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RAISING THE STAKES and WISH ME TOMORROW
HIS KIND OF COWGIRL
Releasing March 1st, 2016
Would he still love her…if he knew?
Tanner Hayes smashed Claire's life to pieces when he chose the rodeo over her ten years ago. And now he'd wrecked her truck! Fantastic. She'd lost her husband, the family ranch was mired in debt, her father was recuperating from a stroke and her son was being bullied. Why not throw a reckless bull rider into the mix?
All she'd wanted was a safe, stable life. But with Tanner back in town—and staying on her ranch—nothing was safe, or under control. Not the feelings she'd fought so hard to forget. Not the son she was determined to protect. And certainly not her long-held secret…
When you take some pretty hefty misunderstandings and add them to an undeniable attraction, family, a ranch, and loyalty, you either need to go big or go home. So who's all in?
Claire's had a rough life. Ten years earlier, Tanner left her for rodeo and her husband was recently killed in Afghanistan, leaving her with a father, who just had a stroke, a young bullied son, and a ranch that's almost belly up. A chance encounter brings Tanner back into her life and Claire isn't sure she can weather the storm of emotions that he brings with him.
Learning to trust someone again isn't easy, but there were times when I felt like Claire would take two steps forward and then one step back, which was very frustrating. She's stubborn--when she gets her mind set on something, it's hard to sway her--I will give her that. She's a very good mother and daughter, but she needs to move on. Tanner isn't perfect, but his intentions are good, if a little misguided. He's got nothing to lose and is willing to gamble everything. They are a good complement to each other--nonchalant versus sass. I absolutely loved each of their qualities and their interactions with each other were full of sparks, both good and bad.
Ms. Rock, one of my favorite authors, does a fantastic job of capturing emotion in a neat plot with a very realistic setting. There's something about cowboys and their hardworking nature, fierce allegiance, an unrefined edges that completely warms my heart and draws me right in. Well done!
Content: mild romance (vague implication to pre-marital relationship that resulted in pregnancy, kissing); mild violence. Clean!
*I received a copy through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
Everything happened at once and in slow motion.
A crushing jolt shuddered through the truck. Her wheels skidded sideways. She smacked against the window when her pickup rolled down an embankment, as if punched by something large and lethal. Glass rained deadly sharp. The earth tumbled around her, her truck in spin cycle. When a massive tree loomed, the Chevy slammed into it then stilled.
Winded and stunned, she hung upside-down in her lap belt, blood, metallic and warm, on her tongue, a rushing sound whistling in her ears. Her heartbeat changed and grew slow and rolling in darkness. Something hurt, a long way away. Then nothing.
“Ma’am. Ma’am. Are you all right?” A man’s voice shouted, rousing her. She tried turning her head but pain held it in place. When she opened her mouth, silent panic flew out.
“Hold on. I’m getting you out of there.”
Acrid smoke pierced her consciousness. She closed her eyes against the billowing grit.
This wasn’t happening. It was a dream. No. A nightmare.
A tugging motion jerked her right and left, followed by a ripping sound. Large hands halted her sudden fall.
Her rescuer cradled her against his chest, his breaths heaving beneath her ear. After carrying her some distance, he lowered her slowly to the ground. Grass scraped against her stinging cheeks and she opened her eyes.
“What?” she croaked, then swiped at the trickle leaking from her mouth. A man wearing a cowboy hat hunched over her, his features blurred.
“You’ve been in an accident. We have. Our trucks collided in the intersection.”
“My truck!” She bolted upright and clutched the swirling ground.
An arm snaked around her back and eased her down. “I called the dispatcher. The fire department’s on the way.”
A wail sounded in the distance and Claire wanted to shriek with it.
Her special day. Her anniversary. Ruined. No. Demolished by this…this…
She squinted upward and focused. A dark swirl of hair brushed across the tall man’s forehead; a
light scar zigzagged down his square jaw. Recognition zapped through her.
It couldn’t be…
“Hello, Claire.” His mouth went up, just a fraction—the same ready-for-anything smile that had once undone her.
She closed her eyes, heart thudding. Ten years since she’d vowed never to see him again…and now here he stood, two for two in wrecking her life.
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About the Author
Karen Rock is an award-winning YA and adult contemporary romance author. She holds a master's degree in English and was an ELA instructor before becoming a full-time writer. Currently she writes for Harlequin Blaze and Harlequin Heartwarming. Her novel, A LEAGUE OF HER OWN, won the 2015 National Excellence in Romance Fiction award in contemporary romance series and the 2015 Bookseller's Best award for contemporary romance, long.
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WISH ME TOMORROW