Take a trio of cowboy brothers, an adorable baby, a sweet if slightly addled grandfather and a town full of lovable characters… and then throw in a young widow still recovering from the tragic accident that haunts her. The result? A truly entertaining read that will take you on a roller coaster of emotions.
Running from a past that haunts her, Abby Knightly is drawn to the cozy town of Wishing Springs, Texas. Maybe this small town could offer hope and healing and a future for Abby . . . if she’s brave enough to reach out and take it by the reins.
Bo Monahan isn’t interested in the new romantic destination his little town has become—or the women who might be looking at him like he’s their next Mr. Right. Between taking care of his Pops and his growing stirrup business, he isn’t looking for serious romantic commitments. But when the infant son he never knew about shows up at his doorstep, his world is turned upside down.
This confirmed bachelor might not think he needs a wife, but he sure needs help. Even Abby can see that, and despite her best efforts to keep her distance, she can’t help but be drawn to this new father-son duo. As Abby throws herself into helping Bo navigate fatherhood, hope sparks between them, revealing that maybe, just maybe, they can navigate their dark pasts and emerge together into a future as bright as the Texas sun itself.
This book was fun! The scenes that showed Bo (and his brother and Pops) trying to figure out this new baby had me chuckling – especially in my safe reader role as innocent bystander. Actually being there during diaper changes? Maybe not such a laughing matter. And … you know… for someone who hates the outdoors and is terrified of horses, I really do have a thing for fictional cowboys. Bo did his part for the cause with “that dangerous smile that spread slow, and then bam, the dimple popped and his entire face came alive.” And the impromptu dancing scene toward the end of the book? ACK! Be still my cowboy-crushing heart!
It wasn’t all dimpling and dancing and flirting though. Debra Clopton gently addressed some serious issues as well, issues like Alzheimer’s and alcoholism and drunk driving. I’ve been in Bo’s boots, watching my beloved grandmother forget my name or rather forget that I was me. That’s such a strange feeling – to know that she still knew “Carrie” as her granddaughter… she just didn’t know anymore that Carrie was sitting right beside her. So many mixed emotions accompany the long goodbye of Alzheimer’s, and I thought that Debra Clopton did an excellent job of being sensitive to both the feelings experienced by the caregivers as well as by the family member suffering from this horrible disease.
There was one part of the story that confused me for a bit – an apparent continuity/timeline error surrounding The Bull Barn – so if you get to that part and find yourself wondering if you missed a scene somewhere it’s not just you! 🙂 All in all, that scene and those surrounding it have little to do with the solidity of the plot or the characters but since it did make me pause and flip forward and backward a few pages I felt it detracted from my reading experience and I wanted to briefly mention it.
Bottom Line: Counting on a Cowboy provides all the best things about a romance novel – flirting, dimples, growly kisses, laughter, and friendship. Not to mention the sweetheart of a baby who shows up on the front porch. If you like westerns and books about a small town, this will quickly become one of your favorites! If you like books that show a lot of character growth and healing, this is also a wonderful pick for you! (While Counting on a Cowboy is the second book in its series and features characters and story-lines from Betting on Hope, it can also be read as a stand-alone with little to no problems.)
Counting on a Cowboy lassos 4 out of 5 stars! (I’m thinking about adding an additional star just for the dimples.)
(I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for only my honest review.)
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Debra Clopton is a multi-award winning novelist and has written more than 22 novels. Along with writing, Debra helps her husband teach the youth at their local Cowboy Church. Debra’s goal is to shine a light toward God while she entertains readers with her words.