Category Archives: Contemporary

Review: Sweet Tomorrows by Debbie Macomber

Title: Sweet Tomorrows by Debbie Macomber


Rose Harbor Series Book Five
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

The much-anticipated conclusion to Debbie Macomber’s beloved Rose Harbor series, set in the picturesque town of Cedar Cove, Sweet Tomorrows is a vibrant and poignant novel of letting go of fear, following your heart, and embracing the future—come what may.

Nine months ago, Mark Taylor abruptly left Cedar Cove on a perilous mission to right a wrong from his past. Though Mark finally confessed his love for her, innkeeper Jo Marie Rose is unsure if he’s ever coming back. The Rose Harbor Inn barely seems the same without Mark, but Jo Marie can’t bear to lose herself in grief once more. Determined to move forward, she begins dating again, and finds companionship when she takes on a boarder who is starting a new chapter herself.

Recovering from a twice-broken heart, Emily Gaffney, a young teacher, is staying at the inn while she looks for a home of her own. Having given up on marriage, Emily dreams of adopting children someday. She has her eye on one house in particular—with room for kids. Although Emily’s inquiries about the house are rudely rebuffed, her rocky start with the owner eventually blossoms into a friendship. But when the relationship verges on something more, Emily will have to rethink what she truly wants and the chances she’s willing to take.

The inn seems to be working its magic again—Emily opening herself up to love, Jo Marie moving on—until Jo Marie receives shocking news.

With Debbie Macomber’s trademark charm and wisdom, Sweet Tomorrows brings to a close the journeys of cherished characters who feel like old friends. Macomber has created an enchanting place in the Rose Harbor Inn that readers will never forget.

Review:

The final installment in Debbie Macomber’s heartwarming Rose Harbor series, Sweet Tomorrows is another emotional novel of healing that old and new fans are going to love.

Although it has been difficult, Jo Marie Rose has finally begun to move on in the months since she last saw Mark Taylor. Despite his declaration of love, he did not want her to wait around for his return from Iraq where he is attempting to save a good friend he was forced to leave behind several years ago. Having loved and lost her military husband years earlier, Jo Marie cannot bear to live with the uncertainty of whether or not Mark will safely return so, as he requested, she is moving on with her life. Finally ready to begin dating again, Jo Marie’s first foray into dating is rather lackluster but her dates with Greg Endsley are reminiscent of her relationship with her first husband. After receiving stunning news, her budding romance hangs in the balance as Jo Marie tries to decide whether or not to follow her heart in the midst of an uncertain future.

A concurrent storyline revolves around Jo Marie’s newest guest, Emily Gaffney, who is starting over in Cedar Cove following the end of her engagement. Staying with Jo Marie long-term while house hunting, Emily finds her dream home only to have her hopes dashed when owner Nick Schwartz rudely tells her to stay off his property. Swearing off love after two broken engagements,  Emily is drawn to Nick who is dealing with emotional wounds of his own as he renovates the house he inherited from his grandmother.  While sympathetic to Nick’s struggles with PTSD and panic attacks, she tries to extricate herself from their on again/off again friendship but Emily finds it difficult to stay away from him as she resists falling in love again.

Written though multiple points of view, the chapters alternate back and forth from the key players perspectives and this provides readers with insight as they struggle to come to terms with their various issues. Although Jo Marie is trying to move on, she cannot help but worry about Mark and her fears about his safety are renewed after she receives an enigmatic message from him.  Emily’s secret is heartbreaking and while she is certain she has found the perfect solution to avoid further pain, is her plan to avoid falling in love again realistic? Nick is unable to move on from a terrible tragedy and he remains mired in guilt and shame as he refuses to seek outside assistance in dealing with his PTSD and panic attacks.

As with the previous novels in Rose Harbor series,Jo Marie’s B&B is a place where guests find peace and healing. Emily is skeptical of Jo Marie’s stories of visitors whose lives were irrevocably changed for the better during their stay.  Through Jo Marie’s conversations with Emily, longtime fans will be given the opportunity to catch up with the lives of characters from previous installments while newcomers to the series will be charmed by these heartfelt stories of love and reconciliation.

