Who doesn’t love a handsome guy wearing boots, jeans and a cowboy hat? There’s something romantic—and sexy!—about that iconic American image. This month, we’re featuring four heroes who epitomize the lure of cowboys for romance readers.
With more than 50 best-selling novels under her belt, author Johanna Lindsey returns readers to the American West with Wildfire In His Arms. Her latest novel features Degan Grant, whom readers met in One Heart To Win. The mysterious gunslinger is heading for California when a U.S. Marshal calls in a favor. Helping his friend sets Degan on a collision course with outlaw Max Dawson. Catching Max is the beginning of a most unusual journey, however, when Degan discovers that “Max” is really Maxine. The circumstances surrounding the beautiful blonde’s alleged crimes are highly suspect, and before long, Degan finds himself more protector than captor.
Try as she might at first, Max can’t escape Degan—but soon, she doesn’t really want to flee. She’s not the only one trying to outrun problems, however, for Degan has his own ghosts. How can two people with so many unresolved issues plan to build a future together? Can they hope for anything beyond surviving the dangerous present?
Practical, resourceful Maxie is a perfect match for the dangerous Degan. He’s never met a woman quite like her, and she’s never before found a man she can trust. Lindsey deftly paints the western setting with a sure hand as a backdrop to Degan and Maxie’s love story, which is fraught with danger and action. There are also many tender, heartwarming moments, which all adds up to a wonderful, satisfying read.
TO LOVE A COWBOY
Oregon author Maisey Yates continues her Copper Ridge novels with Bad News Cowboy, the third installment in the popular series. Kate Garrett grew up with no mother, two brothers and an emotionally unavailable father. She’s capable, confident and accustomed to working with men, but has never been romantically interested in anyone. Until her brothers’ best friend and her childhood protector, Jack Monaghan, suddenly makes her feel restless in a way no one has before. But Jack is a heartbreaker who has never offered a woman anything more than a night of mutual pleasure. What chance does Kate have with a man who openly enjoys women but rejects anything hinting at a permanent relationship?
Unbeknownst to Kate, Jack is struggling to cope with the same issue. It isn’t until they share an unexpected kiss that the simmering attraction between them flares out of control. Now they have to find a way to balance their loyalty to Kate’s brothers with the undeniable pull of overwhelming sexual attraction.
There is much to like about this latest novel from Yates. The setting is vivid, the secondary characters charming, and the plot has depth and interesting twists. But it is the hero and heroine who truly drive this story. Readers will be fully absorbed in Kate and Jack’s struggle to come to grips with emotional scars that block their ability to love. Fortunately for romance fans, the ending is everything they could wish for.
New York Times best-selling author B.J. Daniels continues her Montana Hamiltons series with Lone Rider. Set in Montana’s rugged mountain ranch country, this novel continues the story of Senator Buck Hamilton’s family. The lovely Bo Hamilton manages a family philanthropic foundation for her father, the Senator. When she learns that thousands of dollars are missing, she immediately hires an independent auditor. While waiting for his report, she rides into the mountains for an overnight camping trip in search of peace and quiet. She never expected to be taken captive by a crazed, dangerous man.
When Bo doesn’t return home when promised, rancher Jace Calder agrees to search for her. He and Bo have quite the history—they’d dated, he’d proposed, and she’d backed out of the wedding. Although he would never admit it, he has never stopped loving her. Now, he’ll have to risk his life in order to keep them both alive.
This excellent romantic mystery has lots of twists and turns, with more than one tangled knot to unravel. The setting in Montana’s backcountry is vivid and realistic, the villains edgy and evil, and the romance between Jace and Bo emotionally satisfying. Readers will thoroughly enjoy this much-anticipated installment in the Hamilton family saga.
A HELPING HAND
Best-selling inspirational romance author Debra Clopton delivers a charming new novel in her Four Of Hearts Ranch series, Counting On A Cowboy.
Abby Knightly badly needs a change of scenery, so she packs her belongings and heads for Wishing Springs, Texas. Night has fallen; she’s tired and barely five miles from her destination when she nearly runs into a steer and a cowboy. Terrified, she runs her car into a ditch.
Rancher Bo Monahan literally catches Abby when she staggers out of her wrecked vehicle and faints, and he finds himself reluctant to let her go. Which is why she’s with him the next day when he finds a baby on his front porch—a baby with a note that says the little boy named Levi belongs to him. Stunned, Bo hasn’t a clue what to do with the child. Fortunately, Abby seems to know how to cuddle and calm the sobbing baby. Despite knowing Bo is a confirmed bachelor, Abby is drawn to him in ways that may endanger her heart. But Abby can’t turn her back on the struggling new father and his son. Soon, caring for Levi has these two damaged people, each with dark pasts, pondering whether they might share a future filled with love.
Readers will cheer for Bo and Abby as the couple struggles to overcome their fearrs. The secondary characters add color and humor to the story, and fans of this series will thoroughly enjoy this latest novel from Clopton.
Lois Dyer writes from Port Orchard, Washington