Max Wilde’s Cowboy Heart (Wyoming Wilde) – ARC review

Max Wilde’s Cowboy Heart
by Jennifer Ryan
Release Date:  March 28, 2023
Publisher: Avon
Book #3 in the Wyoming Wilde series
Number of Pages: 364
Source: NetGalley
Contemporary Romance/Suspense
Ages 17 and up
CW: murder, violence
Max Wilde lived up to his last name and then some. Years ago, he fell hard and fast for Kenna Baker, thinking they had a love that would last for all time. When a horrible misunderstanding drove them apart, Max thought his chance to find the kind of love his brothers have is gone forever. He changed his bad boy ways, but he never got over the one who got away.

Now, their lives have collided once again, as Kenna is the only witness to a murder and needs a place to hide while in protective custody. Max is determined to keep her safe on the ranch, and also maintain an emotional distance, but as they spend more time together, the lies and half-truths that once drove them apart are also uncovered, bringing them closer than ever.

Kenna has always laid claim to Max’s heart–and soul–but will he be able to save her…and their love…before it’s too late?

There is a lot I loved about this book. Kenna and Max work very well together. The fact that they had to live together years after their break up because of threats to her life set things up perfectly. It was great how much Max’s family was working to push these two together, knowing that they both had deep feelings. I loved all of that. I didn’t love that this book seemed to have a lot of filler. Some chapters could have been cut with no detriment to the overall story.

From the previous book, I have been intrigued by the characters in Blackrock Falls. They are cousins of the Wilde men and it seems we’ll get a lot of good stories out of the bunch. But the last few chapters of this book seemed like they were strictly there for the setup of a new series. I knew I still had a ways to go to finish the book and kept waiting for something else to happen with Max and Kenna. I’ll accept that they needed some closure when it came to a previous friend who had instigated their break up, but other than that these are wasted pages. They took me from being all in on this couple and their story to losing interest because not a lot was happening.

The beginning of this book took off pretty quickly. It kept me engaged in the plot and the characters. I’ve read a lot of this author’s books and felt as though the middle of this book was firmly what I’ve come to expect from her. A lot of love, angst, working things through, with suspense thrown into the mix. It works well for me. While I loved seeing more of Kenna and Max together in those last chapters and getting the wrap-up of this family, it was just too drawn out.

I’d still recommend this story if you’re a fan of romance with some suspense thrown in. I’m still greatly looking forward to whatever series is going to spin off of this one. But I was excited about that even before the last bit of this book.

3 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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