Sandy M's Reviews > Unbridled

Unbridled by Beth Williamson
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's review
Jul 21, 2011

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bookshelves: contemporary, erotic, western

I’ve been on a little bit of a western kick lately, so I was looking forward to this book when I heard about it. Unfortunately, I have a huge issue with the heroine, one that just never let me warm up to her until it was much too late. But this book cover did sate my cowboy/western fixation for a while.

Alex has just lost her husband, David, a gay man twice her age who has looked after her for the last ten years. He has sheltered her since she left home at age 16 when her mother died and her father abandoned her. Now it’s time for Alex to faces her past so she can move on with her life. She’s Wyoming bound to confront whatever comes head on, her father being first on the list.

Only problem is, when she gets there, Alex has such an attitude, is rude most of the time, that I wanted to shake her, slap her, whatever to get her to fly right. She’s just too whiny. Her father has passed away, so she can’t have the knock-down drag-out she wants. But everyone should still make way for her because she’s the one who’s been wronged and she’s going to take her time getting over it in her own way.

She’s never gotten over the fact her father left her and her mother when they needed him most. Her home — the one that she left — is now a guest ranch and that sticks in her craw. Her half brother, Daniel, is the son her father always wanted, so she doesn’t want anything to do with the boy. Her stepmother was with her father the day he returned to the ranch, which just happened to be the day of her mother’s funeral, so that woman is on her list too. She bullies her way into working in the business because she doesn’t trust the word of anyone around her and she does want to contribute, even though she hates the idea of the ranch. Alex has an excuse for every one of her attitudes she tosses out to people. She never lets up.

She’s an intelligent woman, but we don’t see that intelligence at certain important points throughout the story, especially when it comes to the smarmy enemy who will try to get Finley Ranch any way he can, and he does some pretty sneaky and outrageous things, but Alex excuses him at every turn until it’s nearly too late. Her smarts don’t pop up when she needs them.

But enough of Alex.

It’s Connor who saves this book. He’s part owner in the Finley Ranch, having been taken in by Alex’s father when he was on a very destructive path in his younger days. He lives and breathes the ranch and is nervous about what Alex is going to do with the new-found knowledge she also owns a portion of it, as does Daniel. Connor will buy her out before he’ll let her sell to their bastard neighbor.

Of course, his attraction to and lust for her is a complication he doesn’t need, but neither of them can fight it and they give in to it nearly every chance they get. The sex is hot, hot, hot. On a desk, in a chair, when people are standing only feet from them, these two get it on and burn up the pages. They’re both adventurous enough to keep the lust alive between, even despite their opposition on nearly every other front.

While Connor does have his own moment or two when I wanted to smack him as well, that didn’t last long because I know it’s Alex who’s pushing his buttons. All in all, he’s a likable hero, he handles Alex fairly well when she’s not in a snit, and puts her in her place when she is.

I wish Alex did work for me. But where others will think she’s strong and outspoken, she’s just brazen and rude in my eyes. By the time she opens her eyes to really see and embrace those around her, along with the way of life at the ranch, she’s just beaten the life out of her character for me.

I did enjoy Ms. Williamson’s writing, with the exception of some dialogue in a few places that sound stilted and awkward, but, again, I attribute that to Alex and her attitude. What Alex won’t do is keep me from reading another Williamson book. I refuse to give her that power.

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