Laura Drake begins her Chestnut Creek series with a second-chance romance between former high school sweethearts that’s sure to tug on some heartstrings.
Carly Beauchamp and Austin Davis were the talk of their small town as teens. They were the perfect couple, destined for marriage and a gaggle of kids. But once Austin joins the rodeo circuit, Carly becomes a “rodeo widow,” sitting home alone while he’s on the road, hoping for a wedding ring and a family. Carly is done waiting—she means it this time. After a heartbreaking split and an impulsive one-night stand, Carly finds herself on quite a different path than she had imagined.
With the rigors of the rodeo catching up to him, Austin is ready to leave the circuit and return to his hometown. He hopes that he can patch things up with Carly, but there’s one surprise he didn’t see coming—she’s pregnant. In the midst of small-town gossip and unresolved feelings, Carly and Austin will have an uphill battle to their happily ever after.
Early on, Carly and Austin realize that they’ve spent much of their lives as a couple, and haven’t grown as individual people. Who are they outside of their relationship? What are their goals? Their dreams? While their romance is a wonderful mix of the bitter and the sweet, The Last True Cowboy is also a journey of self-discovery, as both characters want to better themselves for the sake of a stronger relationship. The novel’s focus on the hero and heroine as individuals brings a fantastic, deeper perspective to their second chance. There’s also the added complication of an unplanned pregnancy. Watching Carly and Austin navigate both their reunion and a future baby is a reminder that sometimes the family you get isn’t the one you expect.
Though both Carly and Austin are complex characters, Carly is an easy favorite, given her strength to finally take steps to do what’s best for her. That takes guts, and it ultimately gives Austin the kick in the pants he needs to address what’s most important to him. Austin is a charming and sweet modern cowboy. He understands where Carly is coming from and respects her decision, but he also knows that he wants to become a better man for her. He wants to grow into the husband she deserves.
For readers who love romances that pack an emotional punch, The Last True Cowboy delivers on all fronts. This is a romance with grit, heart and just the right amount of sizzle.