cover image Three Cowboys and a Bride

Three Cowboys and a Bride

Kate Pearce. Zebra, $8.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-1-4201-5498-6

Pearce turns up the heat in her steamy third Three Cowboys romance (after Three Cowboys and a Puppy), revisiting ex-Marine buddies Luke, Noah, and Max, who all help run Luke’s mother’s cattle spread. Four years before the start of the book, drop-dead gorgeous Max was drinking away his troubles one evening in Reno, Nev., when he met properly cardiganed and pearled English rose Phoebe Creighton-Smith, who proposed a marriage of convenience that would help her inherit property. Max was just drunk and charmed enough to say yes and, after an unconsummated ceremony, Phoebe returned to England and Max returned to Marine duty. Now all three ranchers are shocked when Max’s “wife” shows up at their door. To get her fortune, Phoebe must now prove to her relatives that their marriage is real. Sparks soon fly and Max zealously cooperates with “Feebs” when she’s “almost combusted by lust,” but neither can bear to discuss their future. After a trying visit from Feebs’s brother, George, an obnoxious British lord, and with help from their several friends, love and lust win out in the end. Readers will find plenty to enjoy in the leads’ dynamic: Phoebe thinks admirably well on her feet and Max enjoys letting her be in control. Cowboy romance lovers will want to check this out. (June)