Thursday, March 31, 2016

Aloha to Heidi Hormel and THE ACCIDENTAL COWBOY - Book Review


When former bronc rider Lavonda Leigh is asked to guide a Scottish archaeologist through the Arizona desert, she's expecting a fussy egghead. But then she discovers tall, strong Jones Kincaid competing at the local Highland games. She can't help her interest in him--and that's before he puts on his cowboy hat and hits the trail like a pro.

Jones is after more than he's letting on. His quest could clear a past scandal and let him live his dream—studying the old West. But as he spends time with Lavonda in this rugged landscape, he realizes that what he wants isn't just academic--he yearns for a life with her on the ranch. If she discovers his deception, this professor-turned-cowboy will lose his reputation...and Lavonda, too.

Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys - Waylon Jennings

Lavonda Leigh's mama let her grow up to be a cowgirl in the rodeo circuit.  It was the family business after all.  Yet Lavonda escaped to big business as a communications expert only to find herself downsized.  She returned home to Angel Crossing, Arizona, to rethink her career path.  Lavonda becomes a caretaker of an abandoned ranch bequeathed to the local university.  She finds solace with the resident goat, donkey, and cat.  When the university asks Lavonda to guide a Scottish archaeologist through the desert to study beans, she is taken back when the scientist is not quite what he seems.

Dr. "Jones" Kincaid is trying to escape the damning effects of a failed project (think Geraldo Rivero opening an empty tomb of Al Capone).  He uses the bean study to give him access to Arizona desert where his American ancestor may have stashed ancient treasure. As much as he is desperate to revive his reputation, he soon realizes he needs something more - Lavonda.

Hormel delivers a heartwarming romance between two "wandering" souls who have more in common than first look. Both Lavonda and Jones linger in their respect families' shadows until they meet each other.  The time spent on the ranch and in the desert give Lavonda and Jones the opportunity to see beyond their families' expectations to find a "treasure" of a lifetime - love.

I enjoyed Hormel's vivid descriptions of the Arizona desert - its beauty, mysteries, and dangers. I also appreciated how Hormel introduced me to a cowgirl's life in a rodeo and a Scot's love of his culture, even on horseback in the desert.  I'm off to find Hobnobs (link) in the commissary!

THE ACCIDENTAL COWBOY is available Tuesday, April 5, just in time for National Tartan Day on Wednesday, April 6 (link).   

I am giving away Scottish swag to one randomly selected commenter. To enter the giveaway,

1. Leave a comment about Arizona - what do you know about the home of Angel Crossing?

2. Comments are open through Saturday, April 2, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I'll post the winner on Sunday, April 3.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City 

Learn more about Heidi and her books at



  1. Hmmm, I think I've been through Arizona but never stayed there for any amount of time. :) I always hear it is hot! LOL

  2. It's hot and a lot of my friends now live in Arizona!

  3. It's extremely hot there. I have a friend, and niece that live there.

  4. I've been to Arizona once. When I was a kid we took a summer and visited The Grand Canyon and The Crystal Cave in Arizona. Then we went other places but I had a lot of fun in Arizona.

  5. I visited Arizona years ago to see the Grand Canyon & Lake Powell - I'd love to get back there and see more of the state.

  6. My father-in-law lived there and we got to make a couple of visits - I loved the dry heat.

  7. I know that you will find The Grand Canyon in Arizona.

  8. I know that you will find The Grand Canyon in Arizona.

  9. I don't know much about it...

  10. My father has a house in Phoenix and I have been there a few times. I also visited Yuma and loved it.

  11. Loving the Arizona comments but let me say that it's not always hot! In fact, in the winter, many places get snowed in! I was impressed as a teen visiting my aunt and uncle in Tucson that there was a ski resort (Mt. Lemmon) about an hour away! (Here's a pic that tells it all: There was also a Christmas in Phoenix when we had snow!!!

  12. Not much except for the fact they got my beloved Dodger pitcher, Zach Greinke. GRRRR. Stupid management did not do their best to nail him down. Now they have to go against him.

  13. Nothing except it is very dry and hot and has snakes.
    Karen T.