by Alexa Riley
Series: Cowboys & Virgins #2
Published by the Author (Self-Published) on September 25, 2016
Sub-Genre/Theme: Contemporary, Cowboys
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Blake Jennings has always wanted what his parents had: a sweet, simple love that lasts a lifetime. And when he meets Luciana, he knows she’s the one.
Luciana Salazar comes from a tight-knit family that pushes her to follow her dreams. When she takes a job on the Braided Rope Ranch, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with its owner, the dark-haired man she’s seen watching her in town.
Roping the Virgin is over-the-top sweet, with a heaping scoop of sexy steam. Blake sweeps his Luciana off her feet and gives her the life she’s always dreamed of.
Warning: Ridiculous is almost close enough to describe this irresistible short story. Come back to the Jennings farm and pull up a rocking chair. You’ll like the way they treat you.
The book blurb itself describes Roping the Virgin as ridiculous and I’d say that’s fairly accurate. With every Alexa Riley book that I read, I find myself echoing the same sentiments: the book is over-the-top and not believable, but enjoyable nonetheless as long as you know ahead of time what to expect.
Roping the Virgin is book #2 in the Cowboys and Virgins series, but it can easily be read as a standalone. I didn’t read book #1 because the pregnant virgin plot was too nonsensical, even for me.
Blake Jennings is a cowboy who comes from a tight-knit family. He has always been a carefree guy, but lately he wants more from life. His brother has settled down with a woman he loves and Blake finds himself wanting something similar. And he has just the woman in mind.
Luciana Salazar has a similar family background. Although her mother is no longer living, Luciana is very close to her father and sister. Luciana dreams of becoming a veterinarian, but her current job assisting an established vet involves a long commute and time away from her family.
The perfect opportunity presents itself when Blake’s family offers Luciana a job on the Jennings ranch, with one stipulation set by Blake: Luciana has to live on their property, specifically in his house. Luciana agrees and takes the job.
You know the drill: sparks fly crazy fast. Luciana and Blake fall in love immediately. Sexy times ensue. Marriage and babies. The end.
The things I liked: a heroine of color, as Luciana’s parents were originally from Mexico. Blake admires Luciana from afar before pursuing her more intensely, without seeming creepy or stalkerish. He becomes possessive very quickly, though, which may or may not push your buttons as a reader. But it didn’t make me rage or anything.
The things I didn’t like: no plot development–Luciana and Blake go from meeting for the first time to falling in love within a matter of days. And of course, there’s the ever-present obsession with getting married and making babies immediately. Lastly, I ran across some minor editing issues.
As a writing team, Alexa Riley is very one-note and predictable. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; if nothing else, they’re incredibly consistent. They know who their market is and they play to it well. On the other hand, I would love to see them do something entirely different and surprising. They’re either on the super sweet/cheesy or super smutty/dirty extremes of the romance spectrum.
As for Roping the Virgin, it’s pretty much on par with their sweet and cheesy standard, so if you’ve been enjoying their books thus far, you’ll continue to be pleased with this one.
Rating: 3 stars