Sweet Tomorrows is the perfect conclusion to the enchanting Rose Harbor series. Emily and Nick’s story arc is quite endearing and with a multitude of obstacles in their path, their road to happily ever after is somewhat bumpy. Debbie Macomber masterfully keeps readers guessing how Jo Marie’s storyline will conclude and the resolution is absolutely breathtaking.An outstanding conclusion to this beloved series that can be read as a standalone (but I HIGHLY recommend the entire series).

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Filed under Ballantine Books, Contemporary, Debbie Macomber, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Rose Harbor Series, Sweet Tomorrows

Review: You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Kevin O’Brien

Title: You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Kevin O’Brien
Publisher: Pinnacle
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length:544 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

No Forgiveness

Andrea Boyle moved to Seattle to give her seventeen-year-old nephew, Spencer, a fresh start after the death of his parents. Andrea has found her own new beginning with Luke, a successful playwright and father of a teenage son, Damon. The boys appear to have little in common, but in truth they share a private torment…

No Remorse

When a tragedy befalls Damon, it’s just the beginning of a nightmare that unfolds. But the worst is yet to come once a dark secret from Spencer’s past is exposed. And when Luke is brutally attacked, both of their futures are at stake.

No Second Chance

Now it’s up to Andrea to prove Spencer’s innocence to the police–and to herself. Because for reasons she has revealed to no one, even Andrea can’t help questioning the truth–and fearing that she may be next to pay the ultimate price…

Review:

Bullying takes center stage in Kevin O’Brien’s newest mystery You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone.

Hoping for a new beginning, Andrea Boyle and her nephew Spencer Murray move to Seattle but soon after she becomes involved with playwright Luke Shuler, someone begins harassing and threatening her at her home.  Moving in temporarily with Luke, she and Spencer try to befriend Luke’s son, Damon, who is the same age as Spencer.  Damon and Spencer are classmates and they are both being bullied by their fellow classmates.  Spencer tries to fly under the radar as he tries to stay out of his classmates’ sight while Damon’s OCD makes him the butt of the bullies jokes on a near daily basis.  After Damon publicly calls out his tormentors, the bullies he mentioned are slowly murdered one by one.  When someone uncovers the truth about Spencer’s past, he becomes the prime suspect in the investigation.  Andrea believes her nephew is innocent but her confidence in Spencer is shaken as the evidence begins to pile up against him.

Now that her relationship with Luke is becoming serious, Andrea knows she needs to tell Luke the truth about her nephew’s past but a crisis with Damon occurs before she can talk to him.  In the aftermath of tragedy, she and Spencer move back into their townhouse as Luke begins picking up the pieces of his life.  As someone begins murdering the students responsible for bullying Damon, Andrea has complete faith that Spencer is not involved but unexpected discoveries raise a few doubts about his involvement.  Equally troubling is the fact that someone has unearthed the truth about Spencer and once his secret is revealed, Andrea tries to find out who is responsible for the leak and most important, she wants to know what motivated someone to look into their past.

On the surfece, Spencer certainly seems to be a normal teenager trying to adjust to his new life.  He is sympathetic to Damon’s plight and since their lives intersect outside of school, Spencer makes a concerted effort to make friends with him but Damon is quick to spurn his overture.  Spencer is the first to realize the connection between Damon and the murdered teens but with one notable exception, his warnings to the bullies fall on deaf ears.  Following up on his hunch, he begins an investigation of his own but he is less than forthcoming with his aunt about his activities.  Spencer finally puts his trust in one of his fellow students but when the truth about his past is revealed and people begin to believe he is the killer, will he regret his decision?

You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone is a complex, multi-layered mystery that is fast-paced and compelling.  Although there is a vast pool of suspects and a few clever twists and turns, it is fairly easy to deduce the killer’s identity. This knowledge does not lessen the novel’s enjoyment and just when readers think they have everything all figured out, Kevin O’Brien throws in a shocking revelation that is impossible to predict.  With a pulse-pounding and nerve wracking confrontation, this riveting mystery thunders to a dramatic and completely satisfying conclusion.  A brilliant whodunit that fans of the genre are sure to enjoy.

