Book Review of Rodeo Daughter by Leigh Duncan
By, Miguelina Perez
My first romance novel was a Harlequin Romance, I was in high school. For me the experience was a rite of passage―a transition that introduced me into a fictional world where the heroine always overcame obstacles and found true love in the process.
This journey led me to discover other romance writers and the eventual desire to become a romance writer.
When I first met Ms. Duncan at the Washington Romance Writers retreat of 2012, I felt as if I had met Harlequin royalty. She was gracious in spirit and friendliness―unaffected by the status of her success. She brought back memories of all the Harlequins I devoured since my teenage years.
She also reminded me of why I believe Harlequin Romances could be pivotal in a young girl’s life as she experiences the beginning pangs of first love. These Romances hold intrigue and magic in the struggles of relationships, while overcoming obstacles standing in the way of all that encompasses love and honor.
In Rodeo Daughter, Ms. Duncan brings to the forefront a realistic point of view of the affects of coming from a dysfunctional home and how these experiences affect us as we reach adulthood. Duncan’s heroine is Amanda Markette, a former rodeo star. But, because of her painful childhood she gives up her rodeo career to become a family law attorney. Like Cassiel, a divine angel, she takes it upon herself to become protector of the children who come from these homes.
When she runs into her former lover, old feelings come back for both of them. But when she is hired by her former lover’s ex-wife she stifles her feelings for the sake of the child, who is believed to being abused by him. Amanda’s still unresolved issues and prejudice against the people who reminded her of her parents almost costs her, her happiness as well as placing Hailey in danger by winning a temporary custody suit against Mitch.
Duncan’s antagonists are not only Amanda’s emotional baggage, but Mitch’s ex-wife, who Duncan brilliantly and surprisingly gives her, her own road to redemption. It was refreshing to see the changes Mitch’s ex-wife goes through.
The book is well written and Duncan’s story-telling techniques superbly evoke feelings of anger, sadness and frustration against the heroine’s father, the system who sets out to protect these children and the unfit mother (who is the female version of the heroine’s father) fighting for custody of Hailey. It is my believe that a good book, is a well written story that gives the reader food for thought and/or evoke such strong emotions. Duncan’s Rodeo Daughter has it all.
I may have said a lot about the plot of the story, but remember, if you have not read the book then you have not truly experienced the wonderful worlds and stories created by these talented women. For a copy of Rodeo Daughter, please visit Rodeo Daughter – Leigh Duncan.
If you have a daughter, niece or granddaughter coming of age who is interested in reading romance novels, I recommend you guide them to Harlequin’s “Love Inspired Historical” or “Historical”.
Congrats to Ms. Duncan on her fourth book, Rancher’s Son for hitting #1 in Kindle sales of all Harlequin Americans. She just signed a contract for 4 more Harlequin Americans, including the one she just turned in, Major League Dad. The next three of her books will return to the Circle P, the setting for Rancher’s Son. All four of them were released in 2014.
Meet the Author
Ms. Miguelina Perez is a writer, and jewelry artist. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of the District of Columbia. As a jewelry artist one of her lariats was showcased in the San Antonio Express-News. She has won several awards including a critical Writing award for an essay on the gender roles of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn and Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.
It was during her high school years at the school’s library that she first encountered her first romance mystery writer – Ms. Victoria Holt and then Ms. Phyllis J. Whitney. Her love of romance novels stems from those discoveries, especially the Romance mystery genre.
Several of her poems have been published in anthologies, and she was named “Poet of Year in 1995”. She finished her first book, The Vicar’s Deadly Sin – a Regency romance mystery, the first of a seven-part serial based on the Seven Deadly Sins.
Currently, she is editing the sequel to the Vicar’s Deadly Sin, “Angel’s Lust.” Her next project is a contemporary romance thriller called “A Hero of Her Own.”
A special thank you to Miguelina Perez for sharing this book review with us. You can find her "Entertainment Buzz" column here at Pandora's Box Gazette the 3rd Saturday each month.