Violet Jacobs has “a head for business and a heart for thrills.” She is the business manager for Jacobs Livestock, a rodeo stock business. She is also a pickup ”man” in the arena during the bronc riding and the bull riding. However, working pickup in the arena isn’t nearly as reckless as what she has done after a few drinks in a bar—all of which are widely known in the rodeo world.
Top-notch rodeo bullfighter Joe Cassidy, manipulated by his partner and unshakable friend, finds himself working a small rodeo with Jacobs Livestock—not his usual high-profile rodeo.
Violet and Joe strike sparks off each other. Soon Violet sees beneath the cold, sarcastic, arrogant façade Joe presents to the world. They connect in a way neither had intended.
Violet, her five-year-old son Beni, and her extended family are close-knit and very supportive of each other and even include Delon who is a long time friend and the father of Beni—product of one of those reckless nights after one tequila too many; while Joe’s only true support is his meddlesome friend Wyatt—an intriguing character that captured my heart.
The undercurrents of secret desires, self doubts, and feelings of unworthiness trickle through the story. Even though the main characters have more than their share of flaws, they are loyal, strong, helpful, hardworking, and honest in their dealings. Then, there is Dick Browning, Joe’s nemesis—a villain we love to hate. He seems to have none of these good qualities.
The almost love scenes, the ones that get interrupted in humorous ways are fun to read. When that uninterrupted love scene finally comes, it is breathtaking. Two restless hearts and souls know they have come home—right where they want to be.
The dialogue enhances the story. It is sharp, sparkling, and shiny, with unique expressions that entertain. Only a few times does the F word show up to tarnish the shine.
I’m not sure I really liked the characters, but they did entertain me, and Kari Lynn Dell writes in a smooth style that is a delight to read.
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