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Filed under Contemporary, Kevin O'Brien, Mystery, Pinnacle Books, Rated B, Review, suspense, You'll Miss me When I'm Gone

Review: Age of Consent by Marti Leimbach

Title: Age of Consent by Marti Leimbach
Publisher: Nan A. Talese
Genre: Contemporary, Historical (70s), Fiction
Length: 336 pages
Book Rating: C

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

From the author of Daniel Isn’t Talking and Dying Young comes a shattering new novel, a page-turner about a sexual relationship between a grown man and a newly teenaged girl.

June was a young widow with a hopeless crush on Craig Kirtz, a disc jockey at a local rock station. To her surprise, the two struck up a friendship that seemed headed for something more. But it was June’s thirteen-year-old daughter, Bobbie, whom Craig had wanted all along. Bobbie thought her secret life—the sex, the drugs, the illicit relationship itself—could remain safely buried in the past. But thirty years later, when Bobbie discovers Craig’s attentions to her had been repeated with any number of girls, she returns home with one purpose in mind: to bring Craig to trial.

Her decision is greeted with mixed feelings. Some people think that bringing charges against someone for a crime committed so many years ago is unjustified. She’s called a “middle-aged woman with a vendetta.” She’s accused of waging war against her own family. But the past has a way of revealing itself, and some relationships lie dormant through the years, ready to stir to life at the
slightest provocation.

June remembers things differently from the way Bobbie does. Craig insists he has done nothing wrong. As their traumatic history is relived in the courtroom, Bobbie and June must come to terms with the choices they made and face the truth they have long refused to acknowledge. Told with warmth and compassion, this is a moving, deeply absorbing story of a family in crisis.

Review:

Age of Consent by Marti Leimbach is an unflinchingly honest novel about a woman who was sexually abused when she was a teenager who finally tries to get justice thirty years later.  The subject matter is dark and disturbing yet the rambling, disjointed narrative does not do the topic justice.

In the late 70s, Bobbie became the victim of a sexual predator whom her mom later married.  In 2008, Bobbie brings charges against him for the long ago crime.  What should be a compelling court case in the present becomes muddled by extraneous details and a meandering storyline that flashes back and forth between past and present.  The present day narrative is concise yet contains a few troubling coincidences that diminish the impact of the court case.  There is evidence that could corroborate key facts in the case, yet somehow the prosecutor fails to see it.  The courtroom scenes fall flat and the lack of clear resolution is a bit of a disappointment when taking into consideration the fact that a key witness has an epiphany that could turn the entire case around.

The flashbacks contain horrifying details of fifteen year old Bobbie’s abuse at the hands of twenty-eight year old disc jockey Craig Kirtz yet these details are often lost in tedious passages that do little to explain why Bobbie was drawn to a man with absolutely no charm or redeeming qualities.  Bobbie’s scenes with Craig are harrowing and her fear and disgust are palpable.  The fact she kept the relationship a secret from her mother is easy to understand since teenagers often remain silent in these types of situations.  Bobbie’s shame later in life is realistic as is her underlying belief she is somehow responsible for what happened to her as a teenager.  Bobbie’s explanation for the series of event that led up to her involvement with Craig occurs so late in the story that it almost feels like an afterthought.

However, what is most perplexing is why Bobbie’s mother, June, was so thoroughly enthralled with Craig in the first place.  Yes, his job as a disc jockey made him a “celebrity” of sorts, but his behavior is so appalling that is impossible to understand what she found so appealing about him.  And the fact that June was able to overlook and explain away certain details that should have been major red flags is mindboggling.

Age of Consent by Marti Leimbach does manage to end on positive note but overall, the novel is a bit of a disappointing read.  While some parts of the story are unsatisfying, it is a gritty and realistic portrayal of how sexual predators groom their victims and coerce them into keeping silent about the inappropriate relationship.

