Three Cowboys and a Baby (Three Cowboys) – ARC review

Three Cowboys and a Baby
by Kate Pearce
Release Date:  December 27, 2022
Publisher: Zebra Books
Book #1 in the Three Cowboys series
Number of Pages:  320
Source:  NetGalley ARC
Contemporary Romance
Ages 16 and up
CW: grief, cancer, combat PTSD
Inspired by the 1980’s classic hit, Three Men and a Baby, New York Times bestselling author Kate Pearce introduces a trio of former Marines-turned cowboys working and living the ranch life. Everybody knows a real cowboy doesn’t back down from a challenge—even when that means midnight tears and diaper changes for an unexpected arrival…

When an old military buddy turns up at the ranch he shares with two friends, Noah Harding never imagines the friend will skip out overnight and leave his baby boy behind. Noah will have some choice parenting advice to offer when the baby’s mother turns up, but until then, he’ll do his best to take care of the little one. Yet when a relieved Jen finally tracks down her son, Noah realizes the story is more complicated than he thought. And soon, so are his feelings for Jen . . .

Jen Rossi doesn’t expect much from her unreliable ex, but she’s shocked to return from an extended mission and discover he’s abandoned their son with three men she doesn’t know. Not that Noah isn’t doing a good job as fill-in daddy. In fact, there seems to be very little the straight-talking cowboy can’t do. And with a winter storm settling in, and close quarters making it impossible to deny their chemistry, this temporary solution might just become the key to forever . . .

Kate Pearce is a go-to author for me when it comes to fun banter, sexy cowboys, and strong women keeping everyone in line. My interest was piqued by these three cowboys right from the beginning. They are best friends but don’t necessarily always get along. Although this is only the first book in the series, it’s obvious they all have a lot of baggage they have to deal with. This book did its job as the first of the series to suck me into this world and leave me wanting to know more.

It’s plain from the moment he shows up at their door that their military “friend” is flighty and unreliable. That’s why I took it all with a grain of salt when he spoke poorly of the baby’s mom. But still, I kept thinking that mama better have a darn good reason for being MIA from her child’s life. I’m not excusing the father, as I said he’s not a good person. But knowing mama was going to be the MFC I needed to be able to like her. No worries, once it’s all laid out she has a very good reason for leaving her child with his useless daddy for so long.

We’re introduced to all three cowboys, they live and work together after all. But this story is about Noah’s HEA. Even getting his inner thoughts, Noah is one tough nut to crack. He has a good work ethic, strong morals, and a heart of gold, but he doesn’t like anyone else to acknowledge those things. And he wants nothing to do with kids, families, or white picket fences. He has good reasons, but sometimes the reasons we have when we’re new adults and barely out of our teens aren’t valid many moons later when we’ve lived a good life and still have a lot of life left for living. Noah’s just so stuck in his beliefs about who he is and what he wants he fights his feelings every step of the way.

Not to mention, Noah is so honorable and so careful to not be inappropriate to Jen, who is snowed in with the cowboys and her baby Sky, that he comes across as rude and aloof instead of respectful and ethical. His yearning for Jen muddled with his need to “do the right thing” gives poor Jen whiplash; she has a future and a young child to worry about. She does not have time for games, especially after how she was treated by Sky’s father.

I really enjoyed this story, although I would have loved seeing Jen and Noah get more alone time to establish their bond. While they are good together and Noah has a great connection to both Jen and Sky, I didn’t get the sparks I was anticipating with this author. I got enough to keep me turning the pages. Plus, I’m now invested in seeing the other two cowboys find their HEAs.

4 stars

**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of NetGalley and 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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