The Texan’s Surprise Son by Cathy McDavid

The Texan's Surprise Son by Cathy McDavid

Taken By Surprise

Jacob Baron is shocked to discover he’s a father. But he’s determined to do right by his son, despite the lack of strong role models in his own life. Jacob’s a bull rider, and there’s no halfway with him. He’ll be the kind of dad his son needs… even if Cody’s attractive aunt, Mariana Snow, seems to question his daddy skills at every turn.

Jacob cooks, cleans and has a nice touch with a two-year-old. He also has broad shoulders, gorgeous eyes and a mouth that can only be described as sexy. But Mariana’s own part-time, no-good father was a rodeo star. She knows their charms can’t be trusted. She’s hanging around for Cody’s sake, that’s all. At least, that’s what she keeps telling herself…

The Texan’s Surprise Son by Cathy McDavid

I haven’t read every book in this (multi-authored) series, but have a general idea of everyone involved. And by this stage there’re a lot of everyones!

My favourite thing about this book was the little boy. My second favourite was the hero. My least favourite was the heroine. She was awful.

Once upon a time I’d never pick up books with little children on the cover, and I’m honestly not sure why I did with The Texan’s Surprise Son, but there was plenty to like so I’m glad I did. Something that made no sense to me was that the hero, Jacob, didn’t even wait to see if he actually was the boy’s father before he moved child and heroine, Mariana, into his house and started introducing them to the family. When some woman randomly turns up and announces some kid is his, it seems like a really naïve thing to do.

My problem with Mariana was that she was so cold and stuck in the mud and downright boring – when she wasn’t being selfish and nasty. Jacob was a genuinely good guy who pretty much dropped everything to make himself into a good father. He wasn’t even annoyed that he’d been duped into getting a strange woman pregnant. However, conversations with Mariana went along the lines of:

“I’m sorry about being such a jerk this weekend. I don’t like losing and shouldn’t have taken it out on you.”

“Wow. That’s quite an ego you have.” She sniffed and squared her shoulders. “Did you really just make this all about you?”

???!!!! The guy said a nice thing!

She was also ridiculously strict about things when it came to the child. Being horrified that he’d been digging in the dirt with a little shovel was ridiculous. Not wanting him to ever use a swing set or go swimming or ride a horse was bizarre.

I also thought there was too much telling and not enough showing in the text. It led to the big moments being glossed over in a couple of sentences.

And what in the world is a “Queensland heeler”? Did Americans rename one of our dogs?

The two male leads saved this book for me. I know it’s a romance, but I’d have preferred that the hero took himself and his son off and lived happily ever after with someone else rather than racing into an engagement with the heroine after five minutes. Why he’d propose to someone who never had a nice word to say was beyond me.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

The Week: 3rd – 9th March

 ParliamentOttawa

Canadian Parliament flies the Ukrainian flag.

My week in books? Well I read the first FOUR books in Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series. I want to read the rest!

Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs

I started two below-good Regency romances. One of them was written by a US author who clearly couldn’t stop her far right-wing political views from bleeding through into the book. Not exactly appropriate to fill a book set in England with NRA propaganda!

So I didn’t finish either of those books.

Instead, I picked up sweeter Regency by Theresa Romain.

 Pro-Ukrainian Anti-Russian invasion protest Canberra Australia 5th March 2014 2

Pro-Ukrainian demonstrators in Canberra.

Scary week for the world. Missing aeroplane, Russia essentially declaring war on Ukraine. They’re forcing an illegal referendum on Ukraine in a few days, and there’s not a “No” option on the ballot form – they’re forcing Crimea to become part of Russia.

 Pro-Ukrainian Anti-Russian invasion protest Canberra Australia 5th March 2014 Russians taking photographs

Russian embassy staff photographing us for God only knows what reason.

We had a protest at the Russian embassy here in Canberra and were harassed by KGB-style Russian staffers. The Australian Federal Police actually told us to file a complaint against the Russian embassy. The Russians seem to think the USSR still exists – and even in Australia they treat people like that!

Naked in Death is still only $2.99

Naked in Death by J.D. Robb

My review of The Returning Hero by Soraya Lane

The Returning Hero by Soraya Lane

My review of Most Eligible Sheriff by Cathy McDavid

Most Eligible Sheriff by Cathy McDavid

My review of Loving Lord Ash by Sally MacKenzie

Loving Lord Ash by Sally MacKenzie

My review of Turn Up the Heat by Kimberly Kincaid

Turn Up the Heat by Kimberly Kincaid

My review of Passionately Yours by Cara Elliott

Passionately Yours by Cara Elliott

Most Eligible Sheriff by Cathy McDavid

Most Eligible Sheriff by Cathy McDavid

A Reason To Stay 

Las Vegas casino manager Ruby McPhee needs to lay low while the police deal with a stalker at work. So she’s trading in her high heels for cowboy boots and assuming her twin sister’s identity at the Gold Nugget Ranch. Ruby only plans on staying in Sweetheart, Nevada, until the threat back home has passed. But then she discovers a detail her sister forgot to mention the handsome sheriff she’s dating. 

It only takes a single kiss for Cliff Dempsey to realize the woman in his arms is someone entirely different and completely irresistible. To protect Ruby’s secret, Cliff maintains her ruse, but soon the lines between duty and desire begin to blur. Ruby and Cliff know they have a once-in-a-lifetime connection, but will they have a chance to let their love grow? 

Most Eligible Sheriff by Cathy McDavid

There’re some contemporary romances you get the sense would *only* work as category romances, and this is one of them. That’s not a bad thing, but you come to expect those oh-so common romance genre tropes that appear more often in, say, a Harlequin American Romance than you would in single title books from other publishers.

Beginning with the title, Most Eligible Sheriff is all about Americana, with a small town populated by cowboys and honourable policemen protecting innocent women. Horses galore. We have the twin trope that is hard to do believably (especially when it’s a ‘twin swap’) and – of course – the happy ending.

I’ve never read a book by Cathy McDavid before, but I’d say she writes perfect books for this line. She delivers exactly what readers will be looking for, but she also manages to work within the common tropes and avoid making them too twee. Things aren’t quite as perfect as they seem, which I appreciated.

I liked both our lead characters in this one. It’s all too rare to come across a book that features both a hero and a heroine who are instantly likeable, good people. I always, always like a book more if it paints decent people as being capable of finding their happy ever afters, too!

Review copy provided by NetGalley.