The Cowboy Meets His Match

Book 10 of The Mountain Monroes

Harlequin Pub

Feb 22nd, 2022

The Cowboy Meets His Match shows why Melinda Curtis writes great wholesome romances with a lot of humor. Besides romance, this story is about family, second chances, love, compassion, and finding oneself by making new beginnings. 

All three main characters, Olivia Monroe, Rhett Diaz, and Sonny are struggling with the direction of their futures, which is why they agree to go on a road trip together.  

It all started after Olivia, a famous racing boat captain and champion, had her boat capsized.  She is now hiding out with her cousins in Second Chance, Idaho, struggling to find her courage and leave her fears behind. She has hired Sonny, a sports psychologist, to help her regain her self-confidence.  But things do not go as planned after she impulsively kisses a handsome former rodeo star turned rancher, Rhett. Her cousins see this and fall for the pretense that Rhett and Olivia are a couple.  They promise to invest in a new extreme sports company if he takes Olivia and Sonny on a road trip.  

Together the three go on a trip to try out different adventures.  Because of a bet between Sonny and Rhett, Olivia is forced to make choices of which extreme sport they will try.  This includes zip lining, mountain bike trails, hang gliding with eagles, and rappelling down a waterfall.  After each thrill ride it appears that the fake relationship between Olivia and Rhett is turning real.

Per usual, Melinda Curtis does not disappoint.  This story of finding one’s inner strength and overcoming fears whether physical or emotional is a great read.  

Elise Cooper: How did you get the idea for this story

Melinda Curtis: I knew that I wanted to write about a racing boat captain who had a near death experience and then lost her nerve. She needs to rebuild and retool her life.  I wanted a hero that was a good match to her.  I did not see her recovery helped by a regular rodeo or ranch cowboy. I added the thrill seeker element to test her courage and limits.

EC:  Did you do any of the extreme adventures you wrote about?

MC:  No way! In my youth I was a bit more courageous.  But as I grew older, I find myself being more careful.  I literally married someone who does not like horror movies or roller coasters, so I have stopped even going on them when we go to amusement parks.  This is how far I have fallen. 

EC:  How did you chose the adventures?

MC:  I did some research and had some friends who mountain bike. My children have done zip lining, so I asked them about their experiences.  I did Google thrill seeking and found rappelling down a waterfall, which I thought was nuts.  I found it fascinating to get into the psychology of people that do it. I thought about putting in hang gliding from the times I was younger and flew with my father who piloted small planes. 

EC:  How did you write the scenes about “getting back into the saddle?”

MC: I was in a car accident when I was eighteen where I was hit by a drunk driver. The car turned over and landed on top of a fire hydrant. I was amazed that nothing happened to me.  Thankfully, I had my seat belt on.  Yet, I could not drive for a while. I did not have a scratch on me but mentally it was horrifying.

EC:  How would you describe Olivia before and after the accident?

MC:  Before:  She was a little too full of herself. I have heard elite athletes talk and wondered where is their humility? This is how she was. She had the feeling nothing will happen to her.  In a previous book she was not a very good sister. Olivia was headstrong, only thought of her career, determined, independent, and assertive.

After:  She was lost and was searching for her old self.  She was going through a process that in the next stage of her life who was she going to be and who did she want to be, having a character growth. She got in touch with her softer side and was able to relate to people better. Olivia did doubt herself.

EC: How would you describe Rhett?

MC:  A headstrong cowboy who decided to step back. He is also searching for his future. He is willing to compromise his morals to get what he wants out of life.  He took Olivia on this trip on a misdirection.  Rhett is kind, caring, protective, a risk taker, teaser, and an adrenaline junky. He tried to charm ladies.

EC:  What about the relationship?

MC:  It is alpha to alpha.  She was a very strong powerful woman.  On some level they understand each other.  She is his platform where he can spring from. He encouraged her to go and do these adventures.  She gave him a sense of a true partnership. He liked to push her buttons because she constantly put-up fences that he wanted to tear down. 

EC:  What about Sonny, her sports psychologist?

MC:  He is a whack-a-doodle. Like Rhett and Olivia, he is trying to reinvent himself and find his next act.  He decides to express his softness through his love of baby goats. Sonny is her surrogate, father-figure, cheerleader, and mentor. He pushes her also.  

EC:  Why goats?

MC:  Growing up I did live on a sheep ranch.  I was looking for something enduring, yet, comedic. I wanted something warm and cuddly where Olivia would hold it and have a breakdown moment with tears falling. 

EC:  Next book?

MC:  It is called Healing the Rancher that comes out in May.  It is a “Beauty and the Beast” type of story.  The heroine is a social media manager who wants to land an account with a beef supplier chain, like “In and Out.”  She is a princess type that needs to be with the client on a ranch.  The hero is gruff on the outside. 

In August will be my next Harlequin. It is going to be a Thanksgiving book titled A Cowboy Thanksgiving. It is book twelve in the “Monroe series” that wraps everything up. There are a lot of themes of family.  The bounty of the harvest is upon us. Also, in August due to come out is the third in an anthology I write with three other authors. 




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About the Author

Elise Cooper

Elise writes book reviews that always include a short author interview.