The Cowboy’s Reluctant Sweetheart
Two years shy of his medical degree, cowboy Maxwell White is out of money. So, he’s back in Bear Creek, Wyoming, working part-time for the local physician. Though he is immediately drawn to the doctor’s lovely, whip-smart daughter, she seems to be irritated by Maxwell’s very existence.
Hattie Powell can’t quash her feelings for the town’s new would-be doctor. But that’s exactly why she must keep him at a distance. Hattie is closer than ever to fulfilling her lifelong wish of becoming a doctor. Now, the only thing standing in her way is the man of her dreams.
Wyoming Legacy: United by family, destined for love
Return of the Cowboy Doctor (Wyoming Legacy #3) by Lacy Williams
Completely on a whim, I downloaded a later book in this series for review a little while ago. If you’d have asked me a year ago whether I’d enjoy a supposedly Christian historical Western romance, I’d have laughed. Yet author Lacy Williams has created a solid, entertaining series, and even though I didn’t enjoy this one *quite* as much, it was still a good read.
First thing’s first. I don’t like religious preaching in my books, and American evangelism is totally baffling to me. However, Williams’ books are so unreligious they could easily pass for mainstream fiction. In fact, I think the author is shooting herself in the foot by writing for the much smaller American Christian market.
The most religious this book gets is that a church is turned into a makeshift hospital during a cholera outbreak, and there’s a brief, passing mention of the hero praying over a sick person and someone saying Grace. That’s really about it, and it is actually in keeping with the times. I’ve read mainstream fiction that’s a whole lot more religious than that.
As for the story. I loved the characters very much. I love shy, awkward heroes, and while our guy here was strong and competent when he needed to be, he was also shockingly shy and struggled very hard with being accepted.
Our heroine has a rather mysterious medical condition that sometimes puts her into a wheelchair. While I know it would have been anachronistic to go into too much detail about it, I realised once I’d finished reading we were still left with no answers. However, I liked her for her determination to succeed in a medical profession, which I found believable for the late-nineteenth century setting.
What didn’t I like? I thought the random mentions of the hero’s demonic birth mother were weird and unnecessary. We kept hearing that he was constantly told nobody would ever love him, but it didn’t make any sense and was never properly explained.
I also thought the final Grand Gesture scene at the end was cheesy (I quite often skim the final moments of romances, because I find a lot of them cheesy!). More than that, I didn’t see how it solved any of the issues the couple had.
I also thought some of the expressions – “This is an intervention.” – were very twenty-first century.
I plan to read more books in this series, which surprises me a lot. I would really like to see this author tackle mainstream fiction, because she’s a little bit wasted being restricted by the rules of the line she writes for.