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So my book boyfriend for the week is...
Ethan Cruz should be mending fences on his Montana ranch, but instead he's driving to the Chance Creek, Montana, airport - to pick up the bride he didn't know he had. This latest salvo in his ongoing practical joke battle with his best friend, Rob Matheson, has gone too far, and Ethan plans to send his "bride" right back home, then get busy plotting his revenge. One look at Autumn Leeds changes his mind, however. Perhaps he needs a bride, after all. A breathtakingly beautiful city bride.
Autumn Leeds needs a story - fast - or she's going to lose her lucrative contract with CityPretty Magazine, so when she sees the crazy video plea for a modern mail-order bride for a cowboy, it sounds like the story of the century. Making a video of her own, she casts herself as the perfect mail-order bride for a rancher, but when she finally reaches Montana, she's surprised to find Ethan's the perfect cowboy husband-to-be. Against her better judgment, her plan to keep her handsome groom at arm's length disintegrates into a night of passion spent in his arms.
Ethan knows he can't keep playing this game - he has to come clean with Autumn and tell her the truth; about the practical joke and about the state of his ranch. He's about to lose it all because of the debts his mother racked up before his parents' deaths. Now his sister, Claire, wants to sell the ranch and collect what little money they can. He'll be out of a home and a job, and in no shape to support the bride he desperately wants to marry, after all.
Autumn's in bigger trouble than ever. Not only has she fallen in love with the subject of her expose - she might be carrying his child. If she doesn't write this article and secure her contract for another year, she'll lose everything - her career, her apartment, and more importantly, her family's approval. The only alternative is to stay and marry Ethan. But how can she trust a man she's just met when she knows too well that men always let you down?
Can a love based on lies last?
**looks like this book is currently FREE!**
So why do I heart me some Ethan Cruz? Other than the fact that he's a super attractive cowboy, that is? Let me list some reasons...
He's a gentleman...
"Give me the keys," he said to Rob. When his friend hesitated, he held out a hand. "Now."
Rob handed them over with a raised eyebrow, but Ethan just led the way outside and threw Autumn's suitcases in the bed of the truck. He opened the passenger side door.
"Thank you," she said, putting first one foot, then the other on the running board and scrambling somewhat ungracefully into the seat.
He creates moments like this that make me feel happy...
"We'll find you something pretty," he heard himself say. "Something pretty for a pretty girl."
She blushed. The sweet, curvy, beautiful woman sitting next to him actually blushed. He couldn't help himself. He leaned in and kissed her on the cheek.
And then there's this sweetness that set my heart all aflutter...
"Sweetheart, it's my job to take care of you now. I'm going to be your husband. I will spend the restof my days making sure you have a roof over your head, food in your stomach and pretty clothes and jewelry to wear. There may be hard times now and then, and I may not be able to give you everything you want, but I will do my damnedest to see you right."
Her mouth fell open a little, and he was torn by the desire to kiss those soft lips and tear the man limb from limb who made this woman so shocked that someone might want to lighten her load.
"Come on, we're going to get you the prettiest ring you ever saw. Nothing but the best for my girl."
Source: I received an e-copy via NetGalley from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
As far as light, fun cowboy books go, The Cowboy's E-Mail Order Bride tops the list for me. The premise is intriguing, the writing is satisfying, and the characters and their romance are top notch. This is my favorite light book I've read in a while, and it was just what I needed right now.
Normally when the foundation for the relationship in a book is lies, I get agitated. Because I just KNOW it's all gonna hit the fan and I'm going to be left heartbroken for who knows how long while they take their sweet ole time patching things up. However, this novel doesn't lead me to the agitation. Did I see several spots where I thought it'd be wise to speak up? Of course. But I followed along with each of the characters' inner monologue, and it all made sense.
Then there was the fact that this is such a sweet couple. They're obviously perfect for each other. I was worried for the time they'd inevitably spend apart because of some miscommunication, but that time ended up being minimal. And by that point, I already had so much confidence that they'd work it out that it didn't make me want to rage or anything. Just a wee bit of breath holding while I made it through the time the characters spent coming to the realization that they belonged together.
And the characters. I was a huge fan of them both, even though they both definitely needed to open up and come clean with their situations. The story was told in alternation 3rd person POV, and I feel like that worked very well. We got to see into both Autumn and Ethan's minds and understand them so much better. Autumn was doing what she thought was necessary to not only provide for herself, but to remain in good standing with her mother and sister. But she doesn't spend a lot of time being uppity--when she realizes that she WANTS Ethan and the life he can give her, she acknowledges that. Takes her more time to accept it, but I was happy with the acknowledgement. Ethan was going through inner conflict regarding his family farm that his sister wanted to sell and the annoyance after his relationship with Lacey ended. But he worked through it all and figured it out. All in all, Ethan and Autumn were a pair I loved.
Overall, The Cowboy's E-Mail Order Bride has made me happier than any other light book has in a while. A swoon-worthy cowboy, fabulous romance and writing, and a story I just plain loved all combined together to make this book one that I enjoyed from beginning to end. I absolutely have plans to continue this series, and I am seriously looking forward to it!
5 stars - A sweet cowboy, some swoon-worthy romance, and a premise I adored made this book one I love!
What do you think of Ethan? And his book? Do you have a book boyfriend to share? Let us know in the comments!
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