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Bet on a Cowboy (Harlequin American Romance) - Julie Benson “I hear women like grand romantic gestures,” he continued, and flashed her a to-die-for smile.The happy couple....Maggie Sullivan is a lonely, overworked TV producer who’s resorted to a sperm bank because she’ll forever be a spinster. Griffin McAlister is former rodeo star sidelined by injury who is desperate to earn money for his mother’s cancer treatments.The setting....You’ve seen it on TV! Network-furnished Bachelor and Bimbo mansions in Las Vegas, with an on-location jaunt to the ailing matriarch’s ranch for the finale.The storytelling....Nothing about the writing really impressed me. The TV-inspired premise meant the plot pretty much wrote itself, and every type of stock character was represented.Our hero describes his sister-in-law (heroine of a previous book) as “a little dynamo in a knockout package.” He also says stuff like “Why would I order the same meal every day when I haven’t sampled the whole menu?” Wondering what he looks like? He has ocean-blue eyes, a crooked smile, bulging biceps and rock-hard abs. Puh-leeze.The romance....The much-loved “frumpy career girl learns her true beauty through the love of a sexy cowboy” trope. I was being sarcastic about the “much-loved” thing.Griffin wasn’t an asshole, and Maggie wasn’t a doormat, but I got soooo sick of being hit over the head with all the incessant references to her “angular features” and “severe ponytail” and “baggy cardigans.”The one thing redeeming this romance was the predictable-yet-satisfying Declaration of Love, and it had some SERIOUS work to do to overcome a LOT of female-bashing crap – much of it coming from THE HEROINE.“I can’t believe she gave you her phone number. That’s so tacky. Every dating book I’ve read says women need to be careful not to be too aggressive.”Um...she lives in Los Angeles and works in the entertainment industry, and she’s appalled by a female making the first move? Really?Her brothers always chided her for expecting life to be like a romance novel, where the hero swept into a woman’s life, recognized her for how wonderful she was on the inside, and declared he couldn’t live without her.Um...isn’t that EXACTLY WHAT THIS BOOK IS? But wait, there’s one that tops that:If Griffin decided to go into politics he’d win by a landslide on the women’s votes alone, and he wouldn’t have to say a word.Gee, thanks. I love it when a romance novel heroine demeans all women as brainless, slobbering idiots.The recommendation....So after all the eye-rolling and ranting, I probably should have given this a D, but I went with a C- because I did like the slow-but-steady relationship building and the behind-the-camera look inside a dating show. And yeah, the HEA was good. But I have a low tolerance for predictability and clichés, and I’m overly sensitive to the misogyny stuff, so this book was not a good fit for me.NOTE: I read a digital ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley.