In this novel set in small-town Texas, a divorce attorney–turned–fledgling author falls for her tough-as-nails rancher landlord.
Jessica’s had enough of Dallas. After catching her fiance in bed with his secretary, she experiences a very public breakdown that leads her to take administrative leave from her law firm. Thankfully, Jessica has a book deal for A Girl’s Guide to Divorce and, now, nothing but time to write. Relocating temporarily to a cottage leased by friendly Martha in tiny Sweetwater, Texas, seems like a smart move—until Jessica arrives and butts heads with the elderly woman’s grandson Jason, the actual owner of her new home. A former professional baseball player with a chip on his shoulder, Jason has taken it upon himself to honor his parents’ legacy and make their Flying J ranch successful once again. Drowning in debt and perpetually stressed, he figures that the last thing he needs is the bright-eyed Jessica, who’s equally intelligent and stubborn and with whom he shares a fierce sexual chemistry. But when Jessica hatches a new business plan to sell Martha’s delectable baked goods—while working on a romance novel about cowboys—Jason must face that his feelings for the former attorney run deeper than he once thought. Meanwhile, Jessica struggles with finding her identity as a writer and as a woman, discovering the choice between city and country a challenge. Bestselling author Jones (Love Me Dead, 2019, etc.) creates a supportive, quirky world in the town of Sweetwater, with colorful characters, boisterous Pilates classes, and a hairless cat named Kelly. Jessica’s journey from jaded lawyer to open and loving author and businesswoman is relatable with every step forward and two steps back. But while Jessica and Jason’s sex scenes are steamy, he is not as compelling a character. He consistently throws tantrums about Jessica’s clothing choices and supposed flirting that both his girlfriend and grandmother must constantly manage with emotional labor. Jessica evolves over the course of the novel while Jason keeps his cowboy boots planted firmly on the ground.
A romance with satisfying sex scenes and a female protagonist who can do much better than the cowboy she’s chosen.