cover image Tougher in Texas

Tougher in Texas

Kari Lynn Dell. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $7.99 mass market (416p) ISBN 978-1-4926-3200-9

In Dell’s incredibly realistic third Texas Rodeo contemporary (after Tangled in Texas), a rodeo producer meets the woman of his dreams when he least expects it. Cole Jacobs has Asperger’s, which makes social situations challenging for him, and he struggles to get along with the people who work for his rodeo. Finally, his cousin Violet promises to find him a talented pickup man (whose job is to anticipate riders being thrown and keep them safe)—and the new hire turns out to be a brash, bold woman. Shawnee Pickett’s skill on horseback meets with Cole’s approval, and they work together beautifully even as their attraction builds. Shawnee finds Cole’s frank manner very refreshing and attractive, and it makes him a most appealing and believable protagonist. But she’s keeping a personal secret that might destroy their relationship and can’t bear to take the risk of coming clean. Dell takes the reader deep into the fascinating world of rodeo, and her effortless storytelling, three-dimensional characters, and heartwarming romance bring the novel to life. Agent: Holly Root, Waxman Leavell Literary. (Aug.)