Monday, June 23, 2014

Book Blast for Last of the Red Hot Cowboys by Tina Leonard (Review & GIVEAWAY)


Tina Leonard makes a return visit today with her countrified battle of the sexes, Last of the Red Hot Cowboys.  Keep reading to get a tantalizing taste of this book along with my impressions of it.  Make sure to leave a comment telling us what makes a cowboy sexy for the chance to win 1 of 3-$25 Amazon GCs too!

A sexy cowgirl gives a rugged Texas loner the ride of his life in USA Today bestselling author Tina Leonard’s seductive new series.
Ava Buchanan dreams of a career on the rodeo circuit. Winning a spot on a one-of-a-kind team would be her ticket to the life she’s always wanted. Ava won’t let anyone stand in her way—not even a stubborn cowboy whose slow-molasses smile and red-hot swagger set her senses aflame . . . and whose talents as a trainer could make her a star. Rodeo might be a man’s game, but Ava knows the right woman’s touch can tame the wildest heart.
Trace Carter believes his mayor’s plan to raise the town’s profile has disaster written all over it, and he won’t allow the Hell’s Outlaws Training Center to be dragged into the fiasco. Yet watching Ava’s delectable body on horseback proves too much of a temptation, and his fantasies stray to her riding skills outside the arena. Soon Trace is fighting like hell to rein in his unbridled desire for the petite brunette before it becomes a passion hotter than the Texas sun.

EXCERPT:

“It doesn’t matter,” Trace said, glancing over at Ava.  “Don’t let the Horsemen guilt you.  They’re working an angle, and it’s always a crooked one.”
“That makes no sense.”  Ava gave him a look of disgust, which he intercepted with good humor.  He was just happy to have her in his truck.  Frankly, she’d come with him more easily than he’d thought she would.  Especially after he’d overheard Fallon ask her out.
That alone had caused Trace to shift his gears.  He hadn’t really planned on dragging Ava off.  The plan had been to talk rationally to her, help her put her horse in the barn.  Hell, he hadn’t had a plan.
Until he’d heard Fallon make his boneheaded offer—and split-second, Trace had known that just couldn’t stand.
“It makes sense to me.  You don’t want to hang out with them, Ava.  Trust me.”
“I don’t know if I trust you at all.  You seem shadier than they do.”
He shook his head.  “Just some friendly advice.  You don’t know the pitfalls of Hell.  Friends help each other out.”
“Do they?”
He felt her glare and grinned.  Such a sweet, sexy body, so much sass.  “Last I checked, yes.”
“You need to sell your idea to Judy.  Not me.”
“You let me handle Judy.”
“Fine.”  She waved her hand dismissively.
“You don’t really like me much, do you?”
Ava looked at him, her dark-green eyes gazing at him curiously.  “You’re arrogant and short-tempered.  You didn’t want to give us a shot in the first place, and this is the second time you’ve put me in your truck to twist my arm.  Did I miss what I’m supposed to like?”
“Now that you put it like that, I realize I haven’t given you much to be impressed with at all.  Let me fix this snag.”
“Go right ahead.”
He turned his truck toward his barns to put her horse away.  “If I train you, you’ll be a helluva rider.”
“I’m a helluva rider now.”
“Yeah, but when I get done with you, you’ll be a badass helluva rider.”
“Why?  Why are you suddenly so motivated?”
He laughed, parked the truck.  “Maybe I hate to see a nice girl getting taken advantage of by the Horsemen.”
“I’m not being taken advantage of.”
“I meant Judy.”  He grinned, enjoying himself.
“It doesn’t matter.  You’re not that kind of guy.”
“Unselfish?  Sure I am.”  He went around to open her door.
She slid out of the truck.  “Considerate.  You’re not considerate enough to try to help us out.  Your ego may be involved because you’re competitive.  But not considerate or unselfish.”
He grabbed her hand, turned her to face him.  She’d been sassing him with those pink lips for a few days now, and a man could only take so much.
He kissed her, long and slow and sweet, taking his time since she didn’t protest.  She felt better than he remembered, even in his wildest fantasies, which he’d had plenty of concerning her.  He was dying to move his hands to her waist, circle it, palm her sexy fanny.  Told himself it was too fast, and too fast never got a man anywhere.
Her lips moved under his, returning his kiss, surprising him.  Had she just moved a fraction closer?  She seemed to melt against him, surrendering, and Trace’s world spun at all the magical wonder suddenly opening to him.
Somewhere a truck door slammed.  Ava gasped, moved away from him.  Stared at him, blinking, then silently went to unload her horse.
He followed, helping her unlock the trailer.  She unloaded Mack, walking him to the barn.
“Go away,” she told Trace.
That was it?  He’d given her a kiss to melt the hardest heart, and she was telling him to drop dead?  “Hey,” he said, “don’t freak out.”
“Do I look freaked out?”  She walked her horse inside the barn, checked that Mack had fresh, cool water and plenty of fresh hay.  “This is the face of annoyed.”
That wasn’t a woman’s typical response to his kissing.  “I’m sorry.  I jumped the gun.”
“You jumped more than the gun, buster.”  She put her horse into a stall, checked the hay, filled the water, brushed past him.
He followed her as she sashayed toward her own beat-up blue truck she’d driven from Virginia.  “Ava.”
“What?”  She moved a mountain of paper and horse stuff from the front seat to the back.
“Can you forget that happened?”
“Easily.”  She got in her truck, switched the engine on, rolled down the window.  “I already have.”
He jumped back as she peeled away, shredding his gravel drive.  Trace grinned.
She might try to forget, but that kiss was going to last him a while.
It had to.  He wasn’t touching the lady again—she was going to have to make the next move.

