Friday, August 24, 2012

Chasing Charlie by Kathy Carmichael

When Davis Murphy, cowboy wannabe and one of Dallas's most eligible bachelors, asks Charlie Nelson to pretend to be his fiancée, her reaction is to run far and fast.

Charlie, raised by two older, very protective, brothers on a South Texas cattle ranch, wants only one thing: to avoid thrill-seeking cowboys. She clings to the security of her safe and steady job as a librarian.

Davis needs a fiancée so his widowed mother will marry her gentleman friend whose company is transferring him to Japan. She has refused to wed until Davis is settled.

Charlie is the perfect answer if only she'll go along with the scheme. Can he talk her into becoming his temporary fiancée? And once he does, can he convince her to become his real wife?

This is a light, fun, sweet romance and exactly what I was looking for. I would compare it to a Harlequin series novel in the best way, because we are introduced to the characters and through a kind of ridiculous series of events we get to experience them falling in love and finding their HEA. And make no mistake it's kind of ridiculous. Not ridiculous in that romantic comedy way where I have to hide my face from the screen because the heroine is getting humiliated for the 15th billion time, but ridiculous because who goes about hiring a fiance to convince his mother he'll be ok? Well, Davis Murphy apparently. 

He's a loveable bachelor finally able to live his life long dream of becoming a rancher - even if that future is one that Charlie looks at with horror. The two of them have great chemistry, the dialogue composed of a lot of back and forth as neither is willing to admit that they're falling in love (but really, would you want them to? Them fighting it is more fun for us, lol). For the romance reader that likes explicit sexy times this is not going to be the story for you. There's a few spectacular kisses but things don't head into the bedroom; I didn't have a problem with it because from what we learn about Charlie and her background it makes sense for her character but I want to put it out there for the unaware.

My only complaint would be that at some point Charlie, her brothers, the life she'd lead on her family's ranch, became very flat. Monty Joe and Bobby Gray (yes those are the brothers' names) don't really exist outside of cowboy caricatures. I felt like they deserved more and that tied into a similar feeling about Charlie and Davis's HEA. Things get wrapped up at the end without addressing Charlie's fears about ranching (we get her inner monologue describing them, but no conversation between her and Davis) or exploring what Davis's dreams are with owning a ranch/being a cowboy. The story's about 80 pages and I think it could have been that much better if more time had been spent fleshing out both the main and supporting characters.

Still, it's an entertaining story that has me interested in reading more - especially since Charlie's brothers are up next! 

Overall Feeling - B

Series - Prequel) Chasing Charlie 1) Kissing Kelli 2) Stuck on You 3) Southern Fried Bride (Winter 2013)

**Title requested from NetGalley**