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One Fine Cowboy    by Joanne Kennedy order for
One Fine Cowboy
by Joanne Kennedy
Order:  USA  Can
Sourcebooks, 2010 (2010)
Paperback, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Charlie Banks has lived her life according to The Plan that her mother drew up after a sweet talking stranger left her high, dry and pregnant. Determined that her daughter never suffer the same fate, she works numerous jobs to make sure there's enough money so Charlie's able to graduate with a degree in hand. To complete that requirement however, the head of Charlie's psychology department insists she spend a couple of weeks at a dude ranch to 'assess the parallels between the training techniques of Western livestock managers and the nonverbal cues with which humans communicate their wants and needs'.

When the New York girl arrives at the Latigo ranch, however, she soon discovers it's not quite as posh as advertised in the glossy brochure. Quite the opposite in fact: there's nothing there but a broken down house and barn, a few horses and a cowboy named Nate Shawcross who's the quintessential strong, silent type.

Not one to discuss how his greedy ex used, abused and left him close to bankruptcy, Nate would like nothing more than to see this new pain in his behind climb back into her Camry and high tail it back to New York. However, he soon discovers that his pushy guest isn't about to do him that favour. Pretty soon she cooks up all sorts of plans for making the ranch a success, and as he begins to fall heads-over-heels for Charlie, he realises he'd be a complete fool if he didn't listen.

There are plenty of amusing scenes as Charlie gets in Nate's face, under his skin, and ultimately into his heart as they work to try to save his ranch from foreclosure as well as deal with a few additional surprises. A pedestrian and overly long plot mar the continuity of the story but overall One Fine Cowboy is another fun and mildly poignant contemporary tale.

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