by Zoe Archer

February 2006
ISBN: 0-8439-5666-6
Reviewer Graphic Button Leisure Books
Mass Market Paperback

Lady Olivia Xavier balked at the restrictions London society placed on women. She was forever being weighed and measured by others. Her involvement in the brewery she had inherited from her late husband was a source of malcontent among those around her. The kind of life expected of a widow did not suit Olivia. It's a good thing she found comfort in the dime novels of the American West. When an authentic American cowboy rescues Olivia it was a scene right out of one of her Lorna Jane novels.

Playing hero was not on Will Coffin’s list of things to do while in London, but how could he stand by and allow a woman to be accosted by ne'er-do-wells? His heroics proved to be a wise choice since Will found himself in need of being rescued himself. His reason for being in London was to find his real family. When Lady Xavier invited Will to stay at her home after he was thrown out of a hotel, Will didn’t refuse. So they made a deal. If he stayed and played bodyguard for Olivia and helped her with her problems at the brewery, she would help him find his family. Before long, Olivia was living out an adventure of her own.

Will Coffin was the stuff heroes were made of, and Lady Olivia was an ideal damsel in distress. A perfect match, at least, in theory. But society already frowned on Olivia for being ‘new money’ and a businesswoman to boot. Adding Will to the mix only proved to incite her disapproving peers. Could she find a way to live the life that made her happy or would the stifling pressure of the elite keep her bound to a life of boredom, a life without Will?

Zoe Archer’s debut novel, Lady X’s Cowboy, is a fast-paced, entertaining read. It has adventure and passion with characters a reader can easily relate with. The author takes the characters on more than a physical journey fighting the bad guys; she allows them to grow emotionally along the way.

A problem I had with Lady X’s Cowboy was Will’s dialogue. To me, it felt forced and a little silly. In addition, there was the fact that Olivia rebelled against society until it came to Will and then she was ready to give up because he was not of her station. Other than these issues, I enjoyed the book very much and recommend it to all historical romance readers.

Reviewed in February 2006 by Rho.

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