This anthology is a compilation of four short stories that feature cowboys as the main characters. These novellas key in to the mystique of the Wild West and the men who live, work and love there.

Harper's "Wild Ride" takes readers into the world of rodeos and explores the mental and physical strength needed to participate. Mellor's "Cowboy in Paradise" shows what happens when a rodeo cowboy decides to retire and settle down. Donovan's "Saddle Sore" exposes the life of some ranchers and their struggle with a pack of wolves.

And Alton's "Rodeo Man" tells the story of a California magazine writer who travels to Wyoming and meets a champion rodeo rider. This anthology starts out with a good idea -- after all, who can resist a big, strong cowboy? Unfortunately, the book fails to deliver. The plots in the first two stories are shaky at best, and while "Saddle Sore" is well written and has an interesting plot, the last story also fails in both plot and character. If you're looking for a good western romance, look elsewhere. (Aug., 304 pp., $12.95)

Reviewed by: 
Cindy Himler