In Book 2 of the Princes of Texas series (The Charmer in Chaps, 2019), a rancher’s daughter escapes to Aspen after a breakup, but she can’t stop thinking about the boy next door.
Hallie Prince left her cheating fiance shortly before their wedding, and now she doesn’t know what to do with her life. She once had dreams of becoming a prima ballerina, but she quit dancing when her teachers told her she lacked the talent. She confides in her childhood friend Rafe Fontana, who worked for her family at Three Rivers Ranch before leaving to join the Army. They kiss, briefly sparking romance, but he’s already made plans to start a business in Chicago, and she’s busy destroying her wedding decor on Instagram to get revenge on her ex. Rafe is also skeptical of Hallie’s mother, who has always treated him and his family like the hired help—an awkward backstory for the couple to overcome. Aside from that, the ranch itself doesn’t get much use. Rafe ultimately joins Hallie on a trip to Aspen, forcing the two of them to consider whether their futures will include each other. Hallie and Rafe have a good rapport, with easy banter and strong chemistry, but their relationship is very slow to get off the ground. With more single siblings at home, the Prince family has a lot of drama to explore for the rest of the series, particularly through the matriarch, Cordelia, whose husband’s death forces her to recognize how much she depends on the Fontanas and to reconsider her relationship with her children.
There’s plenty of sweetness but not a lot of saddle in this friends-to-lovers Western.