Review: How To Handle A Cowboy by Joanne Kennedy

Sidelined by a career-ending injury, rodeo cowboy Ridge Cooper is desperate to find an outlet for the energy he devoted to his sport. He decides to teach rodeo skills to the kids at the Phoenix House, a local group home for foster children. Here he falls for a big-city girl who just might make him the perfect wife.

Inner-city social worker Sierra Dunn has been exiled to a last-chance home for foster kids in a remote Wyoming town for blowing the whistle on her boss. Her only goal is to prove herself and move back to the city, but the town's rodeo hero is going after her heart.

This is my first read from Joanne Kennedy and it was not what I expected. I figured this book would be about a care-free cowboy too busy sowing his wild oats to settle down but finally finds a woman who tames his free spirit. My assumption of the book was WAY off.

This story is about many people, not just Ridge and Sierra, who have been hurt, betrayed and abandoned. This story is about learning to trust again and healing past wounds; not forgetting, but finding the courage to move forward.

Sierra’s foster kids, Jeffery, Frankie, Isaiah, Carter, and Josh, pulled at my heartstrings the entire book. I loved reading about Ridge’s interactions with the boys. There ain’t nothing sexier than a man who’s good with kids.

The only issue I had was Sierra. She was always on Ridge about not breaking the kids’ hearts and not making promises he couldn’t keep because she didn’t want the boys to get hurt. Then Sierra turns around and has accepted a job out of state because she feels she can make more of a difference making laws for foster children instead of raising them. Thankfully Ridge was able to convince Sierra that she could make a difference in the lives of those five boys and the ailing town if she stayed.

The story was emotionally driven, extremely heartfelt and beautifully executed.

I was gifted an eBook copy from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. All conclusions reached are my own.

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