Opening Line: "When Cutter Reno drifted out of Sundown, Montana six years ago, he'd always figured he'd be back someday."
Written in 2002 I picked up this quickie Harlequin romance because I’m such a huge fan of Cindy Gerard’s Bodyguard and BOI’s series. Unlike her newer stuff, TAMING THE OUTLAW is a straight up contemporary romance, theres no real suspense here, no bad guys and nobody gets kidnapped. Gerard’s hero also doesn’t get shot at or blow anything up. Instead we get a sexy, somewhat emotionally tortured rodeo star, a jaded single mother and a reacquainted lovers theme, all set in Sundown Montana’s cattle country.
Initially this story didn’t grab me, it was just kind of blah (please, somebody shoot something) but then about halfway in the heroine grew a back bone, got some personality and made things interesting. And Cutter the hero, well he let his emotions loose, big time and in a couple of “awww” moments captured my heart, as all of Gerard’s men eventually do. Damn she’s good with the anguished/I’m too damaged/not good enough for you heroes. So even though this wasn’t the Gerard I’m used to it was still a sweet, uncomplicated little read with a handsome cowboy, some hot lovin and lots of horses.
Cutter Reno always knew that one day he’d drift back into Sundown Montana; he just never expected it to be as grand marshal of the Forth of July parade. But after 6 years on the rodeo circuit and a recent winning streak he’s now a local celebrity. Unfortunately the one person he really wants to see again wants nothing to do with him. It seems pretty Peg Lathrop hasn’t forgotten about that intoxicating summer they spent together either, however she’s older and wiser now and darn if she ain’t a mama too.
Peg knew that forever wasn’t in the cards with someone as wild and untameable as Cutter Reno, his spirit belonged to the open road and the rodeo. But a little goodbye would have gone a long way because when Cutter left he unknowingly took her heart with him and left a little piece of himself behind. Peg’s never healed from those wounds and there ain’t no way she’s letting his smooth talkin cowboy ass back into her life, never mind into her bed. Yet Cutter swears he’s a changed man, ready to settle into a home on the range complete with wife and child. Only thing is Peg can still see the flight reflex written all over his face, even if he can’t.
Will Cutter cowboy up and become the kind of man both Meg and her daughter need? Or will this footloose freebird hit the road again without ever realizing that he is worthy of love and that together they can break the cycle of desertion and loss that has already altered both of their lives. Oh it’s a heartbreaker of a ride folks.