Rugged Texas Cowboy

Cowboys & Captives Books #1-2

By Lora Leigh

ISBN#  9781250150875

Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi

Let me start off my saying I thought this was a new series by Leigh so I jumped at the chance to read it!  But, apparently it’s just a re-release of a couple of stories she had previously published by Ellora’s Cave, only this time combining the stories and publishing them in mass market for the first time.  I had never read these stories before so they were new to me, but were some of her more steamy sex books that had some less intense storylines.

Cowboy and the Captive

Melina Angeles has always been the disposable twin in her parents’ eyes.  Even when they were babies, they’d jump to take care of Maria and pay no mind to Melina.  It was her brother, Joey, that took it upon himself to take care of her.

Maria lives a wild life of sex and drugs and when she tricks two men to fly her and her ‘supplies’ to the United States, she almost gets them killed in the process.  Luc Jardin was determined to make sure Maria spent time in jail for what she did to him and his friend.    Little did he know that Maria had a twin and that her parents had convinced her to go to court in Maria’s place.  She was assured there would be no jail time, but she ended up spending a week in jail, her parents unreachable.  While in jail she was beaten and nearly raped before her brother came and rushed her to the hospital.

Two years later Maria is in trouble again and their parents want Melina to take her punishment once again.  She refuses so her parents disown her.  Joey knows it’s only a matter of time before his parents get their way so he has a plan to keep Melina safe.  He plots with Luc to have him kidnap ‘Maria’ and delve out his own kind of punishment working hard on his horse ranch.  But of course it’s actually Melina he kidnaps and he doesn’t believe her when she says she has a twin and that he has the wrong one.

However, it’s only a matter of time before trouble comes busting through Luc’s door and could take his newfound love with it!

I had a hard time getting into this book in the beginning.  The storyline was just too cheesy and unbelievable; not at all what I’ve come to expect from Lora Leigh.  This whole kidnapping scheme was just so far out there… and Luc honestly thinking he could get away with it because her brother had sanctioned it was kind of laughable.  And, his hard-working punishment wasn’t at all what I was expecting… there was no working out in the barns or any of that!  Just cleaning and cooking and lots of sex, once he convinces her to give in to her desires.

The sex scenes are what you’d expect from Leigh … detailed and steamy.

Then the climatic ending comes and it’s over as soon as it begins.  It felt a bit rushed to me, like she was racing to get the book over with!  But obviously since this book was one of her Ellora’s Cove titles originally that was a totally different market of readers and this is more in line with that imprint then some of her other more recent books have been.  Sex, sex, and more sex with a little bit of an outlandish storyline.  I think you just have to go into this one not expecting much from the actual plot and enjoy the steam.

Cowboy and the Thief

Ireland is a land full of magic and legends.  Angel Manning’s family has been blessed with what some might consider to be magic.  There is a golden torque that has been passed through their family, from mother to daughter, dating back to ancient times.   The torque assures they find the one man that is meant for them and as long as the couple possesses the torque the marriage will be a strong and loving union.

Unfortunately, Angel’s mother died before she could pass the torque down and help her find the man that is meant to be hers.  Now it’s her father’s job to do what her mother couldn’t.

Joe (Angel’s Dad) thinks he has found Angel’s future husband and brings him to their castle, but Angel fights her attraction to Jack.  Joe sees no other option, but to sell Jack the torque, knowing his daughter will fight to keep it.

Angel follows Jack back to his American home in an attempt to steal back the torque only to unlock an intense passion between the two that neither saw coming.

I actually enjoyed this story.  It was much better than Cowboy and the Captive, and I thought the storyline made much more sense also.  This story is much shorter though and there are no threats outside of the romance to contend with.  Therefore, the story is more about the sex and emotions between Jack and Angel and there is little to comment about outside of their relationship.

I enjoyed Jack.  He brings the cocky confidence you expect from leading males in this genre and he had enough of a kinky edge to make him interesting, but not too overbearing.  It was nice to see the charming playboy finally meet his match!

Overall thoughts from both stories:

When I saw there were two stories in this book and read the synopsis of the first book, I thought the twins is what tied these stories together, that each book would feature one of them.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  Neither of the twins was in Cowboy and the Thief, but business partners and friends Luc Jardin and Jack Riley is what connects the two stories.  It was kind of nice to have that connection.

Overall I really enjoyed this book, although I would have been happy to have skipped the first tale, Cowboy and the Captive, but you never know until you read it.  And, there were definitely some worthwhile steam in that book!  This was a nice glimpse at some of Leigh’s earlier writing and I look forward to seeing what she has to offer in the future.

And because Angela mentioned the phrase a few times in her story and this song *is* a perfect one to go with this book, here is Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy by Big & Rich.

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*