Author: Joan Kilby

Guest Review: Win Me by Joan Kilby

Posted November 3, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Win Me by Joan KilbyReviewer: Tracy
Win Me by Joan Kilby
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 20, 2015
Format: eARC
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three-stars

 

 

Three unlucky-in-love girlfriends make a road trip to the Outback Bachelor & Spinster Ball, a highlight of rural Australia life. One’s looking to move on, one’s thumbing her nose at romance, and one’s looking to slip away and hide. None of them are looking for love…

Three women are about to meet their match in a cowboy, a soldier and a country rock star. One magical night. One less than magical morning after. Forty-eight hours can change your life.

 

She’ll do anything to get him to see her as a woman…

Feisty, fearless Ellie McFarlane has tried forever to get cattle station manager, Rick Drummond, to notice she’s not another cowhand. So when her gal pals talk her into glamming up for an Outback Bachelor and Spinster ball she’s eager to prove she’s all woman, all the time, and leave her boneheaded cowboy eating dust.

Sexy wrangler Rick is crazy about Ellie just as she is but her father – his boss – told him long ago that his daughter was off limits. Even though she’s all grown up now, Rick still feels it’s his job is to protect her, not seduce her. Plus, he’s finally got an opportunity to buy back his family farm, which means moving far away.

Ellie’s transformation from Cinder-Ellie to belle of the ball has Rick’s jaw dropping – and all the other cowboys falling at her feet. Ellie tries to revel in her new-found sex-pot status but without Rick it’s a hollow victory. Has Rick left it too late to claim the only woman he’ll ever truly love…?

Ellie met Rick when she was just fourteen years old when he came to her father’s cattle station to become the manager. She had a crush on Rick then but as she grew up her feelings turned to love. Unfortunately Ellie can’t seem to get Rick to see her as a woman now. She’s quit her job in Wyoming and has moved back home. She plans on attending the Outback Bachelor & Spinster Ball with her friends Jen and Beth to find her a man who sees her for the grown up she’s become.

Rick sees Ellie as a woman but her father asked him years ago to keep his hands off her and he complied. He loves his job and sees Ellie’s family as his own to a point. He would never jeopardize that connection or his job. When he finds out that Ellie is attending the OBSB he finds himself jealous and decides to attend as well.

This story unfortunately was my least favorite of the series. Though the friends to lovers theme is always a favorite of mine it just didn’t work for me here. In this book Ellie was the cause of most of my issues with the book. I found her to be whiney and wishy-washy and pretty immature. I wasn’t sure that she was ready to settle down and that didn’t improve throughout the book. She was wonderful with her friends. When they Skyped or got together they made me laugh and I loved the close bond that they all shared. They were all very supportive of each other and that showed me true friendship.

Rick honestly had the hots for Ellie. He wanted nothing more than to be with her but he knew that they were after different things in life. He was considering buying his father’s old farm (that is now deserted) and that would leave Ellie behind. He thinks this might be the answer to his issues as to whether he should go for it or not with Ellie. Of course when he sleeps with her at the ball that’s it for him. Unfortunately Ellie’s still unsure of his feelings and their complete lack of communication was a bit off-putting.

Overall a cute premise and a cute story but the characters weren’t my favorite.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Review: Woo Me by Karina Bliss

Posted October 20, 2015 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Woo Me by Karina BlissReviewer: Holly
Woo Me by Joan Kilby, Karina Bliss, Sarah Mayberry
Series: The Outback Bachelor Ball #2
Also in this series: Win Me, Wait for Me, Win Me, Woo Me, Wait for Me
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: 10/20/15
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Can true love overcome a bad hide day and a series of unfortunate events?

Disillusioned in love, Jen Tremaine is done with men. So when her best friends dare her to wear a cow costume to their reunion at an Outback Bachelor and Spinster Ball, she's all over it. Who would have thought dressing as a heifer would make her irresistible to a bunch of lasso-twirling, drunken cowboys?
Maybe you should have thought this through, says the sexy security guard who keeps finding her at the center of trouble. Even though Jen's always dismissed soul mates as a load of bull, the sizzle between them is making her wonder: What if you met The One while wandering lonely as a cow? Would you find the courage to become a believer?
When ex-Special Forces soldier Logan Turner is roped into helping out with security at the B&S ball, he isn't expecting to find love - but after months in all-male company he sure is hoping for lust. He certainly isn't expecting to fall for a feisty, funny, trouble-making Cowderella. Only problem is, she's leaving Australia tomorrow. Convincing Jen they can still have a future together may wind up being the toughest mission of his life.

Woo Me is Book 2 in The Outback Bachelor Ball Series. Don't miss out on Book 1 - Win Me by Joan Kilby and Book 3 – Wait For Me by Sarah Mayberry.

Jen thought she had a good thing with her long-time boyfriend, until he suddenly announced his desire to get back with his ex-wife. Hurt and confused, Jen decides what she needs is a change of pace and takes a job with a former company that starts right away. But first she plans to meet up with her best friends at The Outback Bachelor Ball. In protest of bad relationships and philandering men, she decides to wear a cow costume. She expects to suffer through a torturous night then move on with her new life. What she never could have predicted was that she’d meet a sexy soldier who sees past her cow costume to the woman beneath – and makes her want things she swore off for good.

