Cowboy, Cross Me Heart (Heart of Texas #2) by Donna Grant
Synopsis: New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant takes you deep inside the Texas rodeo scene, where danger and desire ride side by side. . .
Naomi Pierce isn’t the type to let a cowboy sweep her off feet. It’s not her first rodeo, after all. But when she returns to her Texas hometown, she can’t help but be swept up again in the rough-and-tumble world of hard-riding, bronco-busting good-ol’-boys she loved as a girl. She might be here to photograph her Rodeo Queen best friend. But it’s one fine-looking cowboy who really captures her eye…
Brice Harper is all man, all muscle, and all heart. From the moment he rides into the stadium, he can’t help but notice the beautiful stranger with a camera watching him from the stands. It doesn’t take a zoom lens to see the sparks of instant attraction. But things really heat up when he meets Naomi up-close—and he discovers that someone is stalking her friend. Brice wouldn’t be any kind of cowboy if he didn’t offer to help the ladies out. But can the rough rider keep this spirited shutterbug out of danger—without risking his heart?
Review: The second book in the Heart of Texas series takes place 12 years after the first one, Christmas Cowboy Hero, where Abby and Clayton get together. In that book Caleb and Brice were young teenagers and Brice was in trouble for cattle rustling on the East ranch. Now the two brothers are all grown up and living their lives and Abby and Clayton have two kids with a third on the way. Naomi left Texas to pursue her photography dream and college. She has come back to visit her best friend who she discovers is holding onto some very dark secrets about the Rodeo Pageant life, but she won’t tell Naomi for fear of reprisals by the very powerful men who are at the head of the horrible events Whitney and other Pageant girls have suffered. When Naomi goes to the rodeo to cheer on her friend she sees Brice compete and she can’t keep her eyes off him. When he comes to her rescue as she and Whitney are attacked, it starts the ball rolling on one fast-paced adventure where they work together to bring to light the things that have been going on for years. People are hurt along the way, there are tense moments of conflict, the plot is strong and moves quickly, and their love story also moves quickly (almost too quickly), but the plot and conflict make that not as much of a big deal as it would be otherwise. I did enjoy their story a lot and was not disappointed at all in how book 2 progressed and ended. I want more from the Easts and friends.