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18 February 2014

Review: Accidental Cowgirl by Maggie McGinnis

Author: Maggie McGinnis
Publication Date: October 8, 2013
Publisher: Loveswept
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Find It: GoodreadsAmazonB&N
Source: Purchased

After being betrayed by her con man ex-fiancé, Kyla Bennett nurses a broken heart. But Kyla's friends have other ideas and when they whisk her off to Whisper Creek, a dude ranch staffed by cowboys so hot they dim the Montana sunset, all Kyla wants to do is hide under a quilt. Then in rides Decker Driscoll. He’s hauling about as much emotional baggage as Kyla, but when he stands close by, both of them want to stay close—and begin to succumb to an undeniable attraction.

After experiencing personal tragedy, Decker never thought he’d see Big Sky country again. But now that his family's Whisper Creek property is in deep with a Vegas gambler, Decker’s back for the summer—and spending all his time running from “cowgirls” who come to the dude ranch to score some dudes. Then he meets Kyla, a kindred spirit who brings on a stampede of protective feelings . . . and a powerful hankering to sear her with a new brand of love.

My first foray into romance novels was through urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Then came sports romances while looking for some recommendations for my sister. I followed this up with a string of contemporary romances. However, I realized that I had been avoiding romance stories with a cowboy twist. So I started searching for titles to read and came across the Accidental Cowgirl by Maggie McGinnis which looked like a good place to start. The story takes place on a ranch in Montana but Decker Driscoll (the hero) is more than what I had conjured up as a typical cowboy.

Accidental Cowgirl is one of those fun, fast reads.  It is easy to sit down, fall into escape mode, and finish this one in a couple of hours.  The characters are likable and there is a great small town feel.  Kyla (the heroine) has had a heck of a year and comes out to Montana for a vacation along with two friends.  Decker is back home helping his mother and brother after his father's death.  Both have emotional baggage that they are struggling with throughout the story.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book.  I recognize that in most romance stories there will be insta-love.  It seems to be a standard ingredient, and there is no surprise here with the insta-love element.  Right from the start, Kyla's rental car gets a flat tire and who of course comes to the rescue but Decker.  She doesn't know that he is from the ranch, but she sees him again on the first night when she attends the evening reception. Decker is also attracted to Kyla.  Despite the no dating guests rule, which Decker never worried about before, he finds it difficult to stay away from her.

Whether it is emotional baggage or secrets or some combination of the two, conflict is needed for the couple to struggle with before finding their HEA.  This book has plenty of secrets, past history, and emotional scarring to satisfy readers.  No spoilers, but Marcy is one of those issues in this book. She is stereotypical and over the top, and you will just love to hate her.

One element of the story that produced mixed results for me had to do with Kyla and her penchant for finding or getting into trouble or accidents.  Initially, it added some humor to the book.  However, towards the end, I almost wanted to say "enough is enough".  The poor girl can't take any more and still be alive.

A part of the story that I enjoyed was all of the secondary characters.  Readers will find themselves liking Decker's mother and younger brother.  There is also the retired sheriff, Kyla's two friends, and some of the others who come and go in the book. Even the beauty of Montana can almost be considered a character in the book since it plays such a significant role.

If you like your romance stories with quite a bit of detail and heat, then Accidental Cowgirl will disappoint. Yes, there is chemistry between Decker and Kyla and they do share intimate moments but the descriptive elements really are the fade to black kind.  This one is more PG-13, and I was okay with this.

I look forward to additional stories from McGinnis and in checking out some of the other Loveswept titles.

Visit the author online at www.maggiemcginnis.com, Facebook and follow her on Twitter @maggie_mcginnis

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