Ropes & Reins


Tracy has done nothing but rodeo - or practice for it - since she was a child, and she chose years ago to compete head to head with men in the one event where she is an equal: partners roping. Her pursuits have come at a cost—she doesn't have the best reputation around, and tends to run off every partner she's ever had with her sharp tongue and temper. Carson can't imagine ever wanting to settle down and run the family ranch but his dad is pushing for a decision: come home or prove you can go pro. Sparks fly when these two hard-headed ropers decide to throw in together.


Readers will find little differences from ropers in the Midwest. Although set around Calgary, the grind and work to move up in the world of rodeoing is the same wherever you go. Tracy's bad attitude, but deep desire to do better and be better will pull readers in while reinforcing the storyline of not being able to do it all, especially alone. Everyone needs help, and Carson and Tracy have a contentious road to figuring that out. This tale is all thoughts, however. The emotional depths Tracy should be feeling are just her thoughts about it, her actions—or inactions aren't there. Carson's emotions are barely scratched at, and for two people with as much baggage as these two, there are many missed opportunities to make the reader feel their frustration, or happiness. Cowboys aren't at the forefront here. Rodeoing is a woman's world—the way it should be.


Julie York