Her Secret Cowboy (Blood Brothers) – ARC Review

50658269._SY475_Her Secret Cowboy
by Debra Holt
Release Date:  April 9, 2020
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Book #3 in the Blood Brothers series
Number of pages:  175
Source:  ARC from publisher
Contemporary Romance/Western M/F
Rating: R
Read 4/7/20 to 4/9/20


Devlin Braxton never thought he’d test those words and return to Braxton, Texas – the town where generations of his family had ranched honorably. Not him. As an undercover agent who spent years infiltrating the underbelly of a drug cartel with a local pipeline, everyone thought he was the devil-may-care, good-for-nothing, playboy he pretended – even his family. After the massive bust and the shoot out that nearly killed him, Devlin is ready to discover who he is and where he belongs.

Marissa Flanagan has fought for her place in Braxton. First she had to live down the pity and gossip when she was jilted by her fiance, then prove her professional worth when the town’s beloved – and male – vet retired. She’s finally made her peace or so she thinks until Devlin Braxton shows up at her door with a proposition.

They have a past, will Devlin’s blue eyes and pulse-stopping kisses convince her he’s changed and that they might have a future?

I was really curious how the author was going to redeem Devlin. He was truly awful in the first book of this series, True Blue Cowboy. Seriously, Dev didn’t even make an appearance in the second book even though his mysterious unknown half brother made himself known.  What kind of person isn’t at least curious about such a thing?  Yet, redeem him she did.  Once his real background is known, a person can forgive him for almost anything.  Turns out, Devlin isn’t such a bad guy after all.

Rissa is a perfect match for Devlin, if not for their past.  Dev doesn’t even remember her, which is strike one.  On top of that he has a playboy reputation, is not known to stay in one place for long, and has screwed Rissa over back in college without even knowing.  When Dev shows back up in town, the two of them are thrown together over and over and their attraction is irresistible.  Rissa has the backbone to give as good as she gets and she doesn’t take any crap from anyone.  Especially after the things she’s been through with other men in her past.  Like I said, perfect match.

The problem with Devlin and Rissa is a whole bunch of miscommunication and denial.  They are a perfect example of people needing to talk to one another instead of making assumptions.  Once in a while one of them would attempt the whole open and honest thing, but the other wouldn’t be receptive and would be the one to jump to conclusions.  While I was chomping at the bit to have their friends and family step in and straighten them out, I also appreciated that they all stayed one step back and just tried to gently steer the couple.  After all, it’s not their place to fully meddle in someone else’s relationship.

This story was fun and touching, a real enjoyable read.  But it did bother me that the connection/past Dev had with his now sister-in-law was never mentioned.  Mostly, I would have expected it between Rissa and Josie…to at least acknowledge that there was a bit of history there.  Yet that was glossed over and pretty much ignored.  I’m glad the author at least added the Dev/Josie friendship to the mix.

Regardless, this was a great wrap up to this series. Definitely worth the read if you enjoyed the first two books.

3.5 stars

**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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