My review is a little later than usual, so apologies for that, but I've been doing some good reading recently. This one has been on my e-reader for a while, but I'm slowly working my way through the backlog in between editing my own book.
I love this author's writing. It just hits a spot that works for me. She has great characters, strong females with guts and sharp mouths, and storylines which are compelling to read. The artwork is gorgeous too. This author is a triple-threat and I definitely recommend you check out her work.
Evangeline Goes West is a lovely, classic cowboy romance story, set in the sweeping foothills of Wyoming and filled with a lot of local or well-researched knowledge of ranch lifestyle. I'm not going to rehash the story - read the blurb - but it is convincing and immersive, as we root for Eva and her younger cowboy love interest. At 28, Eva thinks she is too old for the mature-beyond-his-20-years cowboy, but the chemistry between them sizzles as their slow-burn romance eventually explodes into something warm and sensual.
At times I did feel like Methuselah as there were a lot of references to Eva's hang-ups about her age, but there needed to be as that is the prime reason she keeps resisting the charms of Chase, who really was the ultimate wrangler hero. There's even a "lariat-around-the-waist-and-pulling-her-in" scene.
Is it original? Well, not really. The story is as old as the mountains, but the way Debarrioz tells it, in her unique voice, makes it fresh, and there's an exciting finish as Eva's horrid past finally catches up with her. (The domestic violence aspect is handled well, and isn't unduly graphic.)
There are bears, there's a rodeo, there's a tricky horse who our heroine identifies with and befriends, there are great side characters and villainous bad guys. It is fantastic entertainment which I read in three evenings. Yeee-haw!
Bored out of her mind with the burbs and her abusive husband, former-farmgirl Eva packs up her paints and heads for the wilds of Wyoming. Hiding out at her friend’s guest ranch, she’s determined to find her old self that she lost somewhere along the way. What she doesn’t count on finding is Chase McCoy, a handsome young cowboy whose cavalier smile works like a balm for her weary soul. But Eva has resolved she is not looking for a man again. Especially not a cocky cowpoke who is nearly a decade her junior—even if he is six-feet-plus of work-honed muscle and his Wranglers fit like a gift to women everywhere.
However, Chase is more than he seems. A tragic past made him a man before his time, and determined to prove he’s exactly what she’s been missing in her life, he sets his Stetson in her direction. If life has taught him anything, it’s that you have to work hard for what you want and fight for a woman worth keeping. Maybe Eva is stubborn as a Missouri mule, but he knows he’s up to the task of changing her mind.
Just when Eva thinks she’s outrun her demons, she finds a little something in her Jeep that contains big secrets. It seems her ex isn’t ready to let her go, and he’s willing to do anything to keep her quiet. Lie, cheat, steal—and possibly even kill. Maybe Evangeline’s never fought back before, but her newfound family is more than willing, and Jared Wassler just might find he messed with the wrong bull.
***Buckle up, Buttercup. This here’s an irreverent 18+ adult contemporary western romance. It contains copious amounts of swearing, violence, sex, feminism, and other volatile subjects. If that ain’t your cup o’ tea put this book right back down.