2016 USA Best Book Awards: Best New Fiction, Finalist
2016 USA Best Book Awards: Fiction, Chick Lit/Women’s Lit, Finalist
Booklist named First Rodeo one of the Top 10 Romance Debuts of 2016
"Hennessey has crafted a narrative that effectively builds on the tropes of chick-lit and cowboy romance to take some deeper turns… An engaging, nuanced female awakening journey in the West.”
“…at its heart this story about a single mother blazing new trails after finding business success is plenty appealing.”
“First Rodeo is a celebration of one of life’s most underrated truths: The most precious relationship is the one you have with yourself.”
―Redbook magazine, “20 Books By Women You Must Read This Fall”
"Here's a love-yourself story you won't be able to put down."
―Working Mother, "21 New Books to Fall for This Autumn"
“Readers will love saddling up with Kate Marino, the sassy, sexy heroine in Judith Hennessey’s debut novel. Part career woman, part cowgirl, Kate feels most at home on the range with a camera or paintbrush in her hand. But her young son and family obligations keep her tied to a high stakes big city automobile dealership. From romantic relationships with rowdy ranch hands to frank female friendships, Kate’s story gallops along, always in an entertaining tone and always, always in a stylish pair of cowgirl boots.”
―Kelly Standing, author of I’m Still Standing and owner of Standing Media
"A broncbuster and emotional rollercoaster in one! First Rodeo takes us on a rollickin', rip-roarin' ride as disillusioned single mom Kate takes off to Wyoming, swapping martini cocktails and Manolos for snakeskin boots and smooching with her younger cowboy under a blue moon. Hennessey handles her uber-feminine portrayal of a thirty-something crisis and love affair with a deft touch."
―Helen Jacey author of The Woman in the Story and renowned screenplay-writer
"An engaging story of a successful St. Louis business woman who finds love, adventure, and her true calling in Wyoming's high country.”
―Laton McCartney, author of The Teapot Dome Scandal
“First Rodeo is a sizzling read about a young woman who goes in search of herself out West. In this place filled with wide-open spaces Kate faces her real challenge, torn between head and heart, and choice over family or her imagined new future. A page turner destined for the screen.”
―Peter M. Kershaw, Director & CEO Duchy Parade Films
“Part old favorite Northern Exposure and part uber popular Sex and the City, Hennessey’s debut novel is an intoxicating tale filled to the brim with authentic settings, compelling characters, and smart twists. Like any good cocktail, It’s tempting to finish this fast-paced story in one quick shot; but savor it, page by page, as a guilty pleasure."
―Chris Wiedman, Cox Communications
“First Rodeo is an inside look at a business woman who’s boredom in the boardroom spurs her to embark on a string of wild adventures. Bucked, twisted, and spun in all directions, Kate finds herself in such a different state, literally; she must discover her instincts then find the courage to follow them. Expect the unexpected in this well written, entirely original story, filled with incredible visuals; it screams for the big screen.”
―Shawn Jordan, Exec Vice-President, Director Griffin Communications
“Fans of Janet Evanovich will love feisty Kate Marino of First Rodeo, book one in The Spur Series. Hennessey delivers a cast of colorful characters, non-stop action and a heroine you will find yourself rooting for until the very last line. Don’t miss this must read!”
―Lisa Farkey, President FarMor Media