Tall, Tanned & Texan - Kimberly Raye

Ok. Am ready to leave the contemporary wild west. So our h, only girl in a houseful of boys, and with a dad who apparently couldn't be bothered to tell his boys to knock it off when they harassed her, hasn't a feminine bone in her body, mostly because it was teased and harassed out of her. She had the memory of spending a summer? Month? Something. with her grandma who got her to wear a dress. She came home and her brothers made fun of her.

 

She's almost 30 now, recently broke up with her boyfriend after catching him cheating on her (and discovering he was apparently into bondage at the same time), quit her job as a mechanic after her boss left said boyfriend in charge, and moved. She's signed up for a sex seminar and her brothers, who I got the feeling barely thought of her as a person, are having a meltdown. They send the H after her, apparently oblivious to issues between H and h.

 

The H... his parents were killed when he was a teen. His grandpa moved in, and couldn't be bothered to drag himself out of his own grief to care for his own grandkids. He got a football scholarship, having decided he wanted out. His last day before leaving, the h essentially threw herself at him. He turned her down.

 

So now, he's turned up to dissuade her from attending the camp. Causes her to miss her flight (I sort of am puzzled about that as unless it's a private charter, they always switch planes, so why was there even an opportunity to miss the flight? She wasn't off the plane that long), decides to give her a few lessons (wow. How nice), maybe a quick roll in the proverbial hay. Nothing serious mind you; just to convince her to drop this hairbrained idea.

 

While I find amusement that she did get on the plane the next day in spite of his enlightenment, I think she should have gone on. Not gone back to Texas, not moved back to her home town, not opened a garage of her...ok, yeah. She should have opened the garage. I just think at the very least, she should have let him stew a while. Why? Because up until the morning after...or was it the middle of the day after...he had no thoughts of further involvement. It wasn't until he discovered she'd left that he came to his senses.

 

So he managed a HEA. At the very least, he needed to work at it harder. The grand gesture of filling her garage with roses. Ah, ok. Where's the date? Where's a conversation? Where's...? Regardless his reasons all those years ago for rejecting her, he did, and she's had a long time (and other rejections) to screw with her head. You don't magically get over that just because the magic pen is wielded.

 

The only reason I'm not harder on this one is the interactions between them were good. She didn't let him off the hook, and he did come to the realization that she didn't trust him - without being an asshole and picking fights with her (I read one where the H did that to get reactions because the h was reluctant to give him another opportunity to hurt her). I still have a really really hard time with the idea that a guy could do that to a friend in the first place, because it indicates that either he is selfishly basking in her attentions, which isn't being a friend, or he's oblivious, which also isn't being a friend. And in this case, he knew she had a crush on him. So he variously ignored her or took advantage of her hero-worship. Then wondered many years later why she wanted nothing to do with him.