As you may have noticed, I’ve been MIA for a couple of days. No blogging, no tweeting, no facebooking and no writing. I have been captivated by Mary J. Dressel’s new book Howdy, Ma’am so much that last night I stayed up till 1am to finish it.
Mary’s enchanting novel is best enjoyed with a glass of Chianti and Chris Young playing in the background: it’s a beautifully crafted story of Velia, a classy, sassy Italian woman, an experienced travel photographer, and Caulder, an irresistible, hunky and very famous bull-rider. She is irresistible, independent, she knows what she wants, she’s feminine, elegant, and she is comfortable being a woman and letting it show. She has the right dose of self-confidence combined with vulnerability. He is a real man’s man. Wild and tough, yet a real class act, worldly, educated, charming and smart. He’s generous, caring and stubbornly protective. Yes, women want him and men want be him, that kind of guy.
As I was reading the pages of Mary’s book, a colorful movie was running through my head. Mary is a terrific writer and she’s great with words. Her descriptions are vivid and enticing. I loved her thorough knowledge of both environments – the Italian culture and the bull-riding scene. In the book, she makes both of them blend so naturally and effortlessly that you’d think she’s an Italian cowgirl from Arizona.
One of the many things I greatly appreciate about this book is the fact that this is not a typical romance novel. The romance novel essentials, love and passion, go much deeper than you would expect, and are masterfully supported by raw, human experiences and emotions: fear, pain, doubts, abuse, old wounds, loss and grief. These elements, again perfectly balanced, make the whole story feel very real, yet do not overshadow the fun, entertaining core.
Another detail I greatly enjoy about Mary’s book is that it’s completely free of clichés. No black-and-white characters, no stereotypes, no predictable story twists. It’s fresh, it’s lively, it’s genuine. The setting is deliciously luxurious and luscious, making it clear that life’s simply more enjoyable when you have money, and wealth is a natural state of being that lets you surround yourself with beauty and live life to the fullest. Both Velia and Caulder are accomplished and rich, generous and giving, and they embrace their success with pride, ease, joy and sincerity, just the way it should be.
Howdy, ma’am is the first book in Mary’s Bull Rider series, and I can’t wait for book two to see what happens with Velia and Caulder. I would recommend this book to every woman who wants to relax with an outstanding romance story that introduces you to new worlds, cultures and lifestyles. A beautifully written book with a masterfully crafted plot.
♥ Visit author’s blog at: http://mjdresselbooks.wordpress.com/