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Filed under Contemporary, Fiction, Historical, Historical (70s), Rated C, Review

Review: How to Keep Rolling After a Fall by Karole Cozzo

Title: How to Keep Rolling After a Fall by Karole Cozzo
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance
Length: 272 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

After a cyber bullying incident turns her life upside down, a handsome wheelchair rugby player shows a former mean girl that everyone deserves a second chance in this swoonworthy new novel from the author of How to Say I Love You Out Loud.

The party was at her house. The photos were posted to her Facebook account. That’s all the evidence anyone needed to condemn Nikki Baylor for a cyberbullying incident that humiliated a classmate and nearly resulted in the girl’s suicide. Now Nikki’s been expelled from her old school, her friends have abandoned her, and even her own parents can’t look her in the eye. With her plans for the future all but destroyed, Nikki resigns herself to being the girl everyone hates – almost as much as she hates herself. But then Nikki meets Pax, a spirited wheelchair rugby player who knows what it’s like when one mistake completely shatters your life. Refusing to judge her because of her past, he shows her that everyone deserves a second chance… and everyone deserves to be loved.

Review:

How to Keep Rolling After a Fall by Karole Cozzo is a unique yet highly engaging young adult romance that deals with relevant social issues in a realistic manner.

Nicole “Nikki” Baylor’s life forever changed the second she took part in a cyber bullying incident the morning after a party at her home. With her reputation in tatters, she is struggling with her shame over the incident as she tries to repair her fractured relationship with her parents. Once a popular student with a bright future ahead of her, Nikki is starting her senior year at a new school where everyone keeps their distance from her. Fulfilling her community service at a local rehabilitation center, Nikki meets Matty “Pax” Paxton, a young man who is now confined to a wheelchair after car accident.  Knowing how difficult it is to move past horrible decisions, Pax takes Nikki at face value and offers her friendship when she needs it most.  With his relentless optimism and upbeat personality, Nikki cannot help but begin to feel better about herself, but when her feelings deepen into more than friendship, will Pax be willing to take a risk on love?

Initially, Nikki is a little self-pitying as she bemoans everything she has lost.  She definitely feels remorse and shame for her actions, but she cannot help be a little bitter over her friends’ abandonment.  She is also struggling to cope with the fallout from the incident in the present as well as the realization her hopes and dreams for the future may never materialize due to her lapse in judgment. There is much more to the cyber bullying incident than meets the eye and once the whole truth emerges, it is easy to feel empathy for what Nikki is going through. Nikki’s emotions always ring true as she owns up to her mistake and begins to take responsibility for what she did. Nikki is an easy person to relate to because when it comes down to it,  everyone has done something they are not proud of.

Like Nikki, Pax had everything going for him before the car accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down.  A popular jock whose entire future was riding on an athletic scholarship, he has such a bright outlook despite his disappointment that his life will turn out nothing like he originally planned.  Realistic and honest to a fault, Pax’s enthusiasm and cheerfulness is catching as he accepts his limitations and embraces the positive rather than dwelling on the negative.  Despite his self-confidence, he backs away from a romantic relationship with Nikki, but can she change his mind after Pax confesses his fears to her?

How to Keep Rolling After a Fall by Karole Cozzo is an uplifting young adult contemporary romance that offers a realistic portrayal of the effects of cyber bullying.  Seeing the incident from the perspective of the bully is a refreshing change of pace and watching Nikki deal with the repercussions of her actions is quite sobering.  The growth of her character is absolutely phenomenal as she finally begins to understand what motivated her participation in the incident and more importantly, she recognizes the lasting effects her bullying has on her victim.  I highly recommend this well researched, engrossing novel to readers of all ages.

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Filed under Contemporary, How to Keep Rolling After a Fall, Karole Cozzo, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Swoon Reads, Young Adult

Review: The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells

Title: The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells
Publisher: Kensington
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

From the acclaimed author of The Bones of You comes a haunting and heartbreaking new psychological thriller about a man thrust into the middle of a murder investigation, forced to confront the secrets of his ex-lover’s past.

“I was fourteen when I fell in love with a goddess. . .”

