Cris Reads | BEAUTY AND THE BRIT By Lizbeth Selvig

Tough and self-reliant Rio Montoya has looked after her two siblings for most of their lives. But when a gang leader makes threats against her sister Bonnie, even Rio isn't prepared for the storm that could destroy her family. When their dreams are shattered in one dangerous moment, Rio seeks refuge for them all at a peaceful horse farm in the small town of Kennison Falls, Minnesota.

Rio should feel safe in Kennison Falls, but her budding romance with the stable's owner, handsome British ex-pat David Pitts-Matherson, feels as dangerous as her past. The incredibly sexy David is as far from her type as any man could get, yet he tempts Rio in a way she never expected. But Rio knows that her time in Kennison Falls is limited, that her family is still in danger, and that she and David come from completely different worlds—a recipe for disaster.

David has his own secrets, and even the sparks he feels flying with the fiery and beautiful Rio may not be enough for him to let her into his heart. Can the beauty and the Brit ever find common ground? Or will their pasts stand in the way of true love?

When Rio Montoya and David Pitts-Matherson's paths collide, all their preconceived notions are trampled by their attraction to one another. David seems light-years away from the denim-clad, shirtless cowboy Rio idolizes on her bedroom wall. With his British accent and his kind, thoughtful nature, he's unlike anyone she has ever encountered. Having had to scrape and struggle just to support herself and her family, experience has taught Rio that nothing in life comes "free". She has always had to manage everything on her own, be the pillar of her family, without complaint, even when the weight seemed unbearable. And when the life she has worked so hard to build literally lies in ashes, it irks her to have to allow David to shoulder the burden.

David states quite clearly that he doesn't find tattoos appealing but there is just something about Rio that changes his perspective. Although he has been through his own share of family drama and has had to relocate and rebuild his life in America, being around Rio shows him that he isn't as self-reliant and independent as he thought. By not trusting his own judgement, and allowing his family to dictate his life, he is losing a piece of himself and putting the future of his farm at risk.

Throughout the novel Rio and David each learn to be a little more like the other; She becomes more trusting and allows others to help her with her struggles while he learns to trust himself and not let his past dictate his future. I loved the give and take between the two of them. Their banter ranged from combative to playful and definitely made for some of my favorite moments.

I also loved Rio as a heroine. She was a tough cookie who had always dreamed of escaping her life of concrete and diner grease for the fresh air and saddle leather of a country existence. But she wanted to do it all on her own merit, which I highly admire, even if she was often stubborn and defensive.

Much like Rio, I didn't think a British cowboy could be so sexy but David has that witty, self-deprecating charm going for him, along with all those hard-earned muscles. I mean, logistically it makes sense. Sexy British Accent + Sexy Cowboy Body = Super Sexy Hero. Who doesn't love a man that will close-line someone for you and still be sweet enough to plan you a picnic? I think Kim said it best:

"Western is awesome. But if you try English, you'll never want to do anything else."

Beauty and the Brit had me hooked from the very beginning. It's safe to say that I heartily enjoyed this different take on a cowboy romance and I look forward to much more from Lizbeth Selvig. 

Disclaimer: As an Avon Addict, I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions shared are my own.

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Lizbeth Selvig writes fun, heartwarming contemporary romantic fiction for Avon books. Her debut novel, The Rancher and the Rock Star, was released in 2012. Her second, Rescued By A Stranger is available now. Liz lives in Minnesota with her best friend (aka her husband), a hyperactive border collie named Magic and a gray Arabian gelding named Jedi. After working as a newspaper journalist and magazine editor, and raising an equine veterinarian daughter and a talented musician son, Lizbeth entered Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart® contest in 2010 with The Rancher and the Rock Star (then titled Songbird) and won the Single Title Contemporary category. In her spare time, she loves to hike, quilt, read, horseback ride, and play with her four-legged grandchildren, of which there are nearly twenty, including a wallaby, an alpaca, a donkey, a pig, two sugar gliders, and many dogs, cats and horses (pics of all appear on her website

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