cover image The Rancher: Last Chance Cowboys, Book 4

The Rancher: Last Chance Cowboys, Book 4

Anna Schmidt. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $7.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-1-4926-1305-3

Schmidt’s enjoyable fourth Last Chance Cowboys historical (after The Outlaw) has the unusual backdrop of tensions between cattle ranchers and sheep herders in the late-19th-century Arizona Territory. Beautiful and resilient Nell Stokes is doing her best to survive after unknown assailants killed her husband and left her to take care of their young son, Joshua, and run their sheep ranch alone. When nearby cattle rancher Trey Porterfield tries to befriend the young widow, she’s wary of him, but Trey is unlike the other cattle ranchers Nell has met. Soon she is attracted to the handsome rancher, whose kindness is as seductive as his powerful physique. Unable to resist Nell’s allure and hoping to help end the feud between the ranchers and herders, Trey asks Nell to marry him. After a too-brief period of relationship development, they make mutual declarations of love, and then Schmidt dives into nonstop action as Nell and Trey try to stop the fighting and maintain a solid marriage. Strong, well-developed characters fill the pages of this novel, which highlights both sizzling romance and the trials of the Old West. Agent: Natasha Kern, Natasha Kern Literary. (Mar.)