Foley (the Glacier Creek series) launches her Riverrun Ranch series with this sweet, slight romance about finding love and family in unexpected places. City girl Emmaline Claiborne’s ex-boyfriend is getting married to her sister and she turns to a dating app to find an escort to the wedding. When her first choice falls through, Emma asks hunky bull rider Cort Channing to pose as her boyfriend, accompanying her from New York City to her father’s ranch. Though a cowboy is the last thing glamorous Emma thought she wanted, the pair quickly uncover an authentic connection beneath the deception. The couple’s scenes as Emma’s rediscovers the joys of her hometown of Last Stand, Tex., are charming, but the compressed timeline of the wedding weekend cuts short the romantic tension. Also frustrating is Emma’s reluctance to confront her sister and ex, an attempt to save face that registers as a lack of agency. And when obstacles to Emma and Cort’s happiness eventually arise, Emma’s confident brothers and domineering mother do more to steer the narrative than Emma herself. The presence of these commanding characters is good news for future installments, but readers will wish Emma showed more backbone. Still, Last Stand’s inviting atmosphere will have readers eager to return. (Mar.)
Swipe Right for a Cowboy
Karen Foley, author
Uptown girl Emmaline Claiborne needs a man, and not just any man. She needs the kind of man who can make her lying, cheating, no-good ex-boyfriend insane with jealousy. The same ex-boyfriend who is now engaged to her sister, and whose extravagant wedding she must suffer through in just three weeks’ time. She selects the perfect candidate through an online dating app, but instead of the smooth, sophisticated software magnate she expects, a rugged cowboy shows up instead. He’s the complete opposite of everything Emma is looking for. In fact, he’s exactly the kind of man she swore to her Texas ranching family she would never fall for. Which makes Cort Channing kinda perfect. Only before the weekend is over, Emma finds herself wishing she could keep her fake boyfriend, spurs, chaps, and all. Can this committed city girl take the biggest chance of her life, and swipe right for a cowboy?