Rodeo Queen

TJ Kline
Rodeo Queen
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Avon Impulse
Release Date
November 2013
Contemporary Romance, Western Romance

Sydney Thomas may be the newest Rodeo Queen on the circuit, but she's more than just a pretty face and fabulous horseback rider. If only her new boss could see it! But the frustrating, bossy, drop-dead gorgeous man seems bent on pushing her away every chance he gets.

Scott Chandler learned at an early age that he needed to "cowboy up" and take care of his family. The one time he let his guard down, his heart got trampled, and he's not about to let that happen again. He knows Sydney's type: rodeo queens who hide their manipulative ways behind good looks, tight jeans, and glittery tiaras.

But just as Scott and Sydney are finally realizing there might be more to their fiery relationship than scorching kisses and passionate nights, secrets from their pasts come back to haunt them. Will the cowboy and the Rodeo Queen ever be able to ride off into the sunset together?

Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
Feb 06, 2014   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
143 people found the following review helpful
T.J. Kline is living proof that NaNoWriMo can indeed change your life. Her debut novel is a steamy, imaginative work that takes some beloved tropes and finds the heart and humanity at their core. Though uneven in places, this was a fun read featuring one sizzling, simmering cowboy and the feisty trainer who finally lassoes his heart.

Sydney Thomas may be the newest Rodeo Queen on the circuit, but she knows exactly what she wants and isn't about to take no for an answer. So when she is offered her dream job as a horse trainer, she is more than willing to take on her temperamental boss who seems determined to think the worst of everything she does. But in those rare moments when he drops his guard, Sydney has to admit that Scott is just the kind of cowboy she'd be interested in knowing better.

Scott Chandler has been taking care of his family since he was young, and responsibility is all but his middle name. He only let his guard down once, years ago, and got his heart trampled in the process. Since then, Scott resolved not to fall for beautiful rodeo queens, no matter how much their sassy attitude and stunning smile make him desperate to come back for more. Now that she's working alongside him, Scott finds it downright impossible to hide his desire for Sydney--but when secrets from their past find their way into the present, is there any chance for Sydney and Scott to find their happily ever after?

Sydney is a terrific, determined, snappy heroine whose talent with horses is evident in every scene. Her strength and determination caught my attention in the opening scene, and I loved that she didn't lose them throughout this story. Her ability to face down Scott and the chip on his shoulder made this story work, because it takes a very special woman to handle Scott.

As a hero, though, Scott was a pretty fascinating character. His past has certainly made its mark on him, but it is clear early on that Sydney has worked her way past his defenses. There were a few moments where I had issues with his behavior towards and around Sydney, but they were all in keeping with his character, and the pain he is still trying to manage since getting his heart broken.

The chemistry between Sydney and Scott was sizzling. The enemies-to-lovers trope is one I particularly love, and it was great to see the way their chemistry fired and misfired in so many different ways. Even at their most antagonistic, that pull between them was tangible and kept me hanging on through all their ups and downs. I loved the wit and tension between Sydney and Scott, and some of T.J. Kline's descriptions were simply beautiful.

However, on the whole I found the writing style didn't flow well in places, and this did occasionally keep me from fully engaging in the plot. As someone who, let's just say, isn't too knowledgeable about the career or lingo that Sydney and Scott share, some more details could have extended my understanding and immersed me in the plot a little bit more quickly. I was pleased to see that things picked up as the story moved on, however, and overall, I found the story quite a fun read. T.J. Kline has a way with crafting a fun story with very realistic, colorful characters, and I'll be very eager to see what future stories she has to tell.
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