“I warned her once—I don’t give warnings twice—that if she ever came back when she was grown up, she’d be mine. She flipped me off and told me I wasn’t the boss of her. She was playing with fire and she knew it, but she also thought she was safe. Off-limits. Taboo. She hadn’t figured out that the only rules I played by were my own.” ~ Angel Mendoza
When I come home to Lonesome, California, I’m expecting to inherit a house and a fresh start on my crappy life—not a hard-eyed cowboy. Angel Mendoza is more devil than saint. He’s also my former stepbrother, richer than God, and a sexy asshole to boot. I have no business wanting to get close to him. He’s got a few plans of his own, too—like getting into my bed and my body. Heart optional.
Angel’s need for total control in bed shocks and thrills me, but giving in and letting go isn’t easy. Despite everything he owns—the land, the vast wealth, the loyal cowboys who run his cattle—Angel is tormented by demons. He’ll give me his body, but never his secrets… or his heart.
Worldbuilding: This story takes place in Lonesome, California, in and around the Blackhawk ranch which is owned my Angel Mendoza.
Characters: The main characters in this novel are Rose Jordan and Angel Mendoza. Rose has had a pretty much awful upbringing until she was sixteen and was introduced to the Mendoza family. Ever since then Angel has always starred in her dreams even though he never gave her the time of day. But now she’s all grown up and Angel will do everything he can to make her his. Can he convince her to stay and be his or will their combined tragic pasts and his lies force them apart forever?
Plot: The arcs are very simple and short. The first arc is the romance between Rose and Angel. The second arc is about how Angel is going to keep his ranch from going barren.
Writing: This story was told in first person points of view of both Rose and Angel. There was so many inner monologues between the main characters that it really made the story drag on. Also the constant repetitiveness of certain thoughts turned a relatively short story into a novel that just went on and on with barely any plot movement.
Curb Appeal: I really liked the cover of this story! And the blurb totally had me hooked right out of the gate.
Ultimately: The writing style wasn’t my cup of tea but I know that there were other readers that could look past it and really enjoy the story! The chemistry between the main characters and the mystery that Angel’s brothers held as well as Rose’s best friend Rory were definitely the best parts of the story. All in all, if you are in the mood for a stubborn cowboy who always gets what he wants and a heroine that is afraid to think with her heart then come check out Stripped Down!
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