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
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.
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.