Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Anthology: The Bareback Bride by Sharon Ihle

I received a copy of The Bareback Bride in the anthology Pistols and Petticoats in exchange for my review.

Shannon has always loved horses and has learnt to do tricks on them over the years. When she decides to run away and join Buffalo Bill's Wild West attraction she has to impress Bill himself as well as the head horse handler, Seth. When a dangerous act goes not quite to plan, all that Seth can think to do is to kiss her, but when the crowd goes wild they have to do the act that way every time. Both Shannon and Seth are convinced that there is more to that kiss than a performance, something Seth realises when he watches someone else do the show with her.

This is the second story that I have read from the anthology, and just like with the first I loved it. Though both of the stories are Western Romances, they both had a distinct feel to them. Up until now I haven't really read a book that has such a focus on horses, but I thought it was great, I loved riding as a child myself so I'm not actually sure why I haven't. Horses were the thing in common that brought Shannon and Seth together, and I thought that Ihle captured that in her story incredibly well.

There weren't that many side characters to the main characters, namely an over protective brother and the object of Seth's jealousy, Buck. But the characters that were more sidelined worked well, with just enough given that they didn't come across as under developed, but not too much that they were taking away from Seth and Shannon.

I thought that the beginning and the end of the book worked well, instead of starting and ending with the main characters Bareback Bride starts and ends with Shannon's parents, Lacey and Hawke, receiving letters from her to update on what she is doing. If you'd asked before Bareback Bride if I thought that would work I would probably have said no, but now I think it does.

I really enjoyed Bareback Bride and will definitely be keeping an eye out for any other works by this author!

PISTOLS AND PETTICOATS
Book Description

From bestselling authors Barbara Ankrum, Adrienne deWolfe and Sharon Ihle come three fresh novellas, featuring three firebrand ladies, each determined to make her mark while making her match.

ETHAN'S BRIDE - 27,000 word sequel to CHASE THE FIRE (Wild Western Hearts, Book 4) by Barbara Ankrum
Violet Bradford desperately wants a child. Believing herself barren, she answers Dr. Ethan Walker's advertisement for a mail-order bride, knowing he only wants one thing: a mother for his young daughter. Surely the joys of motherhood can compensate for a loveless marriage. But Ethan's broken heart won't stop tugging at hers. And Ethan soon realizes he must risk his heart again or risk losing it all.

SHADY LADY - 26,000 word prequel to DEVIL IN TEXAS (The Velvet Lies Series, Book 4) by Adrienne deWolfe
Fiery singing sensation, Sadie Michelson, thinks falling in love is bad for business—until William "Cass" Cassidy, a hotheaded gunslinger, sets his sights on wooing her. But when a Texas Ranger arrives in Dodge City to extradite Cass for a crime of passion, Sadie must use all her wits and wiles to lure the law from her man's trail. And that means risking everything—including Cass's love.

BAREBACK BRIDE - 25,000 word sequel to THE BRIDE WORE SPURS (The Inconvenient Bride Series, Book 1) by Sharon Ihle
Expert horsewoman, Shannon Winterhawke runs away from home to join the Buffalo Bill Wild West extravaganza. Shannon is hired on the spot, but the show's head horseman, Seth Edwards, simply sees another flighty gal looking for a cowboy fling before settling down with some unsuspecting fool. But all bets are off as Shannon slowly sneaks into Seth's heart and lassoes him with his own rope.