Cris Reads | THE COWBOY AND THE ANGEL (Rodeo #2) by T.J. Kline

Reporter Angela McCallister needs the scoop of her career in order to save her father from the bad decisions that have depleted their savings. When the opportunity to spend a week at the Findley Brothers ranch arises, she sees a chance to get a behind-the-scenes scoop on rodeo. That certainly doesn't include kissing the devastatingly handsome and charming cowboy Derek Chandler, who insists on calling her "Angel."

Derek has a rodeo to run and a chip on his shoulder. He has no time for the fiery woman who is clearly hiding something. But for some reason he can't keep his hands off of her. Their connection is instant and explosive, but Angela's secrets could threaten his family, and Derek needs to prove that he's not the irresponsible kid brother anymore.
When the rodeo dust has settled, will the Cowboy and his Angel allow themselves to give in to the attraction that threatens to consume them both?

When I first started reading this novel, I didn't think that I was going to like it. As hot as I find the idea of muscled, hard-working cowboys, this isn't really a branch of Contemporary Romance that I usually seek out. Within the first couple of chapters, the heroine, Angela McCallister just wasn't drawing me in. She came off as a frosty elitist who seemed to think incredibly highly of herself and was willing to stomp on anyone and everyone on her way to the top. As I continued to read, I, like the novel's hero, the charming, family-oriented, Derek, learned to scrape the surface of Angela's chilly exterior to find the motivation for her actions. 

Angela, who is incredibly guarded and fearful of opening herself up to the possibility of love, has been supporting her alcoholic father since her youth and has no one to rely on. She keeps others from getting too close to her so that she can hide the dirty secrets of her childhood and maintain a strong facade in the journalistic world. The more the author revealed Angela's fears and insecurities, the more I could relate to her, and the more I thought her worthy of the sweet and loyal hero. 

As Derek and Angela learn to trust each other, they find the pieces of themselves they thought lacking. Derek, who is constantly putting his family first in order to compensate for past mistakes, learns that he isn't the same screw-up he once was. With Derek's help, Angela learns to share the burdens she's carried since her mother's death, and the walls that have always kept her isolated come tumbling down. 

Allowing yourself to trust others with your heart is an arduous task, rife with fear and risk, one the author explores fully. Kline really delves into the psychological and emotion depths of these characters without losing my interest by becoming overly analytic. I love it when novels make you think about your own motivations and fears, when you find little pieces of yourself in the characters you grow to love. It's truly a beautiful thing and the mark of a fine author. 

By the end of the novel, T.J. Kline had me wanting more of Derek and Angela and her rodeo world. Derek and Angela have witty, flirty moments which only enhance the novel's love scenes. There's also a wonderful balance between their feisty repartees and their more tender, romantic moments.

On a side note, can I just say that I absolutely LOVE this cover art. It's sexy without being over-the-top or cringe-worthy and the composition is just on point.

The Cowboy and The Angel was my first novel by T.J. Kline but now I definitely want to read Rodeo Queen, her first novel in the series (Sydney and Scott's story). I just might have to start exploring the cowboy genre a bit more. Who knows what I've been missing out on.

Disclaimer: As an Avon Addict, I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions shared are my own.

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T. J. Kline was raised competing in rodeos and Rodeo Queen competitions since the age of 14 and has thorough knowledge of the sport as well as the culture involved. She has written several articles about rodeo for small periodicals, as well as a more recent how-to article for RevWriter, and has published a nonfiction health book and two inspirational fiction titles under the name Tina Klinesmith. She is also an avid reader and book reviewer for both Tyndale and Multnomah. In her spare time, she can be found laughing hysterically with her husband, children, and their menagerie of pets in Northern California.
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