BUY LINKS:  AMAZON  |  BN

MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:

Ms. Leonard is an author that I can count on when I want to see a realistic slice of small town living.  In this newest release idiosyncrasies and a subtle battle of the sexes is on display and makes for an entertaining read that is only just beginning for a group of battle-weary men and women looking to prove themselves.

Trace has a past he wants to forget.  He's tired from all the fighting and comes to this small town to live in peace and quiet with his brothers-in-arms.  The introduction of three bold and sassy women doesn't bode well for his peace though as thoughts of the spunky Ava keep him on edge and fighting his long-held beliefs on what a woman can do.  Trace has old world charm that's appealing yet frustrating.  His arrogance and discounting of a woman's abilities is annoying as well but his aw-shucks attitude made me weak in the knees.  He's a true gentleman outside the bedroom but when it comes to sex he's definitely no gentleman as his interludes with Ava are steamy.  His interactions with Ava from the very start were full of sexual tension and crackling banter.  He may not want to help Ava in the way she expects but he still wants her and their battle was entertaining to witness.

Ava came to Hell believing it was to see her dream of becoming a bull rider come true.  Her dream though hinges on a man who thinks women have no business in the ring which leads to a battle of wills, teeming with sexual tension and witty banter.  Ava has something to prove, especially after her brother's injury in the ring, and refuses to let Trace stand in her way.  His suggestion of an alternate plan fuels the fire between them even more and leads to fireworks in and out of the bedroom.  Ava never backed down from him and was more than a match for Trace which made for an entertaining verbal battle.  She was immensely likable and easy to admire for the talent she displayed.  She brought anything but peace to Trace's life and had me rooting for her from the very first time they met.

The reasons behind these three women coming to town aren't what they appear as Mayor Judy has a hidden agenda, one that left me a bit peeved with her.  She wants her small town to flourish but her way of seeing that happen felt deceptive.  Her interactions with the Sheriff felt a bit leading as well and further frustrated me.  This story started out slow with an overall storyline that felt a bit unbelivable.  The hot and cold nature of Trace's feelings for Ava were also frustrating and dragged out the story unnecessarily.  The depiction of this small town was vivid courtesy of the colloquialisms used that enhanced the Southern small town feel and added to its charm.  The secondary characters weren't as fully fleshed-out as I'd hoped but as this is the first book in the Hell's Outlaws series there's plenty of time for character development in the future.  With its fiery banter and engaging main couple this was a good start to a promising new series and I look forward to what Ms. Leonard plans next.

My rating for this is a C+

*I received this book from NetGalley for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

AUTHOR INFO:

USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author Tina Leonard has sold over 2.6 million copies of her titles. She has made the USA Today Bestseller, Waldenbooks, Bookscan, and Ingrambook lists, and has written and contracted seventy-one books and special projects. Her work has been published by Harlequin, Samhain Publishing, Robinson Scarlet, and most recently Random House Loveswept contracted for a single title trilogy project, Hell’s Outlaws. Leonard was chosen to be among the first authors published for Robinson’s Scarlet line, writing four single title novels for that imprint. Not long after, she sold on proposal to Harlequin American, where she has since written several popular series, most notably the Cowboys By The Dozen, Morgan Men, and Callahan Cowboys series. Her newest single title project, HOTTER THAN TEXAS, was published in March 2013. Leonard is known for her fun sense of humor, endearing communities, snappy dialogue, and memorable characters.

WEBSITE:  www.tinaleonard.com
FACEBOOK:  http://www.facebook.com/tinaleonardbooks
TWITTER:  http://www.twitter.com/Tina_Leonard

**********GIVEAWAY**********

Tina will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to three randomly drawn commenters during the tour.

-To be entered, LEAVE A COMMENT STATING WHAT MAKES A COWBOY SEXY, along with your email addy (NO EMAIL=NO ENTRY).
-Winners will be chosen randomly from all comments made throughout the tour, so the more you comment the greater your chances of winning.  A list of all participating blogs can be found here.
-Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM CST on 6/26!

7 comments:

  1. Cowboys are hardworking and loyal.

    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Can't wait to read
    kaylizmc1@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sexy excerpt! Thanks for sharing
    collenga at yahoo . com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love the excerpt and the love the cover. TBR
    brown_angel 123at^yahoo.dotcom

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for your impressions.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Excerpt sounds great!

    Kassandra
    sionedkla@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete