Thursday, June 19, 2014

4 Heart Review: Love with a Perfect Cowboy by Lori Wilde

Love with a Perfect Cowboy (Cupid, Texas #4)
Lori Wilde

Page Count: 384

Release Date: May 27th 2014
Publisher: Avon (Harper Collins)
Source: Complimentary copy provided by publisher via tour publicist in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you, Harper Collins and Tasty!)
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

New York Times bestselling author Lori Wilde returns to Cupid, Texas, and asks the question: Do you ever forget your first love?

Melody Spencer had long-ago wiped the dust of Cupid, Texas, off her cute shoes... and done her best to forget the chiseled jaw and strong arms of cowboy Luke Spencer. Their families might be part of a long-time feud, but he was her very first love, even if it turned out they never wanted the same things.

But now Luke's come striding back into her life, tempting her with the memories of long, lazy evenings and hot, passionate kisses. And he has an ulterior motive—as Mayor of Cupid, he knows Melody's business savvy can help save their beloved hometown. His smooth talking might get her to Texas, but that doesn't mean he'll get her in his bed. Still, people do say love can be more perfect the second time around...
Look what had happened when [Luke had] tried [dating Melody] fifteen years ago.
Ah, crap, he was setting himself up for a hard tumble down a rocky cliff.
Yeah? Guest what? He didn't give a good damn. He wanted her and that's all there was to it.

This is one of those second-chance love stories that I thought I'd enjoy—I mean, cowboys? Texas? A forbidden relationship? What's not to love?—but there are so many issues I had with it. It's not a complete carwreck, I'll admit; it has a linear plot, characters easy to sympathize with, and the occasional witty line. But overall, I just didn't find it a very palatable novel.

Melody Spencer traded the wide skies of Cupid, Texas for the bright lights of New York City fifteen years ago, and hasn't looked back since. When her first love—the one with whom things never worked out because of a family feud—shows up in the Big Apple at her weakest moment, begging for her help, she can't help but remind herself that—even though she left Cupid behind—it is where her roots are, and she needs to do her part to save the crumbling town.

The aspect of a family feud keeping the two once-lovers apart attempts to create a modern-day Romeo and Juliet story, but it just didn't seem very complicated or tragic to me. I know the taboo aspect of the relationship is supposed to be sexy, but because Lori Wilde gave no depth to either character, it was hard to follow the romance.

Melody and Luke's cheesy instalove is also a huge problem. The moment Melody lays her eyes on Luke—again—her knees weaken, she swoons, she realizes she still loves him, etc. etc. etc. Every other line in the book is Luke noticing Melody's beauty or intelligence or kindness, which isn't only irritating, but also detrimental to the story because it reduces Wilde's style to simplistic telling, not showing. The dialogue and superfluous descriptions are not only stilted, but they're also ridiculous; I was literally laughing at the writing.

A few examples of the cringe-worthy dialogue and wording:
"You're a terrific catch. Looks like someone would have snared you by now."
"Thanks for the compliment," he said. "But I could ask you the same thing."
...how romantic, how smoldering, how smooth!

A seductive purr hummed over her lips, and a heavy breath drove her exquisite tits straight up into his chest. Through flaring nostrils he inhaled her feminine aroma, the flirty flavor of spice, licorice, and kiwi perfume permeating his olfactory receptors, sailing into his brain, flitting between neurons and skimming over synapses, firing off a timeless male response.
Exotic.
...flaring nostrils? Olfactory receptors?? A timeless male response???? What the fuck!!

God, she was beautiful and sexy and irresistible. Luke genuinely liked her. She was quick-witted and professional, eager, goal-oriented, a real-go-getter. Beautiful and self-confident in maturity. Multifaceted.
...why don't we just put the thesaurus down, Lori, and stop going on like this..

She wriggled beneath him and he was instantly hard enough to cut sheet metal with his dick.
...well, at least it's original.

"Do you have any idea how damn sexy you are?" he whispered.
She laughed. (I would have laughed too.)
Of course she did, the seductive wench.
...seductive wench???/ ?? Is that normal??

Did she have any idea what she did to him? Wearing that little red dress held up by strips of material no thicker than a strand of linguini?
...beautiful and poetic, as you can see.
He imagined chewing those straps right off her body, and licked his lips.
...okay, this is where I lost it. As did Lori Wilde.

Pros


An okay standalone novel, although it's the fourth (and last) in the series // Quick read; fast-paced

Cons


Romance is hardly romantic // Even the plot outside the romance, regarding saving Cupid, isn't well done // Both characters are idiots—no character development or depth at all // Instalove... or re-instalove? // Everything, from the flirting, the backstory, and the sex, is stilted, rushed, and just hard to get into // Unrealistic // Annoyingly repetitive

Verdict


While the author hasn't committed any major crimes in Love with a Perfect Cowboy, it was a sore disappointment because of how shallow and lacking the characters, the romance, and the subplots were. The synopsis seemed intriguing, but the "forbidden relationship" isn't explored deeply and just comes off as outrageously ignorant, and the forced dialogue and laughable descriptions don't help its case either. Maybe diehard Lori Wilde fans will be able to enjoy this last installment in the Cupid, Texas series, but I sure don't recommend it Americanflag

4 hearts: So-so; reading this book may cause wrinkles (from frowning so much)(x)