A Western Comedy that is totally unashamed of itself.
I’ll tell you straight away, I normally don’t go in for romance novels. However this book was not solicited to me cold, but rather it came to my notice as the work of an author in my area, Rochelle Bradley. She had the advantage of being able to talk her work up to me in person, and she managed to intrigue me with her lively characters, as well as their story and its prodigious puns.
The Double D Ranch is absolutely cheeky and only takes itself seriously in the moments that call for it. It is a romantic comedy, but that phrase feels unfair, because it is now and perhaps forever a phrase attached to a particular type of formulaic, dry, utterly predictable movie and/or story that has become a cultural cliche. Reading Double D did not at all remind me of some of those horrid romcoms I’ve somehow endured in the past. This story feels fresh, it balances the comedy, romance, and sexual tension well, and it is thoroughly ingrained in its Western setting, Fortuna, Texas to be more specific. It’s a nice combination of elements that feels immersive, and despite some of the absurdities in the pages, it almost seems like a story this quirky and odd could really happen in a small Texas town.
There’s nothing I can fault in what I read without going into turbo nitpicking mode, and honestly that comes more down to personal style choices I would make as a writer versus what Rochelle did. The prose is tight and clear, the POV shifts are free of confusion, and the whole thing flows quite breezily. Besides, our differences as authors and as people are what make us interesting, and I’m glad she wrote this, because if I did it probably wouldn’t be as funny.
*self-deprecation skill increased by 1*
Again, I normally don’t read these kinds of stories much (if in the mood for romance or comedy there are usually some go-to films I put on instead) but my personal reading choices are not a reason to objectively dock any points from The Double D Ranch. The story is excellent, with great heart and fun characters, and considering that it had an uphill battle for my attention against my usual sci-fi indulgences, I hope that tells you something.
You can check out this book on Amazon at the link below, and if you do enjoy The Double D Ranch, there are two additional books by Rochelle in the Fortuna, Texas series for your consideration!