Title: The Cowboy Next Door
Author: Roxanne Snopek
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 4 Stars
Release Date: January 27, 2015
When single mother Leda Plett – who’s doing just fine on her own, thank you very much – goes next door to retrieve her wandering pooch, she doesn’t expect to find the neighbor’s handsome brother lounging about like he owns the place. She certainly doesn’t expect him to go after the deadbeat who abandoned her. She’s not looking for a know-it-all white knight with long, lean muscles and a sexy smile. He’s hot, but she’s already been burned.
Rodeo-star turned agent Eric Anders is used to managing people, especially irresponsible males, and he can’t stand it that some jerk has left Leda high and dry. Clearly, the boots-and-sundress wearing mouthy mama needs someone on her side. He could change her life, if only she would let him! And it has nothing to do with the fact that her sparkly exterior hides a spirit that is as sweet as it is strong – and irresistible.
In fact, Leda is more mature than her years. She feels the weight of her mistakes, and wants only to make sure her daughter doesn’t suffer for them. Eric’s hot gaze makes her weak in the knees but Leda’s track record with men is as bad as it is short. Can she trust the cowboy next door?
When Eric’s well-intentioned actions inadvertently reveal a shameful secret from Leda’s past, he realizes she never needed him at all. As he watches her rise above the humiliation, he knows he must find a way to make it up to her, or risk losing the one girl he now can’t live without.
WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW
If you’re looking for a funny, light-hearted, contemporary romance, look no further. The Cowboy Next Door by Roxanne Snopek is the hilarious tongue-in-cheek tale of true love found in all the wrong places. Leda, the book’s main female lead is a bubbly, potty-mouthed girl with a whole lot of spunk, and a lack of good judgment when it comes to men. Eric, is the older, ex-rodeo star cowboy living next door… and together they make one of the sweetest, puppy-love romances I’ve ever read.
To be honest, I wasn’t thrilled with the couple at first. Eric saw Leda as little more than a sexy cheerleader, barefoot and babe at her breast. He came across as a little ridiculous and dreamy considering his age and experience. It was easy to tell that in a previous life, he had probably been a little bit of a love ‘em and leave ‘em type and maybe a bit of a poetic romantic—though that was never outright stated. Despite the fact that he thought Leda was little more than a teen the first time he met her, he was ogling her assets—and it sent me on edge from the start.
Leda, on the other hand, is probably one of my favorite caricatures—and yes, I mean, caricature… not character. She had an over-the-top small-town southern charm (despite not being from the south) and let loose an array of colorful swear words that would make anyone giggle. She was bold, brassy, and full of spunk in the best ways—and she was a certifiable mamma-bear when it came down to it. A lot of bark came with the petite package that was Leda, and I loved every minute of her presence in the book. Together, Eric and Leda had a flirty banter-filled romance that was endearing and fun.
As for the technical side of things, the book was well written. As with all of Ms. Snopek’s work, the book wasn’t plagued with a ton of errors. The narrative was clean, easy-to-follow, and well placed. The romance was sizzling without being vulgar or overly flowery, and although the plot was restricted solely to the romance (which is fine.. sometimes you want a quick romance-filled read that isn’t tangled in political drama and thrilling sub-plots), the book was engaging.
The only point of contention for me was that the romance did move a little quickly near the end of the book. This isn’t a long book—I read through it in one short afternoon, so it’s hard to hold the quick pace of the narrative against it, but generally I do like my romances to simmer a little before it gets down to the stable romance part. Eric and Leda went one ONE date before they were declaring their ever-lasting love. It was still believable, after all, Leda and Eric were the type of couple that fell into ridiculously sappy love very quickly—this wasn’t out of character for them—but I would have liked things to progress a little more slowly personally.
Overall? I loved the book. It isn’t the end-all-be-all of the romance genre, but it’s a good book. If you’re looking for a heart-rending tension-filled romance, this isn’t going to be it… but if you’re looking for a quick, sunshine-filled heartwarming romance, this would be a great one for you to sink a few hours into. I’d be happy to recommend it.