This edition of the Winchester Brides series is an entertaining look at two people who have teenagers and find love. In Cattlemanís Honor, Toth has developed four characters that the reader will want to get to know.
The primary story and the two main love interests are the parents - Emily Major and Adam Winchester. The other two intriguing characters are their children - David Major and Kim Winchester. The interactions and explorations of these four people are the story.
Emily has just moved to Waterloo, Colorado from LA. Her son David, age 16, resentfully is at her side. Emily is divorced from a husband who married the woman he had been having an affair with after she became pregnant. David is a rebellious teen who is seeking his fatherís love and who got mixed up with the wrong group of people in LA. Emily, who has her own business restoring damaged books, hopes that moving to Colorado will give them both a fresh start. She buys 20 acres of land she saw advertised in the LA paper, and fell in love with when she saw it.
That 20 acres is surrounded on three sides by the Winchester spread and holds water that is needed for the cattle on that large spread. Adam Winchester, oldest of the Winchester brothers and operations man at the ranch, has been angling for years to buy that piece of land. He is amazed to discover that the previous owner sold it without even offering him a chance to buy it.
He decides to buy it from the new owner, but it surprised at the attractive widow he literally runs into in the doorway of the feed store. When next they meet, Emily incorrectly thinks he has come to visit with romance on his mind and tells him she is not interested. Put off, Adam bumbles his attempt at offering her money for her land by being brusque and rude.
Kim is Adamís daughter, who is struggling to find herself as a woman in her fifteen-year-old body. Adam is struggling to let her grow while fighting his need to protect her. Throw in Davidís attraction to Kim and the mutual attraction between Adam and Emily and you have the recipe for a rousing good time.
The interactions between parents and teens are well-written and those with which a parent of a teen can easily identify. The sparks of attraction between Adam and Emily are alternately funny and sensual. I found myself hoping that all the issues between them work out for the best.
Most of the story is written through Emilyís perspective and she is an easy character to understand and appreciate. Her sense of doing what is best for her son shines through because her reasons are spelled out. Adam is a little harder to get to know. His motivations are developed through conversation and information Emily gathers from others.
It may be that some of the background was developed in the previous book of the series, which was the story of Adamís brother. As it is, there are a few details of Adamís past that are blurry and just hinted at in this story. His issues with his ex-wife and why she left are never fully explained but are given as the primary reason Adam is closed off from women, particularly women from the big city. And it is also used as the explanation for why he is so protective of Kim. Although not a major problem, I did find myself questioning what Emily saw in him when he was so rude and less than charming in the beginning of the story.
Ultimately, Adamís strengths shine through and their romance entertains. Cattlemanís Honor is an enjoyable story on its own. Enough so, that I may pick up the first book and will keep an eye out for Charlieís story, the third of the series.