Logan just resigned his commission in the military and got suckered into working security at the Ball by his sister. He keeps having to rescue “Cowderella” from strange situations. Her sense of humor and dry wit intrigue him, and it isn’t long before he’s trying to get to know her better. They end up spending the night together, but she’s upfront that she isn’t interested in anything long-term. She’s been burned one time too many. He thinks they’re worth fighting for and he urges her to consider getting to know him better. Due to a misunderstanding, he misses it when she shows up at their designated meeting place, which just proves to her, once again, that love isn’t worth the risk.

To be perfectly honest, I expected Bliss to write the book featuring the country music star. I was surprised to see Bliss author this novel instead. She did really well with it, though. I really enjoyed Jen’s character. She was tough and a bit cynical, but also had a good heart and a lot of moxie. I cracked up while she was in the cow suit. She was quick witted and sharp. I liked her a lot. Her issues with love and her desire to protect herself made perfect sense. I was glad to see Logan push to break down her barriers.

Logan wasn’t as well fleshed out as Jen was, but I still really enjoyed him. He was strong and steady, and just what Jen needed. His determination to do the right thing and his strong values really came through. I liked that he was willing to take a chance on Jen and push for a future.

I was very satisfied with the ending, both in terms of their relationship and in the way it advanced the next story. This series is really working for me.

4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Win Me by Joan Kilby

Posted October 19, 2015 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Win Me by Joan KilbyWin Me by Joan Kilby
Series: The Outback Bachelor Ball #1
Also in this series: Woo Me, Wait for Me, Win Me, Woo Me, Wait for Me
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: 10/20/15
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

She’ll do anything to get him to see her as a woman...

Feisty, fearless Ellie McFarlane has tried forever to get cattle station manager, Rick Drummond, to notice she’s not another cowhand. So when her gal pals talk her into glamming up for an Outback Bachelor and Spinster ball she’s eager to prove she’s all woman, all the time, and leave her boneheaded cowboy eating dust.

Sexy wrangler Rick is crazy about Ellie just as she is but her father – his boss – told him long ago that his daughter was off limits. Even though she’s all grown up now, Rick still feels it’s his job is to protect her, not seduce her. Plus, he’s finally got an opportunity to buy back his family farm, which means moving far away.

Ellie’s transformation from Cinder-Ellie to belle of the ball has Rick’s jaw dropping – and all the other cowboys falling at her feet. Ellie tries to revel in her new-found sex-pot status but without Rick it’s a hollow victory. Has Rick left it too late to claim the only woman he’ll ever truly love....

 

The Outback Bachelor Ball trilogy follows three best friends who went to boarding school together. All three have been unlucky in love and decide to meet up at this years Outback Bachelor Ball in New Zealand, which is essentially a huge get together for the single ranchers of the area.

A cow, a cowgirl and a divorcee walk into a bar…

Three unlucky-in-love girlfriends make a road trip to the Outback Bachelor & Spinster Ball, a highlight of rural Australian life. One’s looking to move on, one’s thumbing her nose at romance, and one’s looking to slip away and hide. None of them are looking for love…

Three women are about to meet their match in a cowboy, a soldier and a country rock star. One magical night. One less than magical morning after.

Forty-eight hours can change your life

Book one features Ellie McFarlane, the daughter of a rancher who grew up to become a ranch foreman herself. She’s always been a tomboy and “one of the guys” and the one man she wants above all has never noticed her the way she wants him to. She’s been pining for Rick Drummond, her father’s right-hand man, since she was a teenager. She made one awkward pass at him when she was 18, which he rebuffed. Since then she’s spent six years away from home, working and pining for him. The three friends make a vow not to let their current circumstances control their lives: Ellie will let her friends give  her a complete makeover; Jen will wear a cow costume in protest of love; Beth will dance with every non-creep who asks.

For Ellie this trip to the Ball is a chance for her to finally get him out of her system. She doesn’t expect to see Rick there, however, or have him start acting like he wants to explore things with her. Confused and frustrated she confronts Rick, but he’s just as confused and frustrated. Eventually they end up in bed together and Rick thinks they’re on the same page…until Ellie disappears in the morning. He realizes they haven’t resolved anything after all.

I struggled a bit with Ellie’s seeming lack of maturity when it came to Rick. She was a worldly woman who had traveled extensively and advanced well in her career. Yet she chooses to quit her job just as she lands the position she wants. Then, rather than communicating to her crush – a man she’s close with and has known her whole life – her feelings, she sets out to make him jealous and then blows hot and cold. When he hurts her, she doesn’t explain that or call him on it, just runs away and internalizes all her feelings.

What saved her for me was the way she was away from Rick. She was who she was and, aside from a few moments of self-consciousness about her lack of style, that was that.

For Rick’s part, he was such a bonehead sometimes. His saving grace was that he was quick to realize when he stuck his foot in his mouth and correct the mistake. Which was good, since there was no way Ellie was telling him what was going on in her head.

I absolutely loved the relationship between the women. They were friends in the truest sense of the word. I also enjoyed the romance. Despite my frustrations with their lack of communication,  I was pulling for them as a couple. They were friends first and foremost, which came across well.

This was a great start to the trilogy. I loved the premise and the romance. I can’t wait to find out what happens with the other two women.

3.5 out of 5

 

three-half-stars


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