She never wanted to love a cowboy. . . .
Rodeo king Tanner Callen doesn’t want to be tied down. When he sees Madeline Harper at a local honky-tonk and everything about her screams New York, he brings out every trick in his playbook to take her home. But soon he learns that he doesn’t just want her for a night and, instead, hopes for forever. . . .
Learning to Ride is short and sweet, though the ending is a bit too rushed to be entirely believable. 129 pages doesn’t quite give enough room (12 pages of the book are essentially advertisements for other BookShots books–both Flames and the regular line) to really flesh out a romance between two people as different as Madeline and Tanner are, though Ms. Knightley does an admirable job of trying. Her characters are likable and the romance is sweet, and Sunnybell, Texas has that charming, small-town feel so popular in fiction today (though Madeline did see a bit of the not-so-charming aspect of it too, when so many of her coworkers knew her business without her even realizing that the entire town had essentially been talking about her. Ah, life in a small-town!) I was looking for a quick read, though, and was curious about the BookShots books that James Patterson wasn’t even pretending to have written himself (yeah, don’t get me started on that topic) so this one fit the bill.
This book serves as a good intro to both the author and the series, even if it isn’t ultimately the most satisfying of romance reads on its own. Book two in the series (The Return) is a second chance romance, a troupe which does tend to do better as a novella, since the characters generally have known each other more than a few weeks before making life-altering decisions based on their relationship, so I’ll definitely give that one a try when it makes its way into our library.
Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B-