Title: Cowboy Stole My Heart by Soraya Lane
River Ranch Series Book One
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 304 pages
Book Rating: C
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
It takes true grit to build a billion-dollar dynasty like the Ford family ranch. But when it comes to finding love, all it takes is one handsome cowboy to steal a woman’s heart in Cowboy Stole My Heart by Soraya Lane.
SHE’S RIDING SOLO
As one of the heirs to the River Ranch fortune, Mia Ford is practically Texas royalty. But that doesn’t mean she’s some pampered princess. She can saddle up and ride a horse as well as any man, even a hard-working cowboy like Sam Mendes. For years, she’s harbored a crush on the strong, silent horseman. But how can she make a move when she’s his boss?
HE’S TAKING THE REINS
Sam Mendes is through with love—or so he thought. Still recovering from a breakup, he’s doing everything in his power to resist Mia Ford. It’s bad enough she’s the kind of beauty who drives men wild with desire. It’s even worse she’s got him so worked up, aching to kiss her lips, when he’s supposed to be working her ranch. Is this lovestruck cowboy willing to risk losing his job—and breaking his heart—to win the girl of his dreams?
Cowboy Stole My Heart is a cute first installment Soraya Lane’s River Ranch series.
Sam Mendes is a well-renowned horseman with an incredible reputation for being able to help even the most troubled horses overcome their problems. He is ready to take a break from the constant touring to promote his unique abilities when wealthy ranch owner Walter Ford wants to hire him to see if he can help his daughter Mia’s out of control and dangerous stallion, Tex. Sam is carrying a lot of emotional baggage from his dysfunctional childhood and an acrimonious break up. He has sworn off relationships and despite his attraction to Mia, his first meeting with his new client gets off to a very rocky beginning.
Mia is used to being under estimated by everyone she meets but she immediately bristles when she senses Sam has the wrong impression of her. She has quietly built a career without relying on anything except her skills and prize money. Fiercely independent with a strong emotional attachment to Tex, Mia is determined to save the horse even if it means dealing with Sam.
The relationship between Sam and Mia begins with misconceptions on both sides. Their first few interactions are tense as they somehow manage to keep antagonizing one another. Sam is the epitome of the strong silent type and he is most comfortable working with horses. Mia is not used to showing her vulnerabilities so she is less than forthcoming with information about Tex. When they finally work through their differences, their sizzling attraction becomes too strong to ignore. Agreeing to a no strings fling, will Sam and Mia keep their casual relationship free from any emotional entanglements?
While Sam and Mia’s relationships with family members and friends are quite enjoyable, the romance between them is a little superficial. They spend nearly half the novel leaping to erroneous conclusions about one another and there is a serious lack of communication between them which leads to even more misunderstandings between them. While Mia does reveal some very personal details about herself, Sam is not one to discuss his past. With no real foundation for anything other than a casual fling, there does not seem to be much of a future for them once their relationship hits a rough patch.
Cowboy Stole My Heart is a well-written novel but the storyline is rather predictable. Mia and Sam are great characters individually but they never quite seem to mesh as a couple. Their romance feels contrived with a bit of an insta-love vibe that never feels natural or believable. The secondary characters are absolutely fantastic and these relationships feel much better developed than the romance between Mia and Sam. The novel’s conclusion is sweet but a little rushed. The next installment in Soraya Lane’s River Ranch series looks promising since it stars Mia’s bull riding brother, Tanner.