cover image One Fine Cowboy

One Fine Cowboy

Joanne Kennedy, Sourcebooks Casablanca, $6.99 (416p) ISBN 978-1-4022-3670-9

Stock characters and a predictable plot mar Kennedy's second contemporary western romance (after Cowboy Trouble). Charlie Banks, a perky Rutgers graduate student and devout PETA member, leaves New Jersey for Wyoming, expecting to research a genuine horse whisperer. Instead she finds handsome but inarticulate cowboy Nate Shawcross, whose ex-girlfriend advertised a dude ranch, took the customers' money, and skipped town. The supposed contrast between Charlie's animal rights activism and Nate's career vanishes by chapter three, when Charlie decides that "[m]aybe horses didn't mind being ridden... like Nate said." The rest of the story—Charlie falls hard for Nate, copes easily with his quirky uninvited guests, puts her city smarts to work helping him handle his avaricious ex—would be a better fit for a much shorter book. (Sept.)