cover image Marrying My Cowboy

Marrying My Cowboy

Diana Palmer, Lindsay McKenna, and Kate Pearce. Zebra, $7.99 mass market (440p) ISBN 978-1-4201-4800-8

With mixed success, three established authors of western romance attempt to win readers’ hearts with this sampler of novellas. Relying on improbable coincidence instead of plot, Palmer’s “The Rancher’s Wedding” cannot be read with any enjoyment. Cassie Reed moves from Atlanta to rural Colorado to be with her father, who is dodging the paparazzi after a sexual harassment scandal. She usually works remotely as a successful screenwriter, so it’s unclear why she leaves that job for a poorly paid retail gig. Cassie meets rancher Jack Denton and after a slow start they become a couple, but he’s totally unsympathetic when she has an asthma attack, and upset when the truth of her circumstances is revealed. McKenna’s more readable “Wind River Wedding,” tied to her Wind River series set in Wyoming, shares the origins of the Whitcomb family, going back to 1964, when Princeton student Steve Whitcomb first meets his future wife, Maud. Meanwhile, Pearce returns to her Morgan Ranch series with “The Cowboy Lassoes a Bride,” a peek at Samantha Kelly and HW Morgan’s wedding and extended family. Despite a slightly wild bachelorette party, a lost dress, and a missing brother, the happy event is enjoyed by all. Fans of Pearce and McKenna’s series will find their excursions enjoyable; Palmer’s isn’t worth slogging through. (Apr.)