2014 RITA Winner for Best First Book
A Love as Big as Texas . . .
Charla Rae Denny was the perfect wife with a perfect life, content to keep the home fires burning while her husband, JB, competed as a champion bull rider. Then their son died in a tragic accident-and everything fell apart. Divorced and saddled with a hill of bills and a failing ranch, Charla must now cowboy up to put her life back together.
James "JB" Denny doesn't stay where he isn't welcome. So when Charla shut him out of her grieving heart-and their home-a year ago, he took comfort where he could find it. Now after seeing beautiful Charla again, he wants it all back. She can't work the ranch alone, and deep in his heart he knows he can be the man she needs. But after so much history and heartbreak, can JB convince Charla to take a risk and give their love a second chance?
JB and Charla Rae Denny's marriage was already fraying when the accidental death of their young son left them both grieving and disconnected from one another. They divorced while still running their cattle business together, and JB began dating a much younger woman, while Charla Rae developed an addiction to Valium. JB is coming back to Earth after his girlfriend broke up with him, allowing him to realize the foolishness of his escapist ways, and Charla Rae has kicked her habit, focusing on growing their business and caring for her aging father. Sticklers for strong romantic storylines will be disappointed that much of the novel focuses on JB and Charla Rae's efforts to work through their grief individually while tending to assorted minor subplots. However, the busy plot and large cast keep things moving along, and lovers of Western settings will enjoy debut author Drake's detailed descriptions of bull riding and cattle ranching.