with her.  Aside from it being rather hot (which all the sex scenes are – my eReader almost combusted in my hands!), it’s also something innately honest and open.  And there’s nothing quite as alluring as the frank articulation of desire.

The story itself has great heart.  There’s a moment when Logan comes in the door and smells Charlie cooking a dish his mother used to cook him, and that really resonated with me.  The smell and taste of food is something that can resurrect memories both good and bad, and I love how that simple moment was woven into the narrative.  It encapsulated all that Logan had lost, and all that his life could be.

And the ending made me cry.  This isn’t something that’s unique to this book – Rice is to blame for a large number of tears shed over the years – but it’s something that I appreciate nonetheless.  It’s the kind of catharsis that Aristotle refers to in Poetics that makes me very grateful for the romance novel.

Reading, Romance, Sob-Inducing Stories, Tule Publishing

Small Town Perfection: Marietta

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Marietta is the setting for a number of Tule Publishing books, but my favourite series is The Great Wedding Giveaway.  Set in ranching land in Montana, the town seems to see a spate of romances burst up, set around a very interesting Wedding Giveaway!

The prequel to the series, Jane Porter‘s The Tycoon’s Kiss, follows Marietta’s librarian Taylor and its most eligible bachelor Troy, as they’re pushed into attending the Valentine Ball together, and sets the scene for the rest of the series!

Ella’s furious when her father puts an ad in the local saloon, trying to find a husband for her in, What the Bride Wants by Kelly Hunter, and so she retaliates with an ad of her own – for a lover!  only she didn’t expect newcomer Cam to take her ad quite so seriously…

Second Chance Bride by Trish Morey takes place across the Globe in Australia, where Scarlett – dumped by the boyfriend she flew across the world to be with – is trying desperately to get back to Marietta – but will Mitch Bannister be able to persuade her to stay?

Scarlet’s sensible sister Tara discovers that her fiancé’s been cheating on her in Sarah Mayberry‘s  Almost a Bride, and so she decides to go a bit wild!  And on her list is acting on her suppressed feelings for Reid.  But Reid is a wanderer by nature, and Tara’s a Marietta girl through and through…

Emma’s a British nanny that finds herself in the wilds of Montana in The Unexpected Bride by Joanne Walsh, looking for a job.  And Laurent definitely needs help as between his out of control kids and his crazy job, he’s being driven to the very edge!  Will Emma be able to settle so far from home, and with a man who’s scared of letting her in?

In Katherine Garbera‘s The Cowboy’s Reluctant Bride, Risa has escaped to Marietta and restarted her life – trying to leave trauma behind her.  Only she can’t forget Monty, the handsome and protective Marine that she left without an explanation, and when he appears in the small town, she doesn’t know how to explain herself!

Family weddings have always filled Emmy with dread, but in A Game of Brides by Megan Crane, she’s got no choice but to attend her sister’s.  So when she bumps into Griffin and the spark that was always between them flares, she decides to have a little no strings sex.  But is he really completely disentangled from his fiancee?  And is she really so detached herself?

Kathleen O’Brien‘s The Substitute Bride sees Marly return home to Marietta jilted and pregnant.  She’s stuck in tiny apartment with her disapproving mum, and then the bane of her teenage life, Drake appears on the scene…

Cole’s been all about responsibility for as longs he can remember.  So when he upped and got married in Las Vegas last year, it couldn’t have been more out of character,  Only in Last Year’s Bride by Anne McAllister, his wife Nell has appeared in Marietta, complete with romantic reality television program!

Andie can’t quite understand how the entry she made for Marietta’s Wedding Giveaway got entered in Make-Believe Wedding by Sarah Mayberry – it was only wishful thinking!  Only now she and Heath are having to pretend to be engaged to spare her humiliation…

Marietta’s absolutely charming, and I love the idea of the town having a little Wedding Giveaway competition – it’s the sort of thing that would only ever happen in a small town!