Wednesday, October 21, 2015

ARC REVIEW: Win Me (The Outback Bachelor Ball #1) by Joan Kilby

Title: Win Me
Series: The Outback Bachelor Ball #1
Author: Joan Kilby
Publisher: Joan Kilby
Published: October 20th 2015
Format: eARC | Pages: 143
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Author
★★★ (3/5) Stars!

Joan Kilby | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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....

I received a copy of this book, from the author, in exchange for an honest review. In no way did this sway either my review or my rating.

Joan Kilby was nice enough to send me eARCs of all 3 books in this series. The blurb sounded interesting and fun for Win Me and the only other book I read by her, while I didn't love it, I liked it well enough to be curious about trying another one of her other books and felt like this was the perfect opportunity to give that a go. I find myself in the same position that I was with the previous book. I didn't love it, but I most definitely didn't hate it. It was fun and kinda quirky but I had a really hard time connecting with the characters.

The concept behind the Outback Bachelor and Spinster Ball, which is a real thing by the way I looked it up, was so interesting and cool. I liked the idea behind why it started way back when, how it was an event for people who lived out in the country to get together and meet potential partners. You camp out, there's alcohol, live bands, dancing. Sounds like a lot of fun for young people and it was a fun setting full of possibilities for romantic antics.

Like I said in the beginning, I had a hard time connecting with the characters. Actually individually both Ellie and Rick were good solid characters and I thought I was going to like them a lot more than I did. However, most of the time, when they were together, I just wasn't feeling either of them and they became less likable. Ellie became a bit childish in a way, in that I felt like she was purposely trying to make Rick jealous. Plus once she was all "glammed up" and in the slinky dress she was wearing to the ball and not just a tank top and cutoffs like normal, she got kind of conceited. She'd talk to Rick and it'd be like "I'm so hot tonight and I'm gonna take advantage." I didn't like the Ellie that was trying to appear more bold and confident. Because on the inside she really wasn't 100% feeling it. I liked the sweet, down to earth Ellie way better.

Rick wasn't that bad either and I definitely liked him more than I did Ellie throughout the book. I feel like the issue I had with him was the fact that he was just so bad with the whole communication thing. He would be thinking one thing but when he would talk to Ellie, what came out of his mouth was a whole other story and then I felt like he'd be confused as to why she's all bent out of shape over their conversation. Totally clueless. But with that aside I loved how much he cared about Ellie and her dad and how protective he was over her even at the expense of suppressing his own feelings. Or how passionate he was about the farm and the work he did. He had a lot of admirable qualities.

One thing I didn't waver on, believe it or not with everything I've said so far, was the fact that I really did want Ellie and Rick to work things out and end up together. When they were good and not misunderstanding or trying to show the other one up, they were just so sweet and playful and absolutely adorable. Oh and steamy like you wouldn't believe. I mean there was one brief scene towards the beginning of the book where there was no kissing involved or anything like that, it only involved the grabbing of a shirt and it was probably almost as hot, if not even more heated than when there was actual physical contact. Lots of yummy sexual tension that's for sure.

So, true, it wasn't perfect but I really did have fun reading the first book in this series. I liked both of Ellie's friends and I'm so curious as to find out what exactly happened when they both disappeared on the night of the ball. Interesting start to the series!

Thanks to Joan Kilby for the opportunity to read and review this book!

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