Reviewed by Mandi
I really enjoyed the first two books in this series and picked this one up without even reading the blurb. Had I read the blurb, I may not have proceeded:
Blurb: Braden Montgomery is certain about three things: one, luck is for suckers; two, time spent outdoors is what keeps him sane; and, three, when it comes to sharing his bed, there’s only one female he’s willing to put up with—his Chesapeake Bay retriever, Charley. Braden’s constructed his life on these beliefs, and he’s quite content with the status quo.
But when a moment of bad luck lands Braden toe-to-toe with a blonde bombshell with her own television show, his stubbornly structured reality begins to unravel.
As for Amber Regan, her brand has been built on camo, cut-offs, and cleavage. With her own hunting show on the foremost sports channel and enough social media followers to garner her plenty of endorsement deals, Amber’s come a long way from the tomboy in a small Texas town she once was. Unfortunately, ratings are down and her contract for next season is in limbo, so she’s in desperate need of a reboot to save her show—and filming a rough and tough archery elk hunt in Colorado might be the way to do just that. Too bad the local game warden grunts more than he speaks, seems determined to despise her—and makes her heart race in all the most inconvenient ways.
I really don’t like reading (or watching) anything to do with hunting. I live in a prominent hunting area and I have a lot of friends that hunt and that is all great and good. I just don’t like knowing about it or seeing it. So when I started the book, and the heroine is a huge hunter with her own television show, I became very stressed for all of the fiction animals she was going to encounter.
Amber grew up hunting with her uncle, and then she developed a body that guys drool over. After living with no money, she found her way onto television and never wants to go back to being poor. She has a huge social media presence, and often finds herself in tight, short, outfits, showing off products and doing luxury hunting. But after a few seasons, ratings have dropped and a contract renewal is not guaranteed. Wanting to try something new, she travels up to Colorado and wants to really get back to nature and film some bow hunting. Our hero, Braden , is the game warden in this area…and wants nothing to do with this television show.
Braden is a Grumpy hero with a capital G! A lovable, grumpy hero – the best kind. He wants nothing to do with Amber and her tight shirts and camera crew tramping around his land. But she shows up and once he gets to know the real Amber, not the tv personality, he starts to fall for her – which makes him even more grumpy! He starts to help her find good places to hunt and they fall in bed and there is a lot of sexy times.
But guys – hunting. Blerg. They start to track this Bull Elk – one Braden has been eyeing for a season or two. Run elk, run!! It really wasn’t fun for me to read this as I totally stressed out for this damn elk. And yes, I realize this is fiction and the stupid elk isn’t real – but I can’t handle hurt animals in books or tv. So it took away enjoyment from this book. I will say, the majority of the book is Braden and Amber away from the woods or wherever they hunt – and mostly set at his house or in town. But there are a few scenes of them tracking the elk and finding good locations for them to shoot the show.
Braden is not only grumpy, but he is very much into organic eating and being super healthy. He made me smile.
…Garrett comes bearing a shopping bag full of junk food he knows I won’t eat: Hostess Fruit Pies, Honey Buns, and those little powered sugar-covered donuts that are the same size at the tumors they’ll eventually find in your liver if you eat too many of them.
Amber’s two-man crew are adorable and added some smiles to this story. And there is great sexual tension and a lead up to romance:
A smirk creeps across Braden’s mouth, triumph mixed with unabashed want. And based on that grin, I expect his mouth on mine instantly, in a rushed collision that’s as blundering as it is hot and wild.
But what I get is nothing like that. Instead, it’s the restrained advance of Braden leaning in slowly – in complete control – allowing our mouths to meet in a tease, his lower lip brushing over both of mine so lightly it drives a whimper from my throat.
That sound is his undoing.
It’s a cute romance. If you’ve read the first two books, this one has a little bit of a different feel to it. Maybe it was the hollywood/tv stuff, where the first two were a little more…homey feeling. But I have to give the minus for the sake of the elk!