T. J. Kline
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Sydney Thomas may be the newest Rodeo Queen on the circuit, but she's more than just a pretty face and fabulous horseback rider. If only her new boss could see it! But the frustrating, bossy, drop-dead gorgeous man seems bent on pushing her away every chance he gets.
Scott Chandler learned at an early age that he needed to "cowboy up" and take care of his family. The one time he let his guard down, his heart got trampled, and he's not about to let that happen again. He knows Sydney's type: rodeo queens who hide their manipulative ways behind good looks, tight jeans, and glittery tiaras.
But just as Scott and Sydney are finally realizing there might be more to their fiery relationship than scorching kisses and passionate nights, secrets from their pasts come back to haunt them. Will the cowboy and the Rodeo Queen ever be able to ride off into the sunset together?
Everything a country romance should be
Scott knows better than to trust a rodeo queen. They're trouble in tiaras, interested in the attention and the prestige and all too willing to trample the hearts of the men who fall for their charms. But Sydney is more than the crown she's wearing, and when the two are stuck working together, they soon realize that rodeos and riding aren't all they're interested in.
The Verdict: Cowboys and romance are pretty much the perfect combination for me, and after reading Learning the Ropes, I was happy to get my hands on the first book in the series.
Sydney is strong and confident, and while she have won the tiara, she's a talented horse trainer in her own right. But Scott can't see past the sash and rodeo royalty, and their first meeting is less than stellar, when he nearly runs her down with his horse. Their tension filled first meet, though, is soon followed with the knowledge they're going to have to work together, and for all his prejudices, Scott can't help but begin to see past the title Sydney holds.
For her part, Sydney can't figure out what she's done to ruffle Scott's feathers, but once he puts aside his judgement and begins to treat her like the hard worker she is, their romance begins to take off. His past baggage comes back to haunt them both, though, in the form of the former rodeo queen who broke his heart.
Scott's ex is truly awful, and she teams up with Satan himself to ruin Scott's relationship with Sydney and get what she wants. Scott's too good-hearted to completely turn his back on her, but he knows better than to trust her. Still, that doesn't stop the tension and angst from ratcheting up a notch. Scott's pride got in the way of his intelligence more than once, but he did rise to the occasion and become Sydney's knight in shining armor when it mattered.
Rodeo Queen has everything a country romance should have, from plenty of horses and trailers to sizzling chemistry and more. The authentic look at ranch and rodeo life is reason enough to read the series, but the added drama and even a bit of mystery for a while there adds a great new dimension. Of course the story has a happy ending, but getting to it is more than half the fun.