Rebel Cowboy surprised me. It took me a little while to get into this one. I was starting to think that maybe this wasn't the read for me when it turned things around, grabbed me completely, and left me eagerly looking forward to more from the series and this very damaged family.
The quick of it is that after a couple rough losses Dan--who is a famous hockey player--is being accused of throwing games. Needing to get away from all of it he heads to his grandfather's abandoned farm and decides he's gonna fix the farm up and...ranch. He's gonna need help figuring it all out, though, and that means the help of one of the local cowgirls who is in desperate need of funds--to save her own family ranch-- and willing to tolerate this city boy...for now.
Alright so. These two. Whew. Dan and Mel are both damaged, running scared and have their emotions locked down tight. They aren't the easiest characters to get to know which made getting into the book--especially with Mel's snarky-mean attitude towards Dan--a bit of a challenge.
"What do you want on your toast?"Mel on the other hand was...prickly. She's a hardass and can be downright bitchy when it comes to Dan. Right from the start she had a mad-on about him over his wealth and being an outsider. It was hard for me to relate to her she eventually won me over. So much of her bitchy is a front as she tries to look strong and take everything on her shoulders. Her family life is hard and the only way she's getting through it seems to be pulling on the bitch attitude to keep from being hurt and she just doesn't know how to let that go. She's a scared one to say the least. And as Dan started to figure her out I started to get a little more sympathetic to her as a whole.
"I guess peanut butter."
He slathered it on the toast for both of them, then puttered around getting everything on the table in front of her. A big plate of food and a full cup of coffee. He could feel her watching him, but much like he had with Mystery Llama, he chattered and worked and pretended like he didn't notice.
And because he knew at least a thing or two about women, he didn't mention that he was comparing her to a llama in his head.
I don't mean to make her sound horrible. She just had a long journey to go, ya know? It tested my nerves sometimes but she got there. And, somehow, these two managed to work. It's not a quick romance or an easy one, obviously, but they settled in and worked well together on the farm. The chemistry and heat was there and slowly the friendship and romance caught up. When she screws up she grovels well which pleased me. <--- Yes, I'll admit to being a bit bitchy myself. I need a good grovel after a screw up. lol
All in all, while it was a bit of a slow grab, Rebel Cowboy did grab me in the end. I loved watching Dan figure out his life and passions, seeing the abandoned farm come back to life day by day, and even seeing Mel let down her defenses and let someone be there for her for a change. It wasn't always easy but it was worth it in the end. I'll be back for more.
After leaving his NHL career behind, Dan never expected to find a home on his rundown Montana ranch, but with Mel guiding the way, he finds that and so much more…