Title: Wrangling Love
Author: Leslie North
Publishing date: 26th May, 2022
Genre: Romance. Contemporary adult romance.
Tags: Fake relationship. Single-parent romance. Enemies-to-lovers. Second-chance romance
After the humiliation of getting fired from her job in the city, Fiona Cafferty finds herself back home on the family ranch. Like it or not, she’ll be stuck working there until she can find another job. But she wasn’t prepared to work beside her old high school nemesis, Eli Carter.
Eli sure had changed over the years. For one thing, he’s grown up to become a smoking hot cowboy. He’s also a sweet, caring single dad now, which Fiona finds even sexier. So, when they run into Eli’s snarky ex-wife, Fiona comes to his rescue and claims they’re a couple. Now they’re stuck in a fake relationship. But her attraction is definitely real…
Eli is not a happy cowboy. Not only was he humiliated by his cheating ex, now he’s worried that everyone will find out he’s got a fake girlfriend. He can’t imagine pretending to love someone like Fiona, who’s so vexing. And beautiful. And irresistible…
The last thing Eli wants to do is fall in love with another woman who won’t stick around. Too bad his heart just won’t listen to reason…
This was a short and refreshing second-chance romance novel between childhood enemies.
The protagonists had always shared a peculiar love-hate relationship, but an unfortunate incident in the past cemented the wedge between them.
In this book, they finally got the chance to air their secrets, forgive each other, and then grew a love that everybody but them knew of its existence.
I liked how brave the protagonists were and how they persevered in taking the first tentative steps toward each other despite still hurting from the past.
They were bruised and distrusting because of their pasts, but somehow found a pleasant rhythm and stuck to it. Spoiler: the rhythm worked!
I should also point out that this was a delightful medley of several tropes—second chance, single parent, fake relationship, and enemies-to-lovers—but somehow the author pulled it off without it resembling a trope vomit-fest.
That said, this was an ARC (unpublished galley) from Netgalley, so I spotted some issues, which were documented, in my feedback to the publisher. You might find a few jarring incidents of head-hopping and some characters that were not fleshed out properly.
• You like single-parent romance novels.
• You like a cute, reclusive, and emotionally wounded cowboy.
• You want a fun and short palate cleanser.