Tuesday, November 15
Title: Rocky Mountain Heat*
Author: Vivian Arend
Series: Six Pack Ranch #1
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Date/Year: 11/15/2011 (re-issued with new content)
Reviewed by: Booklover1335
*This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review
Summary from the publisher:
The heroine, Jaxi, has been friends with the Coleman family since she was a young and daring girl who lived adjacent to the Coleman ranch. With parents that were more interested in their own lives than their lonely wild child daughter, Jaxi sought the companionship of the entire Coleman clan, including the man she eventually comes to love, Blake Coleman. She believes that he is the perfect man for her, and decides that she will become the perfect ranch wife for him. A perfect match...if only Blake would see her as more than the 13 yr old girl that she used to be.
Little does she know that Blake has definitely noticed that she is no longer that young girl, and while he is undeniably attracted to her, he feels that their age difference is too great for him to act on it (approx 10 years or so). He’s the oldest of six siblings and feels responsible for the Ranch, his family, and of course Jaxi. He’s honorable, yet a tad bit misguided in thinking Jaxi isn’t mature enough, or ready enough to take him on. At times this is a bit frustrating for both Jaxi and the Reader.
When Blake’s mother has an accident and needs help taking care of herself and take on her ranch responsibilities Jaxi is more than happy to step in and help out in any way that she can....and if by chance that gives her the perfect opportunity to prove to Blake that she is his perfect match both in and out of the bedroom than all the better!
There are several things that I love about Rocky Mountain Heat and the Six Pack Ranch series, both the original and the new versions; most importantly it is the love story of Blake and Jaxi. The push and pull between the two as they try to find their way to having a relationship is sexy, and fun, including a meddling but well meaning family. As much as Blake fights against their attraction to each other, Jaxi fights for a permanent place in his heart. And fight for it she does...with some help from a few of Blake’s brothers. She knows exactly the type of man Blake is, and also knows that despite a few missteps that he is the perfect man for her.
Then there is the Coleman family in general. You can understand why Jaxi was drawn to them growing up because they are such a loving family. With the Six Pack Ranch series Ms. Arend has created a family that you care about with charismatic characters, and in this newest version of the story you get even more glimpses of each of the brothers and hints about what will eventually drive each of their own love stories. Obviously there is Blake who has age difference issues with Jaxi, then there is Daniel, a brother who is sterile due to an adult illness but wants a family of his own, also Matt who has only been with one woman in his life...his high school sweetheart(who is a complete witch and I hate already), a brother who appears to be into BDSM and may be bi-sexual (not sure on that though), and twins who like to share their women...most of the time (one of whom is just a tad bit in love with Jaxi).
And one thing I can’t fail to mention is that there is some serious “heat” in Rocky Mountain Heat! Vivian Arend, in my opinion, does a superb job in writing stories that are sensually erotic, but most importantly are romances first and foremost. If you took out all of the love scenes, the essence of the romance would still be there. Not that I want that to happen mind you :) Some of my favorite heat induced scenes include playing pool in a most creative and explicit way....honestly I had no idea pool could be that...um, interesting :) Then of course there are a few shower scenes that could create enough steam...without a water heater. And those are just a few examples...and unlike some movie trailers I didn’t mention all of the best parts here to give you a false impression, in fact I would consider it understated. This is one seriously sexy romance!
You may wonder what additions or changes were made and if it is worth buying the new version if you read it when it first came out, and my answer would be...yes, it’s worth reading and/or buying again. The beginning of the story is changed slightly, but not enough to make a difference in the overall plot. Then there is also a new epilogue at the end that shows how Blake and Jaxi first met, how Jaxi got her nickname of “Slick”, and kind of explains why he sees himself as her protector and pseudo older brother. Some of the other additions revolve around learning quite a bit more about each of the brothers, which in turn made the family dynamics and connections stronger. The other brothers became more than just names; they became contributing characters that you began to care about. In relation to Blake and Jaxi, most of the story is the same, with the addition of several lovely scenes where Blake courts (dates) Jaxi, that I felt made their relationship feel more realistic. The courtship was alluded to in the original version, but in the new version the reader gets to experience them realizing that what they have together is strong enough to last and is more than just lust, but love. The new scenes show them having fun with each other (going to a movie, eating at a restaurant, having a picnic)...and frankly you don’t see a lot of that in romance which is kind of sad I think. The courtship scenes with Blake and Jaxi are a great addition to the story and filled in what I felt were some missed opportunities in the original version that was published.
The only drawback to the additional content in my opinion was the sub story of Blake’s brother Matt and his girlfriend Helen. I felt that too much attention was given to their issues (including the ménage scene which was....a...hot, but felt out of place), especially since Matt’s story is not the next book to be released in the Six Pack Ranch series. I felt that a more in depth exploration of Matt’s story would have been better in the book immediately preceding his story (Daniel’s maybe?), instead of in Blake and Jaxi’s where I felt it was somewhat distracting to the story that I was already invested in.
In the end Rocky Mountain Heat was just as good as I remembered, and with the additional scenes it was only that much better. I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again, I love love love Vivian Arend’s contemporary romances! Consider me a cowboy junkie for the Coleman Six Pack Ranch series :) The next installment in the series to look forward to is Rocky Mountain Haven scheduled to be released January 2012, with Rocky Mountain Desire in March 2012. Seriously, I can’t wait!
Overall: 4.25 stars (an engaging, fun read)
Sensuality level: 4.25 sensuality (a few very sexy love scenes between the H/h, as well as a few steamy scenes (literally and figuratively to add into the mix, and one menage scene involving characters other than the H/h, but otherwise just hot hot monogamous lovin')
For a complete understanding and definition of the ratings at Seductive Musings, click here
- The Book Pushers (three ratings from B+ to D)
- Pearl's World of Romance (8.6)
- Sizzling Hot Book Reviews (4 hearts)