Series: Spikes & Spurs #4
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on 3 April 2012
Reading Challenges: 2013 Zodiac Challenge
Marriage of convenience plus cowboys – what more could you want? Actually I wanted a bit more in terms of plot and characterisation. Ace Riley inherited his farm from his grandfather on the condition that he gets married and stay married for one year. If he fails to do this, the ranch goes to his cousin. Ace is in quite a tizz as he doesn’t want to lose the ranch but he doesn’t want to be shackled to anyone. Good friend Jasmine proposes a solution by literally proposing. Problem is that the chapel they chose to get married in was having a highly public anniversary and Ace and Jasmine are the lucky 5000th couple.
Jasmine and Ace knew each other’s quirks, good points and bad because they were friends long before they decided to get hitched. This added depth to their relationship. Admitting they were falling in love was quite hard though as if they failed, it would affect their friendship which both valued. Ace is so determined not to fall in love he had a barbed wire tattooed on himself. We hear about this so often it started to grate. Everyone decides fairly quickly that Jasmine and Ace need to start popping out babies. So much so that Jasmine’s parents decide to buy her café so she can focus on baby making. I have no issues with couples deciding they want to have kids but the way this was written made it seem like Jasmine was some kind of battery hen and everyone was just waiting for her to step up to the mark.
The biggest problem with this story is that there weren’t any real complications or a climax. Jasmine and Ace’s relationship drifts along and there isn’t ever any doubt that they’ll end up happily ever after. I wanted some drama beyond the outlandish wedding plans their mothers were cooking up. I wanted tears or passion or something to keep my attention from wandering. I got side-tracked by all the secondary characters and found it difficult to keep them all straight. If you are going to have a cast of thousands (not really) then you need a glossary or something that readers can refer to.
This is a fairly light romance which is heavy on the Texas-isms and good old fashioned values.