Stud in Texas

Calista Fox
Stud in Texas
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Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
Release Date
January 2015
Book 4 of Rugged and Risque
Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance

Sky returns to her hometown of Wilder, Texas to escape a con man trying to get his hands on her money—and her body. She has sworn off men, but taking a job at the Painted Horse Ranch & Inn lands her in the middle of a mission to rescue mistreated horses, and a studly former Marine turned cowboy who's too mouthwatering to resist.

Sam has his hands full at the ranch and doesn't need any distractions. Yet one look at the breathtaking beauty who wanders into his stable, and he's hooked. Getting all hot ‘n' heavy with Sky comes with a price. The con man's not willing to give up his target, and Sam will do anything to keep Sky safe.

Book Review by Delta (reviewer)
Jan 22, 2014   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
157 people found the following review helpful
Nothing says Texas like studly men and their big...horses! STUD IN TEXAS has both as sexy cowboy Sam concentrates on taking care of wounded horses and the wounded Skylar.

Skylar Travis is a Lone Star State celebrity who has "been there, done that" in the showbiz world since she was a teenager. When her best friend Reese begs her to come back to Wilder, TX to become a pastry chef at the Painted Horse Ranch & Inn, Sky isn't convinced the move is for her. After a recording deal gone south when her ex-boyfriend/manager Mac Willet turned out to be a lying, stealing con man after a chunk of her nest egg, Sky isn't about to return to her hometown as less than the superstar she once set out to be. Until she lays eyes on the most gorgeous man she's ever met and the horses he's working hard to rehab.

Sam Bennett, a former Marine gone country, is one of the Painted Horse Ranch & Inn's owners. Sam has his hands full rehabilitating abused and neglected animals and doesn't need the distraction of an auburn-haired stunner who renders him speechless. However, her beauty and sympathy for the animals quickly captivates Sam. Sky isn't immune to Sam's charisma, but she's not in a good place mentally and had no interest in getting involved with a man. Even one who makes her quiver with lust every time she's around him.

But the chemistry between the two of them can't be denied for long, and the couple is falling hard and fast for each other. When Sky's conniving ex comes after her once again, she'll be forced to make some tough decisions about putting those she loves in harms' way. Can Sky and Sam's burgeoning relationship survive the hell of her past?

STUD IN TEXAS is the fourth book in the Rugged and Risque series by Ms. Fox and can be read as a standalone, since the first chapter is basically a summary of prior stories as well as a dossier on Sky's achievements. Actor, singer, dancer...famous hometown girl gone big time. It was a bit eye-rolling and overwhelming to get bombarded immediately with Every. Single. Thing. that Sky's ever done. I think that her background could've been added into this story much more subtly.

Once the resume passes, the book improves dramatically, and I found myself enjoying the easy camaraderie between Sky and Sam. Their chemistry is bold and undeniable, and I was rather surprised that the sex took a while to get to (especially since the word clit is used pretty liberally). In fact, when the sex does come, it's sweetly sensual rather than raw and dirty, though it is erotically written.

While I enjoyed the tension leading up to Sky's ex's return, I was quite let down by the flat conclusion to that drama. With all of the build up about how crazy her ex is, I guess I expected something a bit more dramatic and exciting. I also couldn't truly appreciate why Sky kept her friends in the dark about the true situation with Mac, especially her best friend. I honestly didn't get all warm and fuzzy over Sky's character like I did with Sam. Sky was incredibly self-absorbed and selfish while Sam was protective and patient and kind. Even though they had terrific chemistry, the way Sky eventually treated Sam like the P.S. in a Dear John letter turned me off.

Overall, STUD IN TEXAS isn't a bad book. It's a tad long-winded, self-serving and flat, but the writing is clean and the sex is erotically steamy. If you like sensual romance books with a slight edge of danger and a predictable HEA, this would be a good choice for you.
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