Wednesday, April 28, 2021

A Cowboy Kind of Love, by Donna Grant

St. Martin's Press, ISBN 9781250250094, April 2021

Jace Wilder and Taryn Hillman were in love--and then disaster fell on them.

Ever since her mother's death, Taryn had worked to keep her family together, functional, and out of trouble--with only mediocre success. Her father and brother were working for a drug lord, and one awful night, the drug lord descended on them, and announced they were all--her father, her brother Ben, her younger sister Payton, and Taryn herself, coming with him.

They were all going to work for him, selling drugs, to pay off the debts her father had incurred. She persuaded the drug lord, Boyd Walters, to keep her sister out of it, if she earned twice as much, and she succeeded. Even after Boyd kills her father and brother, she's still doing it, to keep Payton safe. But now she wants to get Payton and herself out altogether, and she's cut a new deal with Boyd. It means going back to Clearview, and she might run into Jace, but she has to do it.

Jace has been trying to patch up his wound, both from Taryn's sudden departure with her family, with only a single text to tell him she wouldn't be back, and his years in the Afghanistan war. It hasn't been working, and lately he's been doing too much drinking, and he doesn't know whether it's the alcohol, hallucination, or reality, when he thinks he sees Taryn in town again.

Taryn's only real hope--other than Jace, whom she doesn't want to ask because she doesn't want to risk him getting on Boyd's radar--falls through badly, when the local crime boss finds out who exactly she owes the debt to. And when Jace sees her a second time, he knows it's really her, and won't let her get away without telling him the truth.

Or at least, some of it. She's still trying to keep him from getting too involved, even now that she has nowhere else to go for help.

But Jace is going to do what he needs to for her, and his ex-military buddies are going to help.

The truth is more tangled than even Taryn knows, and what they're going to do is more dangerous than any of them really knows.

It's a good story, but a little darker than I was really looking for. There are some very bad people involved, and not only the ones you expect. Still, a solid story, and a good romance.

Recommended with the above caveat.

I received a free electronic galley from the publisher via NetGalley, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

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