Trust a Cowboy
Harlequin American, Jul 2008, $4.99
At the Lazy L cattle and dude ranch just outside Steamboat Springs, Colorado Pete Ledbetter is stunned when his granddad decides Pete needs a wife. Desperate to remain a bachelor, Pete concocts a delaying tactic by having a fake fiancée.
He knows that he and ranch chef Mary Jo Michaels are an ideal pair following a heated summer fling that ended. However, as Pete makes a bid to get her back in his personal life especially his bed, Mary no longer trusts the man who broke her heart. Granddad thinks she is perfect so Pete better watch his step or the old guy will adopt her and dump him.
This is an entertaining ranch romance although one must wonder why Mary Jo just did not quit as the line between courting and sexual harassment seems to have been crossed by Pete. Although she loves him, she rejects his touch, but he keeps on coming because he believes they belong together. Contemporary fans will enjoy this tale but lose respect for the heroine while wondering how strong the story line could have been if Judy Christenberry explored the emotional impact of employer-employee sexual harassment.