cover image Big Chance Cowboy

Big Chance Cowboy

Teri Anne Stanley. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $7.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-1-4926-7433-7

This busy but inspiring contemporary piles drama, family ties, PTSD, and animal rescue on top of romance. Adam Collins rejected his high school girlfriend, Lizzie Vanhook, so he could sever ties with his hometown and enlist in the Army. Twelve years later, he returns to fictitious Big Chance, Tex., looking for peace and quiet so he can recover from his combat trauma. Lizzie needs help training her out-of-control dog, D-Day, and she thinks canine expert Adam is the best person for the job, despite their painful history. When she asks for his help, long-buried feelings resurface. Adam still mourns the loss of Tank, his IED-detecting dog, but he finds it difficult to resist D-Day, who quickly becomes Adam’s assistant. Then members from his former team (all recovering from an explosion he blames himself for) seek solace on Adam’s farm, and his ranch becomes a shelter for wounded animals and veterans. The romance is overshadowed by the rest of the goings-on, but everything else is enjoyable, too. Stanley hits the mark with wonderfully complex, caring characters; catchy dialogue; and lessons in self-esteem, loyalty, and forgiveness. Agent: Nicole Resciniti, Seymour Agency. (Sept.)