Sunday, March 24, 2013

Review: Trail of Hearts by Kate Richards

Trail of Hearts (1 Night Stand Series #40)
By Kate Richards
October 2, 2011
36 pgs, 12K words
Decadent Publishing Company

The promise of an exciting date with the blonde, blue-eyed woman of her dreams has lured Charlotte to sign up with Madame Evangeline’s 1Night Stand at the urging of her friend Julia—a 1Night Stand success story. Expecting a night at a luxurious Castillo resort, Charlotte is aghast when her limo turns in at the Castillo Wagon Wheel…a dude ranch! This is one city woman who is not interested in dusty bunkhouses full of cowboys….

Birdie has landed a job at the Wagon Wheel because it’s the only place she, a cowhand who happens to be a girl, could find work in these hard times. In a moment of loneliness, she fills out the application online for 1Night Stand. The woman who arrives, gorgeous mocha-skinned beauty though she may be, looks too sophisticated to enjoy an evening like Birdie has planned. But it’s too late to change, there’s no going back and she only hopes the sweeping Sierra meadows will help her seduce the woman who catches her heart at first glance.

This story is about a short erotic interlude between two women who maybe want more. It’s part of a “One Night Stand” series from the publisher. I liked some of this book, but felt that the author tried to pack too much into its very short 36 pages. This didn’t quite work for me as: 1. much of it was unrealistic and 2. each part the story was short-changed and not fully developed due to this. Would have been better for me if the author just focused on one aspect and really developed that.

Both women sign up for a one night blind date through an agency. I thought this was an interesting setup with good possibilities. Both women come from very different backgrounds and have little time or chances to meet other women to date. Although both paid a lot of money for this one night only set up, both internally wonder if the person they’ve been set up with could be someone more.

In the beginning the women find each other very appealing. But right away one wonders if she sees a spark of jealousy in the other over an interaction with the bartender. This is where things started going off for me. Who would be jealous of someone they paid to have a blind date with and just met? That seemed weird to me.

I was then a bit surprised that Birdie, a cowboy, makes Charlotte, a city bank executive, get on a horse and ride for miles to catch up with a wagon trail full of tourists instead of them having a quiet, elegant date in the nice restaurant at the resort, just the two of them. Even though both women paid a lot for this date, it seemed to be Birdie deciding how the date will go and what they will do. This in and of itself was OK but Birdie got snippy about Charlotte not being as proficient on a horse as she was. Charlotte rises to the occasion like a sudden pro even though she’s never really ridden a horse before, but they both acted a bit put out with each other over perceived slights in the process. Something felt off about that as well because that kind of reaction seems more credible in people who have some kind of established relationship already.  

They spend the night having great sex. Fine and good because this is supposed to be, as far as I know, a short erotic story. But by morning…spoiler:  
Charlotte is talking about buying land for Birdie to have her cattle ranch and them setting up house together and living happily ever after.

If it had been written as just an arranged one night of hot, no holds barred sex/date with no expectations, I would have loved this story. Although I can see for many having them go from zero to --see spoiler-- would be liked by some, for me it tried too hard to be something more than it should have been. Would have gone better for me if the author either extended the story to build up romance or just focused on the erotic sex for the night with a “I enjoyed that, let’s get together again.”

Heat level: 3-4- I would have expected more sex in a short erotic story but it was sensually written. Nothing too graphic though.

Grade: It was OK- absolutely not worth $3.99 though. 

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