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Sexy, stubborn, looks good in a hat & boots …

*****

The Last Rodeo

A Wrangler’s Creek Novel (Book 9)

by Delores Fossen

Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages

Publisher: HQN (June 26, 2018)

Blurb:

The most important two words for this Wrangler’s Creek rodeo cowboy? I do…

Lucian Granger isn’t winning any Mr. Cowboy Congeniality awards. Known in his small Texas town as “Lucifer” thanks to his surly nature and knack for scaring people away from getting too close, the handsome rancher has no trouble ignoring the gossip. But when he’s in danger of losing the land he’s put his blood, sweat and tears into maintaining, Lucian sets out to prove he’s a changed man—by claiming he’s about to settle down with his invaluable assistant, Karlee O’Malley.

Their pending nuptials may be just for show, but from the moment they kiss, the proverbial fireworks start going off in his head—and in his heart. Before long, the man who’s usually as emotional as a brick wall is tired of pretending and wants to share a real future with Karlee. With his world suddenly turned upside down, Lucian will risk losing the business and the ranch if it means holding on to the one woman worth becoming a better man for…

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*****

Review:

As a new Fossen reader, I have no idea what her particular style is but I feel like I should give a few warnings for other newbies.  There isn’t a TON of romance here, so if that’s your main focus you may be disappointed (I’ve seen a few of those on Goodreads).  Instead, Fossen delivers an interesting mix of a couple coming to terms with their feelings, a oh-so-dysfunctional family, and some business shenanigans.  It melded together really well for me, but may not work for others.

Lucian is the one that stepped in when his dad stepped out and he’s done amazing things to make the family business a success.  Unfortunately, his dad is now back in the picture and threatening everything that Lucian has worked so hard for.  The big question is why and that plays out through a decent part of the book.  It also leads Lucian to making a few realizations – about himself, his life, and his heart.

Karlee has been there by Lucian’s side for years, loving him silently, but she’s finally reached the point where her heart can’t take any more.  She’s starting to move on when the bad dad drama hits and her feelings means that she can’t abandon Lucian or his family.  But being in a fake relationship with him means that some things come to light that she hadn’t planned on.

Fossen has a fun, quirky style – filling her story with humor, hijinxs, and hilarious secondary characters.  And because she writes with dual POV, we are there with Lucian while his blinders are taken away and he has to face not only Karlee’s feelings but his own.  We also get to see the toll that everything has on her.  And my heart went out to her all the way to the end.

While I found the love story to be satisfying, it also doesn’t play center stage.  Those looking for a pure romance may be a little thrown by the family and business drama.  It’s important for the characters and does help lead to the HEA, leading to growth and helping to put some old ghosts to bed, but it does make up a decent part of the plot causing the relationship portion to be downplayed a little.  Not a bad thing, in my opinion as I enjoyed seeing how everything worked out, but also not everyone’s cup of tea 🙂

*****

Author Info:

USA Today bestselling author, Delores Fossen, has sold over 70 novels with millions of copies of her books in print worldwide. She’s received the Booksellers’ Best Award, the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award and was a finalist for the prestigious Rita ®. In addition, she’s had nearly a hundred short stories and articles published in national magazines.

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*****

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