cover image Last Chance Rodeo

Last Chance Rodeo

Kari Lynn Dell. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $7.99 mass market (320p) ISBN 978-1-4926-9524-0

Dell brings her knowledge of rodeo riding and Blackfeet Indian life to this gripping, emotional contemporary western. While calf roper David Parsons was distracted, his beloved horse, Muddy, was startled by fireworks and ran away. Devastated, David spiraled into misery, broke up with his fiancée, and lost his rodeo career. Four years later, when he learns Muddy’s been spotted on the Montana Blackfeet Reservation, he rushes to retrieve his temperamental best bud, only to learn that Muddy is now owned by a troubled, disabled teen whose guardian is just as hard-headed as the horse. Mary Steele has worked hard to keep her nephew, Kylan, on the right path, and she believes Muddy is central to his healing, so she plays hardball with David. The law of the reservation is on her side, even though Muddy legally belongs to David. Not wanting to crush Kylan’s dreams, David agrees to stick around, train Kylan to ride, and find a replacement for Muddy—and soon he falls for Mary. But he’s sworn off romantic involvements, and Mary’s overprotective nature threatens her relationships with both David and Kylan. The story is more focused on David and Kylan’s connection than the budding romance with Mary, but the character development is strong and readers will rejoice at Kylan overcoming his obstacles. This original western boasts strong writing and characters to cheer for. Agent: Holly Root, Root Literary. (Aug.)