So begins the testimony of Noah Calaway, an ex-lawyer with a sideline in armchair criminal psychology. Now living an aimless life in an inherited cottage in the English countryside, Noah is haunted by the memory of the beguiling young woman who left him at the altar sixteen years earlier. Then one day he receives a troubling phone call. April, the woman he once loved, lies in a coma, the victim of an apparent overdose–and the lead suspect in a brutal murder. Deep in his bones, Noah believes that April is innocent. Then again, he also believed they would spend the rest of their lives together.

While Noah searches for evidence that will clear April’s name, a teenager named Ella begins to sift through the secrets of her own painful family history. The same age as April was when Noah first met her, Ella harbors a revelation that could be the key to solving the murder. As the two stories converge, there are shocking consequences when at last, the truth emerges.

Or so everyone believes. . .

Set in a borderland where the past casts its shadow on the present, with a time-shifting narrative that will mesmerize and surprise, The Beauty of the End is both a masterpiece of suspense and a powerful rumination on lost love.

Review:

With an intriguing premise and an interesting spin on the unreliable narrator plot device, The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells is a riveting mystery that moves at a steady pace to a somewhat shocking and unexpected conclusion.

Noah Calaway is a part-time solicitor and author who lives a solitary life in the countryside.  However, a phone call about his ex-fiancée April Moon pulls him out his self-imposed exile when he decides to look into the circumstances surrounding her apparent suicide attempt.  Even more surprising than the supposed overdose is the crime April is suspected of committing-the murder of her stepfather Bryan Norton. Although he has not seen her since she inexplicably ended their engagement years earlier, Noah is convinced April is not capable of murder and he has serious doubts she tried to kill herself.  As he pulls back the layers of this enigmatic and complex woman whom he has worshipped from the moment he first saw her, Noah is forced to revisit old memories and revise his perception of long ago events.  But will this new insight and information about the past lead Noah to the truth about what is happening in the present?

Noah’s infatuation with April began as a teen and despite their complicated history, he still views her as perfect and completely flawless.  In the past, he easily excused her faults and he turned a blind eye to her less than appealing traits. Their paths crossed many times over the years and although April broke his heart more than once, Noah never hesitated to give her a second chance.  But as he begins to investigate the murder of her stepfather and her overdose, he gradually realizes that he willingly ignored, consciously overlooked and simply blocked out anything that contradicted his vision of her “perfection”.

Noah was guilty of this willful ignorance of facts with his childhood friend, Dr. Will Farrington, as well.  He caught on much quicker to Will’s manipulation and arrogance much sooner, but unfortunately not before Will interfered with his relationship with April.  Noah has not had any contact with either Will or April in years so he is surprised when Will calls to tell him about the situation with April.  Never forgetting  Will’s betrayal, Noah still remains a little naive as he initially takes everything Will tells him at face value.  It is not until he scratches below the surface of April’s life that he begins to realize what Will might be capable of but Noah still cannot figure out where he fits into the current situation. By the time Noah eventually pieces together all of the clues will it be too late to save himself from his old friend’s lies and manipulations?

In addition to Noah’s first person narration of past and present events, there are occasional passages from a teenager’s therapy sessions.   Ella is the daughter of wealthy parents whose lives are often so busy they do not have time for their child.  Forced to see a therapist by her mother, Ella tries to keep her sessions impersonal as she dances around the real reason her relationship with her parents is so strained. Seemingly unrelated to Noah’s drama, the two storylines finally converge as the novel nears its explosive finale.

The Beauty of the End is an intricately plotted mystery that will leave readers reeling as Noah uncovers a sinister plot as he tries to prove April’s innocence.  Atmospheric and full of chilling secrets, lies and manipulations, this latest release by Debbie Howells is a must read for anyone who enjoy a well-written, suspense-laden psychological mystery.

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Filed under Contemporary, Debbie Howells, Kensington, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, suspense, The Beauty of the End

Review: Reckless in Texas by Kari Lynn Dell

Title: Reckless in Texas by Kari Lynn Dell
Texas Rodeo Series Book One
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 416 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

Texas Homecoming

Violet Jacobs is fearless. At least, that’s what the cowboys she snatches from under the hooves of bucking horses think. Outside the ring, she’s got plenty of worries rattling her bones: her young son, her mess of a love life, and lately, her family’s struggling rodeo. When she takes business into her own hands and hires on a hotshot bullfighter, she expects to start a ruckus. She never expected Joe Cassidy. Rough and tumble, cocky and charming, Joe’s everything a superstar should be-and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out he’s way out of Violet’s league.

