FIRST LOVE BURNS HOTTER
Rainbow Valley, Texas, has always been a refuge for animals, and Shannon North, director of the local shelter, intends to keep it that way. But with donations drying up and more pets in need of a loving home than ever before, Shannon's beginning to fear she's not the savior the shelter needs. When a tall, dark, and handsome cowboy from her past comes to the rescue, she knows that accepting his help may come with a high price: her heart.
THE SECOND TIME AROUND
Bad boy Luke Dawson shook the dust from this little town off his boots years ago. He walked away from everything . . . except the memory of the one night of passion he shared with Shannon. Now, a few wins away from becoming the world bull-riding champion, Luke's headed for fame and fortune. But then a crisis calls him back to Rainbow Valley, and Luke is reunited with the good girl who stole-and broke-his heart. As their rekindled relationship deepens into desire, old secrets resurface, and Luke must choose between the future he's always dreamed of and the only woman he's ever loved.
Pet lovers will appreciate this smalltown contemporary, the first in a new series set in Rainbow Valley, Tex., home of an annual pet festival. Luke Dawson was the town's teenage bad boy, now made good as a bull rider but forced to convalesce in his hated hometown after a knee injury. Shannon North, his estranged high school love, runs the local animal shelter with overachiever's passion. Their past emotional damage is believable and offers plausible romantic conflict, resolved without ridiculous misunderstandings. Graves (Heartstrings and Diamond Rings) includes an array of secondary characters, including some whose future romances seem imminent. Though the climax is miraculous, it fits well with the upbeat tone, fueled by the town's legend of the Rainbow Bridge, where deceased pets await their human friends.