cover image Renegade (Cowboys and Harvey Girls #2)

Renegade (Cowboys and Harvey Girls #2)

Anna Schmidt. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $7.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-1-4926-6707-0

The second in Schmidt’s Cowboys and Harvey Girls western series (after Trailblazer) is a serviceable but unremarkable example of the genre. Lily Travis, a friend to Grace Rogers, the first book’s protagonist, has little to look forward to except serving up food with a smile as a Harvey Girl, working at one of the first restaurants in the American West. Her assumption of a bleak future is challenged after Lily witnesses a troublesome exchange surrounding her friend, kitchen manager Jake Collier, and decides to help him. This partnership also means joining forces with by-the-book sheriff Cody Daniels. Cody and Lily don’t see eye-to-eye on much of anything, but their mutual attraction makes for more chemistry than either one can ignore. The book is tame and sweet; it hesitantly goes to dark or serious places once in a while, such as Lily’s history of being abused by violent men , but mostly remains lighthearted. Like its supposedly renegade heroine, the story is only mildly rebellious and doesn’t pack much of a punch. Agent: Natasha Kern, Natasha Kern Literary. (July)