Searock's Reviews > Wrangled and Tangled

Wrangled and Tangled by Lorelei James
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's review
Nov 15, 2011

really liked it
Read from November 03 to 07, 2011

I liked this book, and at times, I really, really liked it, so it gets 3.75 stars from me.

I wait for Lorelei James’ books like an addict awaits her connection. I’ve read every book since pretty early on in the Rough Rider series so I am familiar with the families involved and dive right in. I am hooked on James’ simple sexy style which is always a fun, fast read for me. I adore having the sense of place already established so that no matter who the leads are, I am immediately connected to them. I am not a paranormal reader, but I imagine the world building in those series' has a similar effect on the reader.

The focus of Wrangled and Tangled was split between two different romances that are connected by the setting (a new, ranch-style resort in the area). It was like reading two completely-separate, short stories that switched off in alternating chapters. I never quite got used to the shift, especially when something dramatic was happening and then, bam, different couple. I had a similar feeling reading this book that I had watching a soap opera. It had different story lines going but the characters interact when they run into each other at the local pub or at the hospital where they work (Luke and Laura, anyone? That dates me, I know).

I wanted a fuller experience and I think Ms. James wanted to give me a fuller experience, but was having to make adjustments for the format. She used a few techniques to maintain the brevity of both stories that left me feeling shorted. For example, we are told about several events after they took place (like days or weeks of events summed up in a sentence or two). Also, the characters would often communicate to the reader via self-talk (a lot!) especially in the early chapters. Some of this inner dialogue would be “accidentally” spoken aloud to other characters, e.g. (h)to herself: "I've secretly longed for you for years, but I would never tell you that". (H) "Thanks for telling me, now we can move to the next level”. (h) “Oops, did I say that aloud?" Ugh. This device is my new pet peeve. It served to reveal the character to the reader while advancing the relationships more quickly than seemed normal. It’s a bit like telling rather than showing (or at the least it’s a little cheat). Also, one of the heroes, Renner, left the setting a couple of times to work on his “other business”, but we didn’t get to see much of that. He was gone for a few weeks at one point, but it wasn’t shared with the reader, so I felt I missed out a bit on something Ms. James normally develops. I also love characters like Abe, but I didn't get a chance to know him very well. He was quiet, a bit of a naughty boy and fascinating, but got little page space. So, all told, my only complaint is that I wanted more. I enjoyed both romances like appetizers that I wished had been main courses.

I will continue to be a faithful reader of this series and any others by Ms. James because I always get a solid little storyline, sexy characters, a positive tone and a great setting. How the characters make a living is always elemental to James' stories including land issues, business ventures, etc. That might sound like, "duh", its elemental to every living creature, but in romance, we often don't get that and I love that I get it here. And, uh, and the hot sex is always a bonus. It was all here, but in petite sizes.

There are elements in the Rough Rider series that I loved/adored/broke out in song about and haven’t found some of those in the Blacktop Cowboys yet, but I keep chasing the high” like the addict I am (and enjoying the ride).
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Reading Progress

16.0% "This is an auto-buy for me! So hooked on this family that I squee like a fangirl when it pops into my kindle. Guilty, guilty pleasure."
31.0% "*pet peeve alert* In the last 4 of 6 books I've read, there's a common device used: the heroine "accidentally" says her thoughts aloud thereby falsely moving the romance/plot fwd. One book had her doing it so much I thought she needed mental health treatment for it. Here its being used again and both heroine's suffer from the ailment. Does this happen to you much in real life(?) b/c it never happens to me."

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Nikki (new) - added it

Nikki I've had this book since it came out but the dual storyline has put me off reading it straightaway. This series has been hit and miss for me.

I didn't want to read Corralled for the menage theme with the heroine playing the two guys off each other. But I ADORED Saddled and Spurred - I actually think it rivalled Cowgirl Up and Ride as my favourite LJ. And now this one... my sister said she didn't particularly like it either, so that's also put me off.

I'll get to it one day. Good review, though!

Searock Thanks Nikki, Corralled is also the only one I haven't read for the same reason. Didn't loved the menage action in a couple of her prior books, so thought I'd skip it. I'll be interested to see what you think of this one if/when you get around to it.

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