Blogging, Book Reviews, Fiction, Friday Five Challenge

Friday Five Challenge

Welcome to my first contribution to the Friday Five Challenge

(Original idea from Rosie Amber at

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Anyone can join in – just follow the rules:


1) Go to any online book supplier,

2) Randomly choose a category,

3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appealed to your eye,

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book,

5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,

6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?

(then write a little analysis about your decision)

In today’s online shopping age, readers often base their buying decisions on small postage stamp size book covers (Thumb-nails), a quick glance at the book description and the review. How much time do they really spend making that buying decision?

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

Take a look at some of the other contributions on the #FridayFiveChallenge hashtag on Twitter

Here we go…

I was excited about doing this challenge after reading Rosie’s success at discovering some interesting titles. I followed the rules and allowed myself five minutes.

As a fantasy fanatic, it was very hard to steer myself away from this genre, but I remembered my childhood days, and how much I enjoyed Cowboy films, and so I opted for a Western.


I’m not going to make any apologies for what drew me to this cover – who doesn’t love horses? Although the wording doesn’t stand out that well at thumbnail size, the splash of blue caught my eye and…well, then I had to read more!

The cost of a Kindle edition is £2.99, which I would be happy to pay for a book this size (313 pages). It’s received 18 reviews with the majority of them at 5/4 stars, and it sits at number 45 in the sales rank for Fiction > Westerns, and at number 49 in Genre Fiction > Westerns.

This is book one in a four book series and is set in the 1870’s – this fact isn’t detailed in the blurb but I found it mentioned in the first review I read. The reader hadn’t expected it and was, therefore, disappointed, but they stuck with it and ended up enjoying the book.

So far, I was hovering over the BUY button, but then I read the blurb.

The Rancher (Redbourne Series #1 – Cole’s Story)

The series follows the Redbourne family–consisting of seven brothers and a sister on their adventures in the nineteenth-century wilds of the West. (N.B.: Think this line was added after the review)


BLURB for THE RANCHER: The deal was to share the ranch, not her heart... ABBY MCCALLISTER can ride and shoot better than any man she’s ever met, but when the threat of losing her ranch forces her to find a husband, she is unprepared for the mysterious stranger who takes her hand and evokes in her a sudden desire to be a lady fit for his arm.

He’d sworn to protect her. He couldn’t do that if she married someone else… COLE REDBOURNE, immersed in guilt over the accident that claimed his best friend, discovers there was nothing accidental about it. When he sets out for Silver Falls, Colorado, to fulfil his friend’s dying wish and to flush out his killer, the last thing he expected was to find hope again disguised as his impromptu bride.


I understand that any book with a six pack on the cover is likely to have a bit of romance in it, I can cope with this. I was quite excited about the prospect of cowboys too, but for me it was this line that convinced me to PASS.

‘ABBY MCCALLISTER can ride and shoot better than any man she’s ever met, but when the threat of losing her ranch forces her to find a husband, she is unprepared for the mysterious stranger who takes her hand and evokes in her a sudden desire to be a lady fit for his arm.’

It was at this point that the seed of doubt was planted.  I love a strong female character, especially one who rides and shoots. Of course, there is no indication that Abby McCallister isn’t a strong protagonist but my initial reaction upon reading that line was, ‘Oh what a shame’.

For me, it’s a PASS this time. Certainly won’t put me off looking at the Western genre again though.


The Rancher is available on Amazon –



5 thoughts on “Friday Five Challenge”

  1. Well I was only looking at the six-pack on the book cover, so I would assumed it was going to have some HOT romance in this, but then you’ve found a PG rating, I assume that is the same as the film rating? Now I’m mightily confused, I love a western, with a feisty female and troubled cowboy, but I’m sure my version needs to be 18+. I do agree that the book cover need some work to make it clear, or it will get over-looked. Great genre choice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I was thrown by the PG rating too Rosie. Not what you expect from a shirtless cowboy! You also expect to see a character grow throughout a novel but the blurb suggested our heroine undid all her unique skills to fit with a man’s needs!! 1800’s or not – I just couldn’t do it ha ha.


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