|The Cowgirl is Caroline Sheppard, a barrel racer who is determined to get to the National finals with her horse, Thumper. The CEO is Ty Harrison, the owner of Harrison Boots, her sponsor. They meet when Caro is scheduled to film a commercial as part of her sponsorship deal and she ignores Ty’s calls. He follows her on the circuit, pushing the issue and igniting the sparks that seem to act like lightning whenever they are together.
Caro is good at what she does, but she is really pursuing her dream because it is something her dad always wanted for her. When Thumper breaks his leg, she struggles with her decision to continue with a back up horse. Worse, she deals with her feelings of guilt. Caro is convinced that Thumper got hurt because she was distracted by Ty. It brings back memories of a similar situation a few years before when a cowboy broke her heart, distracting her from reaching her goal.
Meanwhile, Ty is flabbergasted at his reaction to Caro. He has never felt this way and is not ready to give her up. He too has demons, particularly in regards to memories of his mother’s death and his struggle with his dad.
The story follows the two as they try to determine where they fit into the scheme of the barrel racing world and how they can overcome the challenges thrown in their faces.
On the one hand, this is a strong story, giving some insights into the world of rodeos. On the other hand, the story seems to bog down and spend too much time on details that don’t seem to impact the story. For instance, Ty’s father is a rancher and trainer of cutting horses. There is a nice scene when she sees his horses and realizes how much horses are part of this family. But nothing comes of this, making it seem superfluous to the tale.
Caro is an interesting mix of strong competitor and vulnerable woman. At times she is too uncertain and almost timid. Then she gets stubborn and kicks Ty out, demanding she is going to stand on her own two feet. The next minute she is missing him. This created a sense of unevenness that I found hard to really like. Ty is not well defined and he too is not a character the reader can really sink her teeth into. Yet both are acceptable overall.
There are secondary characters, particularly Ty’s dad, who move the tale along. While happy, the ending was a bit anti-climatic and easily predicted.
Overall, The Cowgirl’s CEO is a pleasant story.