Jace Mills is a veteran rodeo cowboy on a somewhat of a winning streak. He’s fairly successful because of his winnings and his normal job of landscaping. He has been in an on-again off-again relationship with his ex-girlfriend for eight years. She was a former rodeo queen who we find out is bipolar. To say their relationship was tumultuous is an understatement. He wants his best friend, Tuck to go on the circuit with him but Tuck declines because of his newlywed status. So after yet another fight with his ex, Jacqueline, he decides to go alone and ends their relationship, again. He runs into Tuck’s little sister, Tara after her recently purchased POS car dies.
Tara is in the last semester of college for sports medicine but has to do an internship with the rodeo. She’s nursing a broken heart after her long time crush gets married to someone else. She sees her car breaking down as yet another setback in her life. When Jace offers to travel with her to save on expenses, she reluctantly accepts. They’ve always had a hate/hate relationship but you gotta do what you gotta do.
As times goes on she gets to see Jace in a different light and gets the medical experience she needs. She then comes up with the idea that she and Jace can have a traveling partners with benefits relationship. After it’s over, they can go their seperate ways. She can get the sexual experience she feels she needs so she doesn’t lose another man and he gets strings free sex. Jace is at first horrifed. There are lines that just aren’t crossed and your best friend’s sisters are definately that line. His body’s reaction to Tara makes the decision for him ultimately. Seducing and being seduced by your best friend’s virginal sister takes it’s toll on his conscience. Can these two very unlikely people find happiness for three weeks while trying to move on from their heartbreaks?
Cat Johnson does a great job of writing these two characters. You feel Jace’s pain over the failure of his relationship with Jacqueline, the first woman he ever loved. His sense of guilt over the decision to become Tara’s lover is felt through the pages. Jace is a good guy. Tara tries to prove she’s grown up despite the loss of her childhood crush. This story takes two people, broken in their own way, who find in each other what they need to heal. The author did an excellent job with the balancing of story, humor, sex and love.
My favorite line from the book:
Jace’s sex life had been in such a slump, he wouldn’t be able to identify a pussy in a line up.