cover image The Rodeo Queen

The Rodeo Queen

Marcella Bell. HQN, $8.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-1-335-63985-1

Bell does not disappoint in her second Closed Circuit romance (The Wildest Ride). Latina rodeo queen Sierra Quintanilla, the public face of Closed Circuit Rodeo, has worked hard to perfect her flawless persona of femininity and innocence for the audience. She’s convinced herself she’s happy and thriving—but a dance with “the devil,” Diablo Sosa, makes her realize just how much she’s missing. Black Latine Cowboy turned attorney Diablo walked away from the rodeo arena due to fatigue and frustration with rodeo culture’s whitewashed cowboy mythology. When his father figure, Henry “Old Man” Bowman, the owner of Cityboyz, an after-school program, asks him to compete on Closed Circuit to promote the program, however, Sosa does not hesitate. Sierra and Diablo could not be more different, but there’s no denying their attraction. For Sierra, though, being with Diablo would mean risking her perfect image—and her job. Meanwhile, Diablo’s love for the rodeo is again challenged when a bigoted fellow contestant tries to destroy the competition. Bell brings the diverse world of competitive rodeo to life with vivid details and enhances the slow burn, opposites attract romance with chemistry and banter. Readers will be captivated. Agent: Helen Breitweiser, Cornerstone Literary. (Dec.)