Release Date: Jul 28, 2020
Series: Chestnut Creek
Heat Level: Warm
Publisher: Grand Central
A Cowboy for Keeps is the third book with Laura Drake’s Chestnut Creek series.
Lorelei West has all but given up on having a family of her own. She spends her days running the cafe in town and taking care of her mother. She wishes she could have more time for fun, or a man, but it’s just not in the cards. Then she receives the shock of her life when she gets the call that her sister has died in a car crash and left a six-month-old daughter to Lorelei’s care. Suddenly, she’s a mom to a grieving baby and balancing all the responsibilities in life that come with that. Then one more wrench is thrown in the works when the brother of the baby’s father shows up and expects to take full custody. Can they work together for the child’s sake? Is this the family Lorelei’s been hoping for?
I’m always a sucker for a cowboy story, so when this title came up for grabs, I was intrigued by the story line. I loved the idea of a woman who’s all but given up on love and a family getting exactly what she’s always dreamed of. I think a lot of people can connect with a character like Lorelei who’s lived most of her life in service to others. Her strength of character while dealing with her mother’s dementia and her absent sister was amazing. And even when she became a mother after the tragic loss of her sister, she still managed to keep everything together.
Reese was the type of cowboy hero I want to read, not only strong and masculine but loyal and caring. I loved that he was willing to take on raising the baby on his own before he knew that Lorelei was doing the same thing. When he shows up, he and Lorelei get off on the wrong foot because he has the bad habit of saying the exact wrong thing to people. I could totally relate since I also have a bad habit of sticking my foot in my mouth. It was endearing to find out that this bad habit was because he felt like he was always in his brother’s shadow.
The scenes with these two trying to work out parenting together were heartwarming and a great way to show them falling in love with Sawyer as well as each other. Watching both Lorelei and Reese work through their self-esteem issues to be good parents was something I think a lot of parents go through, which made the book feel all the more relatable.
My only minor quibble was when Reese and Lorelei got together the passion kicked up quick and it was enjoyable. The author did a good job of building the tension, even getting descriptive of everything up until a certain point and then “boom” the door closed. This was so jarring to me as the reader because there was a lot of descriptive making out and then the author shied away from describing anything more. It was such an odd choice in my opinion that it really brought down a lot of my enjoyment of the last third or so of the book.
Overall, this is a cute book that has some of the best descriptions of parenting I’ve seen in a romance book this year. I am always very critical of descriptions of children in romance novels, but Drake does an amazing job of writing little Sawyer. Fans of Maisey Yates or Carolyn Brown’s contemporary cowboy romances will be interested in this series. If you’re like me and just want a little extra spark to your contemporary cowboy romances I’d suggest A Cowboy to Remember by Rebekah Weatherspoon as a better example of this type of story.