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A fun, sexy novel about middle-aged romance, second chances and the wide open spaces of big-hearted Texas.

Ann, a high-powered bicoastal business woman on the verge of marrying a high-powered dud, takes her fiancé and her two children, Daniel and Stella, to the Double-D ranch, a getaway for weekend wranglers. For Ann, worried about the impending demise of an adventurous love life and the happiness of her children, it’s a romantic litmus. Her thriller-writer beau is withdrawn and hardly musters the effort to look at her when she speaks–he’s also no hearty father figure. Enter Thunder, a studly cowpoke resembling the second coming of the Marlboro Man. He’s handsome, friendly and great with the kids–as hard as they fall for Thunder on the trail rides, Ann goes stirrups over saddle. Impetuously deciding to leave her fiancé, purchase a ranch on the cheap, bring the children and shack up with Thunder, Ann barely has time to catch her breath before realizing she may have corralled her life into dangerous territory. Initially blissful, the trials and tribulations of ranch life and a small business take their toll on the relationship, and it’s a long and winding trail toward contentment. The first-person narration is smart and sassy, but the plot occasionally meanders and edits could spur things along. Thunder is great candy for the mind’s eye and all the characters are surprisingly developed within the Harlequin-esque setup. The romance is thrilling, but the book cools during the obligatory erotic interludes–there is plenty of heat, but the fire seems to be missing. The fate of Ann and Thunder is rendered in a supremely mature conclusion, but the final resolution is rushed, as though the novel were exhausted from its own conflicts. Still, the attitude and believable heroine make the book a hoot.

A sassy, sexy Southwestern romance.

Pub Date: May 5th, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4392-2525-7
Program: Kirkus Indie
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