Author: Kathleen Eagle
Publication: Harlequin (April 19, 2011)
Description: Her camera didn't lie.
When photographer Skyler Quinn first fixed her lens on gorgeous cowboy Trace Wolf Track, she liked what she saw but didn’t give it much thought. Until everywhere she went—the rodeo, the Double D Wild Horse Sanctuary— there he was, and the heat between them built to the boiling point.
As a widow struggling with debts and loyalties from a former life, Skyler needed to stay focused, especially if she wanted to achieve her dream of becoming a mother. Was Trace a fatal distraction, a mere summer fling? Or did this younger man—so deep, so passionate—hold the key to a future that would make all her dreams come true?
My Thoughts: This was a Western romance. I had some problems getting into it because of the prose style. The conversational style was oblique and very laconic. I sometimes wondered what the two characters were saying to each other. Both we very guarded people.
Skyler was a widow who was trying to cope with the changes her widowhood brought. She had married an older man who wanted her to remain dependent and admiring. When he got sick, she had to grow up fast and her eyes were opened to some of the things he kept hidden from her. Now she is starting to get the business straightened out for stepson Mike and trying to decide what she wants to do with the rest of her life. She knows that she wants to have a baby.
Trace Wolf Track is a rodeo cowboy who is in the running for the buckle this year for bareback riding. He is also just turning 30 and starting to think of what he wants to do when the rodeo life is over. They meet when she takes his picture. They are attracted to one another and want to spend time together. When Trace is injured, she is there to take care of him. She also has a wild horse that she is trying to train and needs his help.
The issue of her wanting a baby causes some problems between them. At first she doesn't tell him that she wants a baby. When he finds out, he feels that he was lied to. She doesn't mind that he would just be a sperm donor but he does. His cowboy ethics and background have made him determined that he would be there for any child he had. His own mother had left him and his brother. Luckily, he was adopted and raised by a very honorable man. He wants to be as honorable himself.
A second problem is her need to be at home to settle up her husband's affairs and his need to follow the rodeo.
I liked the concept of the book better than the execution. The idea of a woman finding her own future after being widowed was good. The setting, both at the rodeos and at their ranches, was fine. But I never really felt engaged in the romance aspect of the story.
She was too old to be a buckle bunny, too young to be a cougar and too smart to get herself stuffed, mounted, and labeled with a trophy plaque. There wasn't a man in the big, wide world worth playing the fool for, not one.