Title: So Tough to Tame by Victoria Dahl
Jackson Series Book Three
Imprint: Harlequin HQN
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: C+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Tough to tame, but not too tough to love…
Charlie Allington is supposed to be on the fast track to the top—a small-town girl who was making it big in her career. Instead, she’s reeling from a scandal that’s pretty much burned all her bridges. Now, out of options, she needs a place to lick her wounds and figure out her future. True, working at a ski resort in rugged Jackson Hole, Wyoming, isn’t her dream job. But if there’s one perk to coming back, it’s a certain sexy hometown boy who knows how to make a girl feel welcome.
Cowboy Walker Pearce never expected a grown-up Charlie to be temptation in tight jeans. She’s smart and successful—way out of league for a man like him. But he’s not about to let that, or his secrets, get in the way of their blazing-hot attraction. Yet when passion turns to something more, will the truth—about both of them—send her out of his life for good…or into his arms forever?
So Tough to Tame is the fast-paced and extra steamy third installment of Victoria Dahl’s series set in Jackson, WY. Although characters from previous novels are mentioned and there are guest appearances by others, it can be read as a standalone story.
Charlotte “Charlie” Allington’s return to Jackson Hole is precipitated by a cataclysmic scandal involving her previous job. Her brother and an old friend have helped her secure a position in a yet to be opened resort and while she is working hard, Charlie is planning to move on when her professional reputation has been repaired. Needing a little distance from her boss’s intense scrutiny, Charlie moves in to the Stud Farm and discovers that Walker Pearce, her long ago crush, is her next door neighbor. The sparks are soon flying between them but misunderstandings and poor communication soon come between them.
Charlie and Walker are fun, flirty and likable but they come across as superficial for much of the story. Each of them has issues stemming from their childhoods that influence their actions in the present but neither of them is willing to discuss their past or current problems. This leaves the reader with the impression that there is not much depth or substance to their characters. By the time the truth begins to emerge, it is fairly late in the story and the resolution feels rather rushed.
The storyline with Charlie’s career is rather confusing because the back story of how she ended up in Jackson is slow to be revealed. The secondary storyline with her friend/boss Dawn is not only puzzling but rather irritating since there does not seem to be any context for Dawn’s actions. Charlie was slow to catch on to how she was being manipulated but she was quick to act when she figured out what was going on behind the scenes and I like how this part of the storyline played out.
Some of the best scenes in So Tough to Tame involve Rayleen Kisler, the feisty owner of the Stud Farm. Charlie proves to be a pretty good match for the outrageous octogenarian and I laughed out loud at their witty banter. It was great to finally see Rayleen’s relationship with Easy make progress.
Despite a few issues, So Tough to Tame is an easy to read and entertaining romance. The characters are engaging and likable and the sex scenes between Charlie and Walker are scorching hot. An enjoyable addition to Victoria Dahl’s Jackson series that fans of contemporary romances are sure to enjoy.
Read my reviews of the other novels in the Jackson series HERE.