cover image Midnight Heat

Midnight Heat

Cat Johnson. Kensington/Zebra, $7.99 mass market (368p) ISBN 978-1-4201-3625-8

The third book in Johnson’s Midnight Cowboys series (after Midnight Wrangler), linked to her Oklahoma Nights series, blends serendipity and seduction in equal parts. Justin Skaggs is burned out from caring for his mother—who is devastated by grief over his brother’s death in Afghanistan—and working a tough job as a ranch hand for Rohn Lerner. He needs to get away from Oklahoma for a little while. When Rohn asks Justin to travel to Arizona to pack up Rohn’s fiancée’s old home, Justin jumps at the chance. Along the way, he meets sweet Phoenix Montagno, who lives in California but is on a quest of her own. Phoenix loses her birth certificate and sends away for a duplicate. Instead of getting one that names her adoptive parents, she receives a copy of the original, which reveals the name of her birth mother. Drawn to this woman she’s never met, Phoenix sets out on a journey to find her, a choice that will have repercussions for everyone in Justin’s life as well as Phoenix’s. Johnson’s handsome cowboys never disappoint, and her sensitivity to difficult topics is evident in her skillful storytelling. Readers will cheer for a happy ending for all involved. (Mar.)