cover image The Last Real Cowboy

The Last Real Cowboy

Caitlin Crews. St. Martin’s, $7.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-1-250-29527-9

The steamy third romance in Crews’s Cold River Ranch series (after Cold Heart, Warm Cowboy) combines small-town charm with delectable cowboy swagger. At 22, Amanda Kittredge is tired of being treated as the baby of her overprotective family of Cold River, Colo., cattle ranchers. Ready to rebel, she takes a job at the infamous Coyote bar. After the death of Brady Everett’s abusive father, the 32-year-old bad boy returns to Cold River to work on his family’s ranch. Amanda’s brother Riley enlists Brady, his best friend, to keep his little sister out of the trouble she’s thirsting for, but seeing Amanda working at the Coyote is enough to convince Brady that she’s all grown up. Amanda seizes the opportunity to ask Brady, her long-standing crush, to teach her about sex and men. Brady obliges, despite fears of what Riley might do if he ever found out. Brady’s willing lessons and Amanda’s breathless “research” soon grow into a deeper connection, and the tight-knit community, familial pressures, and vivid depictions of ranching country add character. Romance fans will eagerly devour this high-heat love story. Agent: Holly Root, Root Literary. (Feb.)