|Coming Home to the Cowboy has most of what a reader likes in a romance: a good heroine, a fine hero, a decent story and romance. So why only three hearts? Predictability.
Rebecca Valentine is a thirty-something woman who wants a man, a family, and her career. She is starting to realize she has let two of three go by as she has concentrated on her career as an advertising hotshot. Now she discovers that she needs surgery and it looks like she can’t have children. She is determined to keep the career.
Mitch Tucker is a man who knows his own mind. He was a big exec flying all over for his family’s company; then the wife he loved died in a car accident. Now he is left with 11-year-old Greta and five-year-old Colby. They are the love of his life; a life he changed for them. He gave up the travel and is now operating the Montana ranch. Mitch is expanding into offering free-range beef, so he calls an old friend in the advertising business who just happens to own the agency that Rebecca works for. Rebecca is sent to Montana.
Mitch and Rebecca recognize that sparks are flying as soon as her feet hit the ground. But both are leery; Rebecca more so than Mitch. It has been two years since Mitch’s wife died, and he is amazed that he is so strongly attracted so quickly to Rebecca. While Rebecca loves the kids and sees the possibilities, the fact that she can’t have children and the fact that they live so far apart keeps her grounded. But that doesn’t stop them from falling in love anyway. Can it last? Can it work?
The story is relatively interesting. Their sexual tension and the growing relationship are well written. Two things seem a little out of whack and the reader has to suspend a bit of belief. First, Mitch invites Rebecca to live at his house with him and his kids. Even given the remote nature of Montana, that seemed a tad far-fetched. Secondly, they hardly ever discuss business and the kids just embrace Rebecca as a new woman in their lives, no questions asked.
The story is set in a month-long period, again making the speed a little questionable. There is a side story about Rebecca’s family, who own Bella Lucia, a group of restaurants. (This is one book in the Brides of Bella Lucia series.) I felt that there were lots missing in this part of the tale. The details are probably known by readers of the series, but for those who are new to it, it didn’t completely fit together. For instance, why were Rebecca and her sister Rachel estranged just because their parents were divorced? What was up with Rebecca’s father that he didn’t want anything to do with her? There are no answers given but there was an understanding that this was the way things were. The ending, which included some interactions with these two, didn’t completely fit.
The bulk of the story, while interesting, has been written many times before. All the things you think will happen, do happen. Mitch is a great guy, even helping kids with autism to enjoy riding. Rebecca wants her career but her yearning for a family has her embracing this ready-made family very quickly. Nothing that happens is a surprise.
Overall, however, Coming Home to the Cowboy was a nice little romance for a nice afternoon’s reading.
-- Shirley Lyons