Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Review | "Rocky Mountain Heat" (Six Pack Ranch #1) by Vivian Arend

This week's review might be a familiar title for anyone who follows Kit Rocha on their social media. Vivian Arend it usually very highly praised by the ladies who write the beyond books, after all. When I saw that a few of her series starters were available for free download on Amazon, of course I downloaded them to see what all the hype is about.
Before my thoughts, as always, here's the book's Goodreads description:

Rocky Mountain Heat (Six Pack Ranch, #1)He’s the one who taught her to ride. Now all he wants is to ride her.Blake Coleman is old enough to know that acting on impulse causes nothing but a heap of trouble. But when trouble’s a western-hat-wearing blonde with slim legs that go on forever, what’s a man to do? Wanting the sweet girl next door is just wrong. The responsible thing to do is keep his hands off.Jaxi has other plans for Blake’s hands, and his heart. She may have once considered him a big brother, but that was a long time ago. She’s all grown up now and ready to convince him that she’s perfect for him. Except he can’t seem to see past the big “don’t touch” sign that’s apparently still hanging around her neck.When Jaxi ends up living right under Blake's nose, the undeniable heat between them slides off simmer and leaps up to barn-burning levels. However, a few of the younger six-pack Colemans have decided Jaxi’s brand of trouble is worth risking a few busted bones.That is, if Blake’s finally ready to let go the reins and fight for what he wants…Warning: Sexy cowboys seducing and being seduced in trucks, pool halls and barns. Droolworthy country charm, a little double-teaming, a few secrets and a whole lot of brothers to look forward to. Anyone wanna go for a ride? 
Okay, so the description wouldn't usually draw me in, but like I said, I was going off of the praise I had read about her books. 
I gave this one a 3 star rating on Goodreads, but I had a lot of issues with it.  
To start, the writing is a little generic. There really isn't anything special or particularly captivating about the way the story is worded which makes the predictability and lack of original content that much more evident. This next one is personal taste, but I seem to have a lot of issues getting into cowboy stories that aren't  old western/alternate history/steampunk. I don't particularly know why, but I've noticed this tendency with a few books I've read or tried to read. 
The family is very close...I don't know,  the idea of brothers enjoying the thought of having sexual encounters while each other is watching seems off to me. Also, Blake got upset that Jaxi was teasing his brothers, yet he seduces her when he knows their watching- a little bit of contradiction, right? 
The set up of the love scenes was all over the places and confused. 
How do the boys not know their parents' ages? They're all grown men, blake is in his 30s, these are things he should know.
The chapters that focus on introducing other books were confusing and not well established which would throw off the writing. Also, rather than seeming like a way to let the reader know what is going on with other characters, it felt more like those parts were thrown in to have more sex in the story. It didn't really advance the plot at all.
All the tension felt like it was added in as an afterthought (especially when it came directly after passages of lovey dovey, all is perfect-ness), in fact, the conflict wasn't well established. I know it didn't entirely resolve because this is a series, so it needs to sell the other books, but it wasn't done well, in my opinion. Instead, it just seemed like the author knew the book lacked conflict or that the series needed something to tie all the books together so "poof" some underdeveloped, unnecessary drama. I will say, I was pleased that the drama was more familial than romantic- otherwise this book would have been too stereotypical romance. 
The dialogue wasn't that great at times. Especially the male dialogue. It read like a woman trying to write a male character.
The bonus chapter was a little weird. It's a prologue in a way. Told from Blake's perspective when he was 17. It shows him when he first meets Jaxi, who is 7. I don't know, I guess it could have been written a little differently or excluded entirely, I think.
Did I like the book? I guess. I was entertained, at least. Did I skim? Towards the end, yes- and kind of a lot. Would I recommend it? Sure, if it's available for free. I personally don't plan on continuing the series, though.

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