Untamed Cowboy by Maisey Yates Release Date: June 18, 2018 Publisher: HQN Books Book #2 in the Gold Valley series Number of Pages: 384 Kindle Edition Source: Amazon purchase Contemporary Romance M/F Rating: XXX Read 7/14/18 to 7/16/18
Ever since we started meeting the folks of Gold Valley in the Copper Ridge series, Bennett Dodge has been the man I love to hate. It’s so easy to blame him and Kaylee for some of the things Olivia went through. Then, when we get Olivia’s story in Smooth-Talking Cowboy, Bennet starts to redeem himself at least a little bit. I’m still not thrilled with him and still have issues with Kaylee at this point. Of course, I knew all along that the author would find a way for me to fall in love with these characters, but I definitely went into this story with a bias against them both.
Really getting to know Bennett’s personality and his need for order, at all costs, helped me to understand the things he did previously. He never had ill intentions toward Olivia or even realized how his friendship with Kaylee would bother her. He puts everything in its own neat little box, even if he has to shove it down to make it fit correctly. That’s how he functions, that’s how his brain works.
While Kaylee was as oblivious as Bennett, I did come to realize that she had no ill intent. She couldn’t picture her life without her best friend Bennett, therefore she didn’t take the step back that may have been proper when he was engaged to Olivia. As far as she was concerned, Bennett and Olivia were a happy couple who were in love so her presence shouldn’t be an issue.
It’s just amazing how much we, as humans, can twist things around to fit our own narrative when we don’t talk to one another. When we keep seemingly innocent secrets and then react to the actions of others, somehow blaming them for things when we haven’t given them all the information. This story is really about opening up, body and mind, to those who are in your inner circle. We’re all so afraid to never be loved for our true selves, yet we want to hide something because we think it will prevent us from getting that love we seek.
Kaylee and Bennett learn so much throughout this story, but mostly they learn what it means to love and be loved. Unconditionally. Children tend to teach us these things, even when they are 15-year-old surprise children that show up on our doorstep. Having Dallas show up really threw the whole Dodge family for a loop. But it also caused Bennett to take a good, hard look at his life, his family, and his best friend Kaylee. Dallas’ arrival also forced Kaylee to finally open up about her upbringing and admit her insecurities.
This was a beautiful story of love and family. While I expected a bit more angst from Dallas, this wasn’t really his story…yet. (Yes, I’m hoping we get his HEA later as he grows up.) Somehow Maisey Yates has found a way to redeem both Bennett and Kaylee in my eyes. I say that’s a win.