The Cowboy Finds a Family (Cowboys of Horse Thief Mountain) – ARC review

The Cowboy Finds a Family
by Anne McAllister
Release Date: February 11, 2021
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Book #1 in the Cowboys of Horse Thief Mountain series
Number of pages:  214
Source:  ARC from publisher
Contemporary Romance M/F
Rating: PG-13
Read 1/30/21 to 1/31/21

Mace Nichols is an ‘I’ll die with my boots on’ cowboy. Old-school. Tough, silent and honorable. Which is why he’s leaving his wife, Jenny. She has helped him build his dream—the Montana ranch they loved. Now he can’t give her the family she’s always dreamed of, so he has no choice: he needs to set her free. It makes perfect sense to him.

It doesn’t make a bit of sense to Jenny! She loves her stubborn, bull-headed husband. She admires his courage, his tenacity and his determination to always Do The Right Thing—even if, in this case, it is the stupidest thing he’s ever done.

Mace is right—Jenny has always wanted a family. But she wants a family with Mace! How can she convince the most honorable, stubborn man in the world what really matters in life?

It’s not everyone’s thing, but I appreciate a love story that’s about a marriage in trouble. Of course, I don’t want to read about cheating and jerky spouses. That’s not the case here. This is the story of a couple that is full, deeply in love that forget that have to talk to each other. Really talk. Share feelings, fears, hope, dreams. Somewhere along the way in their 14-year marriage they forgot, and this is the result.

There were other things going on in this story beside the marriage troubles of Mace and Jenny. There’s also the story of little Becky dealing with her new twin siblings and losing the attention of her dad and step-mom. Honestly, Becky’s storyline is my favorite of this book. It brought up the feelings I had in childhood when my brother was born. Seriously, the author did a beautiful job of conveying the feelings of a lonely and confused 10-year-old girl.

While I appreciated the obvious love between Jenny and Mace and the things they had to work through, there were also things that I did not like about this story. I understood Jenny’s motivations for some of the things she did along the way. Mace was truly being a jerk. I know she was thinking of herself, but maybe too much. Not that Mace didn’t deserve the feelings certain things brought up, but there were more people involved and I felt Jenny let things go too long and didn’t think enough about others her decisions were going to touch.

This story is listed as the first of a series, but it definitely didn’t feel like a first. Looking at it later, I found this book was originally published under the title A Cowboy’s Tears in 1997, and it was the 6th book in its series at that time. The story read okay as a standalone, or first in series, but I can’t help but feel I missed a lot of richer back story on the friends of Mace and Jenny, as well as the couple themselves.

All in all this was an enjoyable enough read. I felt it took a bit too long for Mace to get his head out of his rear. Jenny took things a bit too far in a direction I wasn’t keen on. Yet I did feel this couple had a connection and definitely belong together.

3 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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