cover image Do or Die Cowboy: Dark Horse Cowboys, Book 1

Do or Die Cowboy: Dark Horse Cowboys, Book 1

June Faver. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $7.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-1-4926-6766-7

In this complicated, fast-paced introduction to Faver’s Dark Horse Cowboys series, Tyler Garrett, an aspiring country music star in Langston, Tex., befriends single mother Leah Benson and her eight-year-old daughter, Gracie, while heading to Dallas to compete in Texas Country Star, an American Idol knockoff. Leah is determined to make a better life for her daughter on her own, but when her car breaks down, she can’t refuse Tyler’s offer of a ride to her grandmother Fern’s house. Tyler puts his trip on hold a couple of days to help bring the dilapidated property up to par, and quickly ends up bonding with the trio. The plot thickens when Ty learns that Fern is being bullied by neighboring ranchers, a dangerous man from Leah’s past catches up to her, a dead body is found in Fern’s field, and Ty tries to mend fences with his strong-willed father. The complicated plot flows well, but the climax is a bit contrived. Hints of a coming romance between Gracie’s teacher and Ty’s father will keep readers hooked on the series. (Sept.)