|Who doesn’t love a cowboy? Especially one you meet passed out naked in a horse trough. That’s just how Mariah Callahan meets Joe Daniels. Mariah has just driven straight from Chicago to a small town in Texas. She received a phone call 36 hours ago informing her that her father, Dutch, died and left her a house and land in Jubilee. Mariah has very mixed emotions because Dutch left her as a child choosing horses over his family. But, Mariah lost her job and has been unable to find work, so she ventures to Jubilee hoping to find some answers.
Joe Daniels has just lost his best friend, Dutch. And it’s bad timing because he was just starting to come to grips with his wife’s death from two years ago. Now he feels himself entering depression all over again. But when he meets Mariah, something seems to spark and lighten his feelings. She reminds him of his late wife, Becca, so he figures that must be why he feels attracted to her.
Joe believes true love only comes once in a lifetime and since he’s already experienced true love, lightening won’t strike twice in his world. Mariah has never experienced love and she’s afraid to get involved with a man so similar to her father. She’s afraid the horses will get in the way again. Joe and Mariah each have issues in their life, but the attraction for one another is strong enough to endure any obstacles.
The Cowboy Takes a Bride is a sweet and appealing story. Joe is the alpha male, but with great qualities of compassion and sincerity. Joe needs someone in his life to challenge him and keep things varied, which Mariah does, but she comes off as a character that can be a bit self-deprecating and contradictory. Mariah spends a great deal of time trying to break down Joe’s walls and help him realize that loving again is possible. When he finally starts believing in her, she starts to question him and gets insecure instead of being elated.
The pacing of the book is good. The love story develops well and besides a few flaws in Mariah, I would recommend reading The Cowboy Takes a Bride.