Joe came to Texas to escape a life spiraling out of control. He never planned on sticking around, and he certainly never expected to call this dry and dusty backwater home. But Violet is everything he never knew he was missing, and the deeper he’s pulled into her beautiful mess of a family, the more he realizes this fierce rodeo girl may be offering him the one thing he never could find on his own.

Review:

The first installment in Kari Lynn Dell’s Texas Rodeo series, Reckless in Texas is a sparkling romance between a rodeo contractor and a bullfighter.

Single mom, business manager and pick up man (er, lady), Violet Jacobs yearns to take her family’s rodeo business beyond the borders of her home state of Texas.  Hoping her decision to hire a replacement bullfighter from out of state will be the first step in expanding their horizons, Violet is stunned when the bullfighter who arrives is not the bullfighter she actually hired. 

Joe Cassidy is a superstar bullfighter whose latest clash with his long time boss Dick Browning puts a premature end to his rodeo season.  His partner and best friend Wyatt Darrington has been trying to convince Joe to end ties with Browning and he hopes working with another contractor will give Joe some much needed perspective.  Joe reluctantly goes along with Wyatt’s scheme but will his time with Violet make any difference in his plans to return to Browning’s ranch after his contract with the Jacobs’ family has ended?

Violet is a cowgirl through and through and although she loves working with her family, she dreams of making a bigger splash in the rodeo world. With a long track record of making ill-fated relationship decisions, the last thing she needs is an unwanted attraction to her temporary bullfighter.  Immediately rubbed the wrong way by his cocky attitude and disparaging comments, Violet is dismayed by her sizzling attraction to Joe and she tries to keep her distance from him as much as possible.  Once he loses the attitude and she sees the genuinely good-hearted man he keeps hidden, Violet finds him darn near impossible to resist.  But fearing yet another public scandal, she is already reconsidering her decision to enter into a relationship with Joe when misunderstandings and miscommunications threaten to derail their budding romance.

Joe is a gifted bullfighter but he has big dreams of eventually becoming a partner in Browning’s ranch.  His relationship with the stock contractor is rocky and although they have gone through many ups and downs over the years, this latest altercation is, by far, the worst they have endured.  Working with the Jacobs family is much more fulfilling on both a personal and professional level, but he finds it impossible to give up the goal he has worked toward for over half his life.  Trying to live in the here and now, Joe would like nothing more than to explore his simmering desire for Violet, but he has no idea how to woo the single mom.  Even worse, he fears losing the respect of her family if things go wrong between them and completely out of his depth, he makes a few missteps and mistakes that play into Violet’s fears.  When Browning gives him the opportunity to return to his Oregon ranch, Joe never hesitates to go back to the place he calls home, but will he find what he is looking for with the irascible rancher?

There is plenty of sexual tension between Joe and Violet and they come extremely close to giving in to their desire on several occasions.  Underlying all of their interactions is a simmering attraction that deepens over time but it takes a good part of the novel for Joe and Violet to actually consummate their relationship.  With both of them carrying around so much unresolved baggage, once their romance hits a major roadblock, neither of them knows how or is willing to break their impasse.  Completely miserable apart, will either Joe or Violet work up the courage to resolve their differences?

With an absolutely charming cast of wonderfully unique characters and a sighworthy romance, Reckless in Texas by Kari Lynn Dell is a heartfelt novel that is quite captivating. Set against the backdrop of the rodeo world, readers will be delighted with the behind the scenes look into stock contractors, bullfighters and rodeo production. This engaging, fast-paced love story will leave fans waiting impatiently awaiting the next installment in the Texas Rodeo series.

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Filed under Contemporary, Kari Lynn Dell, Rated B+, Reckless in Texas, Review, Romance, Sourcebooks Casablanca, Texas Rodeo Series