The Cowboy Next Door
This Old House, #3
Genre: Western Romance
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Date of Publication: January 27, 2015
Number of pages: 105
Available at the following retailers:
Love’s worth more than being rightFirst things first, the cover is misleading. The book is set during the summer and our female lead spends her days in sun dresses and halter tops out in the sunshine. There is only 1 tiny scene where our male lead puts together a small fire while they set in the middle of a field near sunset. I get a bit of a twitch when the cover doesn't match the story, so I am giving everyone a straight up warning ahead of time.
When single mother Leda Plett - who’s doing just fine on her own, thank you very much – goes next door to retrieve her wandering pooch, she doesn’t expect to find the neighbor’s handsome brother lounging about like he owns the place. She certainly doesn’t expect him to go after the deadbeat who abandoned her. She’s not looking for a know-it-all white knight with long, lean muscles and a sexy smile. He’s hot, but she’s already been burned.
Rodeo-star turned agent Eric Anders is used to managing people, especially irresponsible males, and he can’t stand it that some jerk has left Leda high and dry. Clearly, the boots-and-sundress wearing mouthy mama needs someone on her side. He could change her life, if only she would let him! And it has nothing to do with the fact that her sparkly exterior hides a spirit that is as sweet as it is strong – and irresistible.
In fact, Leda is more mature than her years. She feels the weight of her mistakes, and wants only to make sure her daughter doesn’t suffer for them. Eric’s hot gaze makes her weak in the knees but Leda’s track record with men is as bad as it is short. Can she trust the cowboy next door?
When Eric’s well-intentioned actions inadvertently reveal a shameful secret from Leda’s past, he realizes she never needed him at all. As he watches her rise above the humiliation, he knows he must find a way to make it up to her, or risk losing the one girl he now can’t live without.
Okay, that out of the way, I thought this was an adorable story. Leda is spunky, funny, strong-willed and full of bravado. She has her life mapped out and knows what she wants and goes after it. Her number one priority? Her little girl Hera. For Hera, Leda works hard to make a better life for the two of them. Including developing quite the colorful vocabulary of substitute curse words, because she doesn't want her daughter growing up with a trailer trash mouth like she did. During several of her rants I couldn't help but grin.
Eric has just moved in next door and is staying with his brother. Eric is an agent who truly only wants the best for the people he represents. He's confident that he knows what is best for people and does his best to arrange things how he wants them. When Eric meets Leda for the first time he is fascinated by her. The two of them clash against each other like a flint against steel... creating plenty of sparks.
There was some steam, but very little heat. This just wasn't that kind of story. The author kept the pace fast and the book flew by. There is a sweet doggy romance that I couldn't help but smile over. I didn't read the first two books in the series, and though there was some allusion to a previous book, it didn't detract from this story. My biggest complaint is the mismatched cover. This probably would have been 4 stars, but the cover just nags at me. Overall, 3 stars.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review the book.