In Big Bad Cowboy, Maggie and Travis had a memorable sexy encounter in a shed during a masquerade ball where Maggie dressed up as Little Red Riding Hood and Travis was the Big Bad Wolf. After the masquerade, they continue sexting, the Big Bad Wolf ordering Little Red Riding Hood to do fun, naughty things over text. The kicker is that while Travis recognized Maggie behind the mask, Maggie has no idea who the Big Bad Wolf is, and assumes he’s a stranger.
Beyond the masks, Maggie runs the top landscape architect business in town, and resents Travis for taking away jobs from her company. Travis mostly just needs the money — his family owes a lot of back taxes on their ranch, and he also needs to support his five year old nephew. When a wealthy woman hires both of them to work together to renovate her estate, Maggie hates having to split the job, but also can’t help her growing attraction to Travis.
Okay, Big, Bad Cowboy was off-the-charts hot. And funny! I absolutely love Carly Bloom’s writing. She manages to inject the most mundane moments with so much sexual chemistry that even discussing the weather can have lots of unintentional double entendres when you’re doing it with a hot cowboy.
I especially love the light touch of BDSM in this book. The scenes where Maggie and Travis take on their Little Red Riding Hood and Big Bad Wolf personas are super sexy. I also often find in romance novels that books tend to have almost no BDSM at all, or they go hardcore BDSM, but Bloom manages to maintain a wonderfully delicate balance here where the sex scenes are just on the naughtier side of vanilla.
Beyond the heat factor, the humour really makes these characters feel real, and makes even some of the sexier scenes very endearing. In one of my favourite scenes, for example, Travis does a Magic Mike-type striptease, and we know how hot he is and how turned on Maggie is getting. But Bloom shows us this scene from Travis’ point of view, and so we also know how vulnerable he’s feeling as he strips. At one point, he glances over at Maggie with the thought that if he sees her laughing, the moment would be all over, but then sees that while she’s amused and teasing him throughout, he can see she’s not actually laughing at him, and so that he feels comfortable with continuing. It’s a beautifully written, very relatable moment, and a striking contrast to the freedom he and Maggie feel when behind their Wolf / Red Riding Hood masks.
In another favourite scene, Travis jokingly asks Maggie to demonstrate a seemingly impossible move from an erotica book she’s reading. Somehow, Bloom manages to make this one super hilarious, super sweet and super sexy all at the same time, and it’s simply fantastic.
I also really enjoyed the stories beyond the romance and the sex. Bloom has created a loveable cast of characters. I especially, absolutely love the JD subplot. Like the Travis and Maggie plot, JD’s subplot was just really sweet and felt very true to life. I also really enjoyed the whole drama Travis faced with his brother as it escalated the stakes beyond his relationship with Maggie, and made him an even more likeable character.
Big Bad Cowboy is sexy, sweet, funny and real. It’s a wonderful romance, and a nice, slightly naughty, bookish treat for the holidays.
Thank you to Forever Romance for an egalley of this book in exchange for an honest review.