TBR Challenge Review: Rocky Mountain Heat by Vivian Arend

Pub Date: Nov 2011 (reissue Feb 2017)
Publisher: Orig. Samhain, but a newer edition is self pubbed
Length: 232 pages
POV: 3rd
FTC: Free on Amazon, purchased Jan 2016

I think I downloaded this one when Vivian tweeted about it being free. Or someone did. I've read some of her other books, but none from this series before.

I have some mixed feelings about this book. I liked the characters, but for a contemporary, it felt really old fashioned. Which I guess is the point, since the early 20s heroine is grooming herself to be a rancher's wife. And the hero is a decade older. Which isn't really my issue. She has agency, it just seems weird. ESPECIALLY the weird byplay between all of the siblings. That is what icked me out the most.

Another quibble for me is the lack of modern technology. No mobile phones, really. No texting. A passing mention of a computer. You could explain that by the ranching community etc, but I live in BFE Northern California in a timber/ranching community, and everyone I know has had a mobile phone since well before 2011. There's rural and then there's nigh on unbelievably disconnected from the outside world.

Maybe it's just me.

Then there's the unprotected sex. It's mentioned several times. He feels guilty for doing it. She welcomes it because she's perfectly ready to start a family right away. I just don't like the older, experienced man "forgetting" protection trope. It bothers me. And her lack of being prepared bothers me, too. No birth control at all in her thoughts, even before they talk about it, despite plotting to seduce him. I just...no.

Finally, there's the jumping around of the narrative. It spends surprisingly little time with our main couple. We meet every single one of the dang siblings, their friends, their parents. It's a crowded book for 200 ish pages. I wanted a tighter focus on the main couple, but there just wasn't enough plot to fill the story.

The writing isn't bad, and I'm sure these books work great for others. They just hit too many sour notes and pet peeves for me. I think I'll stick with her paranormal ones for now.

My Grade: C-

The Blurb:
Blake knows that wanting the sweet girl next door is just wrong. The responsible thing to do is keep his hands off.

Jaxi may have once considered him a big brother, but now she has plans for Blake’s hands. She’s all grown up and ready to convince him that she’s just what he’s been waiting for. Except he can’t seem to see past the big “don’t touch” sign that’s apparently still hanging around her neck.
One sexy pool game later, the heat reaches volcanic levels. And Blake must decide if Jaxi’s brand of trouble is worth fighting for.

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