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Cowboy in Charge (The Hitching Post Hotel) Mass Market Paperback – July 5, 2016
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About the Author
Barbara White Daille lives with her husband in the wild Southwest, where they deal with lizards in the yard and scorpions in the bathroom.
Barbara loves creating home and family stories with quirky characters for Harlequin Western Romance. She also loves reading, tea, and chocolate. Find out more at www.barbarawhitedaille.com and look for her on Facebook & Twitter!
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When it comes to Cowboy in Charge, I struggle with trying to find a balance between things I liked and didn’t like. I thought this was a secret baby story. You know, where the hero left the heroine to pursue his dream of being a rodeo star and didn’t know that the heroine was pregnant when he left. That’s not this story at all. Jason knew Layne was pregnant and still left. That’s bad on his part, but she kicked him out one too many times. I don’t feel the story was set up for me to like either of the characters from the beginning. Though Jason did redeem himself (three years later) the moment Layne opened her door to him. For me, there wasn’t enough character background for me to actually form a bond with the characters and root for them. What little background about why Layne was the way she was came in the very last chapter of the book. Various characters mention that Jason and Layne married young, but the author doesn’t give any details as to how old they are at any point. I was simply left feeling crucial details were left out. I also had an issue with the story not being about cowboys or anything cowboy related. Yes, Jason wore a Stetson. Yes, Jason drove a truck. Yes, this took place in New Mexico, which is in the Western part of the country. Jason worked on a ranch for an estimated total of 5 days in this story. This doesn’t make this a western/cowboy romance to me.
What I did like about the story was Layne and Jason’s three-year-old son, Scott. He was adorable and stole the scene whenever he was around. I also loved Jed “Grandpa” Garland, who apparently is the unofficial matchmaker for Cowboy Creek, New Mexico. He was so sure Layne and Jason had matured enough, were perfect together, and ready for real forever love. What kept me reading the story was my curiosity as to how this story would end. While this is a happily-ever-after story, I still don’t like Layne.
I think Barbara had all the elements in this story to make it and the characters likeable, but she just missed the mark.
**Received a copy of the book courtesy of RWA and voluntarily reviewed.**
I actually really liked all the characters in this story, and the way the story unfolded. If you like sweet romances, I recommend this one.