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  • Much more than your standard opposites-attract

    Angela's career as a reporter certainly isn't turning out the way she thought it would. Tired of doing fluff pieces and playing in the boys' club that is reporting, she needs to turn things around fast if she's to have any chance of surviving financially. She's heard about abuse and mistreatment of rodeo animals, and she hopes an exposé on the darker side of rodeo will be her ticket to a better life for her and her alcoholic father who needs so much help. But she doesn't count on the rodeo family she meets being so nice, or the station pressuring her for facts she can't find, or the ridiculously sexy cowboy she can't seem to stay away from. The Verdict: Angela initially comes across as selfish and cold, but it soon becomes clear that her tough-as-nails persona is merely a façade to get her through the daily struggle that is her life. With her career stagnating, pressure from the station, and a father who has always been too deep in the bottle to be a real parent, she makes it look like she's got it all together while life keeps knocking her down. Derek is tired of being seen as the irresponsible one, but while the family around him seems to get everything right, he can't figure out where he fits in. They don't really trust him to make the right decisions, and he just wants a chance to prove himself. The last thing he wants is a relationship, especially with a reporter who only appeared in his life to show the world that his family's business is tainted. He has more than enough mistakes to make up for, and the pretty reporter is a distraction he doesn't need. On the surface, Derek and Angela are complete opposites. He's country to her city, manual labor to her office job, pickup truck to her compact car. But inside, they are very much the same, both trying to prove to themselves and those around them that they're more than mistakes and bad luck. And that is where the conflict comes in. Their attraction to each other can't be denied, but Angela's career depends on her smearing Derek's family business, and while she doesn't want to report controversy where there is none, audiences just aren't interested in another feel-good story. Keeping her father in line is an issue as well, especially since the family she's profiling is everything she thinks a family should be. While she's bailing her dad out of the drunk tank, they're all working together, sitting down to family meals, supporting each other in any way that's needed. It would be easy to lose herself in their contentment, but her old, falling-apart life is just over the horizon. As I've come to expect in this series, the characters are multifaceted with complex backgrounds and struggles. The family dynamic is great, and when things heat up between Angela and Derek, they're not the only ones affected. It may sound like your standard opposites-attract scenario, but The Cowboy and the Angel is so much more, with strong emotions, outside obstacles, and personal challenges for both characters. With definite heat between them and the always dependable family around then, Angela and Derek's love story is a wonderfully entertaining read.

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