REVIEW: Stepping Out of Line by Linda Carroll-Bradd
Two years ago Roxie Starr left behind her life as a Vegas showgirl and came home to Wayback, Texas to open a styling salon. She claims she’s there to help with her younger sister, but the truth is age was catching up to her body and the time had come to step out of the chorus line.
Fighting against a nagging injury, Dev Laredo is determined to finish one last rodeo. He won’t return to his Oklahoma ranch until he’s won enough to cover his brother’s college tuition. The sight of a sassy redhead sparks his interest, but her tender ministrations to his injury touch his lonely heart.
Can two bruised souls put aside their differences and give love a fighting chance?
Dear Ms. Carroll-Bradd,
What interested me is that both Roxie and Dev are a little older and slightly frayed at the edges with some aches and pains in their pasts. They also both have some stubborn pride and independence along with hefty doses of charm. They can be sassy as well but this is mixed with enough vulnerability to ease the bite. Both are strong characters and I enjoyed their easy flirting and the feeling of equals.
Roxie has made a new life for herself, owning her own business and Dev looks as if he is past the point of needing to think about life after rodeo-ing ends. She comes from a family of independent women – some who’ve had to be because they were let down by cowboys – so Dev’s got his work cut out for him to win Roxie and them over.
Roxie is giving off positive signals but Dev moves very fast, perhaps a bit too fast and right on the edge of cocksure. The hot sex also happens quickly before he and Roxie really talk much or get to know each other very well. As the story zips ahead a few days, things move into fast forward and before I knew it, these two were working out a future with Dev again taking charge. Luckily Roxie seems to agree with most of his suggestions but the balance of control in the relationship appeared to have decidedly shifted to Dev and it all went too quickly for me to buy into even a HFN. C