cover image Catching the Cowboy:

Catching the Cowboy:

Shanna Hatfield. Wholesome Hearts, $10.99 trade paper (324p) ISBN 978-0-9980988-4-5

Portland, Ore., heiress Emery Brighton kicks off this charming, chaste cowboy romance from Hatfield (Spring into Romance) when she tipsily attempts to steal a police horse. Things go from bad to worse for Emery after she tries to bribe the cop who arrests her, and footage of the whole messy encounter winds up on the internet. She’s socked with 300 hours of community service—and to drive home the lesson, her father arranges for her to complete her hours in the poor, rural town of Summer Creek, where she’ll stay with her father’s friend Nell Cole and Nell’s handsome widower grandson, Hudson. Hudson is initially distrustful of Emery, who he judges to be a snooty socialite, and worries about what kind of influence she’ll be on his six-year-old daughter, Cricket. But Emery surprises him by throwing herself into her community service and endearing herself to his grandmother and daughter. Though Hatfield does more telling than showing when it comes to Emery’s character development, precocious Cricket and no-nonsense Nell add depth to the occasionally flimsy love story. Lovers of clean, small-town romances will definitely want to take a look. (Self-published)