on 27 June 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Series: Rocky Mountain Riders #2
Published by Forever
Copy for review provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
A WOMAN NEVER FORGETS HER FIRST COWBOY . . .
As a single mother, Naomi Sullivan is used to doing things on her own. She's finally saved enough from working at the Cortez Ranch to buy a lovely home for her and her little girl. Life is going as planned. But when her high school sweetheart comes riding back to town, this self-sufficient woman feels something she hasn't felt in years: red-hot, unbridled need for the handsome cowboy who left her behind.
Lucas Cortez doesn't plan on being in town long. Yet when he sees Naomi again-the gorgeous girl he never stopped loving-he's tempted to hang up his hat and stay awhile. He's already charmed his way into her daughter's heart, but he'll need more than sweet talk and roses to convince Naomi to give them a second chance-especially when she's hiding a secret that could change their lives forever . . .
I love second-chance, secret baby, and small town romances. So reading Comeback Cowboy is like hitting the jackpot, since it has all three of those tropes. However, something unusual about this story is that the author chose to reveal all the dirty laundry right up front. Instead of dragging out what tore the couple apart, hiding the child’s paternity, and dragging the drama out for as long as possible to milk the angst for everything it could be worth, the issues are laid out so the couple can get on with dealing with them. And I really liked that.
Naomi Sullivan and Lucas Cortez were highschool sweethearts, destined to get married and live happily ever after until Lucas confessed to starting a fire that burned down the town’s rodeo arena, earning him the ire and scorn of Topaz Falls. After a three year prison sentence, Lucas doesn’t return home, leaving behind his family and the love of his life.
Ten years later, his father’s ill health has Lucas returning home. Naomi is now a divorced single mother and works for the Cortez family ranch, but does her best to stay away from Lucas. After being abandoned by her ex-husband shortly after her daughter’s birth, she’s focused on raising her daughter and opening a new bed and breakfast.
The town of Topaz Falls has been good to Naomi, coming along side her to help raise Gracie. A sense of community is one of the best things about living in a small town. But small towns also tend to have a long memory, and certain people in town aren’t happy that Lucas is back, and are willing to go to great lengths to run him off. So instead of just being able to deal with their own issues, Lucas and Naomi also have to contend with the nefarious meddling of people from the past.
There were several things that were cliched about this story, but the author did a good job of also throwing some different things in the book to give it originality. When it becomes clear that staying in Topaz Falls is going to make things difficult for Naomi’s daughter, Lucas decides it’s best to walk away. Instead of disappearing again and leaving Naomi to wonder what happened, Lucas tells her what he’s thinking and they talk about it. What a novel concept that is for a good majority of today’s books!!! Even the “secret baby” storyline didn’t run the usual course, and I really liked that.
I would have liked a little more of Lucas and Naomi’s backstory – I feel that’s an important aspect in making a second-chance love story work. A reader needs to understand why the hero and heroine are still stuck on each other after so much time apart! But we got to experience Lucas and Naomi falling in love the second time, and that is what made this story work. Despite all the cliched aspects, this was a lovely story that I enjoyed reading. It didn’t have me staying up late to read because I was so roped into the characters and their story, but that’s okay. Not every story needs to be like tackling a bucking bull. Sometimes it’s good to read a nice, sweet story, and Comeback Cowboy was a pleasant ride.