cover image Summer Nights with a Cowboy

Summer Nights with a Cowboy

Caitlin Crews. St. Martin’s, $8.99 mass market (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-75002-0

Crews polishes off her steamy Kittridge Ranch trilogy with this breathless and arousing tale of old secrets and new beginnings (after All Night Long with a Cowboy). Traveling nurse Janie Atwood ostensibly arrives in Cold River, Colo., to care for octogenarian Damaris Gardner, but she has an ulterior motive: investigating her possible connection to one of the town’s founding families. Drop-dead gorgeous Sheriff Zack Kittridge, who lives like a monk in Cold River while taking his (admittedly “a little bit dirty”) pleasures outside the county to avoid gossip, is distrustful of her from the start. Gradually, however, his suspicions that Janie’s taking advantage of Damaris dissipate and the less experienced Janie’s fear that all men will forever see her as a kid sister dissolves in the face of his interest in her. Their mutual desire swells until Zack wants to “bathe” in her and Janie feels “plugged into an electric outlet.” In Zack, Crews handily delivers Damaris’s definition of a perfect man: “a gentleman on the street but a cowboy in the sheets.” It’s not all blistering heat, however; subplots about Damaris’s feelings on aging, Zack’s adulterous father, and Zack’s brothers and friends helping him to reestablish his family ranching ties add depth. This lusty romance is sure to fulfill some fantasies. (Mar.)