If you’ve been following my reviews, you know that this author pairing is an insta-read for me. Especially for their east meets west stories, and doubly so when that trope includes a rodeo cowboy. This particular installment of that concept isn’t my favorite so far, but I enjoyed this sweet romance between Rope and Jude that spans from New York City to a ranch in Texas.

The chemistry between Rope and Jude is instantaneous, but the men knew that already. This book is not a second-chance romance so much as the reignition of a first chance that faded away due to youth and circumstances. Now, on the other side of the transition to adulthood, the men are at the peak of their careers but have relatively large holes in their personal lives. Fate may have played a hand in their reuniting, but they both put the work into supporting a new relationship despite the elements that keep them from riding off into the sunset together right away.

One of the heroes is a single parent, and it is a credit to how much I enjoy these authors that I was willing to deal with the typical precocious kid antics. However, the way Rope connects with Silas is integral to the family bonds that form. The kid’s presence also served as a good vehicle to introduce cameos of old favorites in a way that never felt shoehorned (even if I did have a moment of “Don’t you dare, Skylar!” when I thought for a moment he would be riding).

Everything went so relatively smooth through the course of this story that I worried how brutal the dark moment would be. There are no spoilers here, but I will assure readers that while the books in this series are complete stand-alones, they share a relatively low-angst theme. Overall, they also share the main thematic issue of the importance of home and how that location can always change. While the final “conflict” between Rope and Jude is low-key, that does nothing to reduce the poignancy of the men finally reaching their happily ever after together.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.