New York Times bestselling author Julia London returns to her contemporary Western Princes of Texas series with The Billionaire in Boots, a romance between a hardworking cowgirl and a man struggling with his family’s legacy.
As the firstborn of the Prince family, it’s Nick’s responsibility to take over the family cattle ranch. There’s just one problem: He doesn’t want anything to do with cattle. Though he longs to pursue his goal of becoming a pilot, his father’s death causes him to put his plans on hold. Dealing with the family ranch is a necessity in the short term, but Nick views his return home as a temporary stop on the way to his dreams elsewhere.
Charlotte Bailey isn’t so sure about Nick. She knows his heart isn’t particularly invested in running the ranch and that he’s probably only doing it out of familiar duty. But Charlotte wants the ranch to succeed and as the resident office manager, it’s her job to whip Nick into shape and possibly find his cowboy roots in the process. The Billionaire in Boots plays with the trope of a city slicker who gets tangled up with a blue-collar, salt-of-the-earth cowboy by flipping the usual genders. Nick isn’t a stereopytical, outdoors-hating urbanite, but it’s clear that he needs an adjustment period to ranching. Charlotte easily falls into the role of expert rancher, and it’s a joy to watch her literally (and figuratively) show Nick the ropes.
The pain of his father’s loss and the discomfort he feels running the ranch only add to his prickly nature, but Nick’s gruff and grumbling demeanor is slowly smoothed out by the easy flirtation between him and Charlotte. (With Charlotte’s experience handling temperamental farm animals, Nick’s moodiness is child’s play.) London establishes their mutual attraction early on, and they don’t mind giving into something fleeting while Nick is back in town. But Charlotte wants something more permanent, a solid commitment and eventually some kids. Given the way Nick is counting down the days until the ranch is no longer a problem, he isn’t exactly the prime candidate for making Charlotte’s dreams come true.
Charlotte and Nick’s separate visions of their own perfect lives and the obstacles that stand in their way are at the heart of this romance’s conflict. Can people compromise the ways they view success and happiness when faced with a forever kind of love? If they can, should they? Despite such complicated issues, London’s characters are tender and gentle to one another. Like hearing a slow Southern drawl on a warm night or the satisfying sip of perfectly sweetened iced tea, this is a calming, expertly crafted contemporary romance.