Monday, January 9, 2023

Book Review: Mail Order Cowboy

Happy Monday, lambs! I feel like I've got 2023 by the balls, and I know we aren't supposed to call it, but I feel like I am really set up for good things this year. I'm already on a reading roll, I got my budgeting stuff worked out just the way I want it, I found jellybeans already, and I bought a new pack of manila folders and dammit, things are pretty alright. 

I completely realize how lame and old that makes me sound but my therapist says it really is little wins so screw off, nay-sayers. 

Mail Order Cowboy - Victoria James

Hope Roberts has a strict No Cowboys Allowed policy. Between raising her daughter, running her business, and trying to settle into her new ranch, Hope has no room for romance—especially when it comes to cowboys. What she needs is someone to help fix her ranch. But the only person to respond to her ad is the one man Hope still blames for her husband’s death…

In Wishing River, Dr. Dean Stanton is pretty much a legend. Cowboy, doctor, heir to his family’s ranching empire—everyone knows and loves him…with the exception of Hope. But Dean doesn’t trust a complete stranger to keep Hope and her daughter safe. And despite their troubled past, he’s still the best cowboy for her job.

Bit by cautious bit, Hope’s little family of two is making room for the man she once thought of as her enemy. Until one day, Dean looks like the perfect exception to her “no cowboys” rule. But he’s been keeping a secret from her that could destroy their newfound family…
I'm going to start this one off with something I almost never say, but while everyone will tell you these are stand alone books, nay, nay, I say. I haven't read the other three, and maybe the other three truly are stand alones, but I feel like I came into this book mid-way through a story. I had zero back story, I guess they've had some intense, fun banter in the other books and I wish I had that buildup. You also learn at the very beginning that Hope is a widow and her husband died of cancer, but Dean was his doctor. Hope is a more natural doctor and she is convinced Dean could have/should have seen the cancer sooner so she basically blames him for her husband's death. Dean is keeping a pretty big secret and if Hope knew it, Dean know it would devastate her, so he swore to hide it from her. 

Anyone who has watched a Hallmark or Lifetime movie knows that she absolutely would find out and the lesson is always that keeping secrets isn't good for anyone. Nobody wants to deal with hard stuff, or wants to have a broken heart, or be the one to do that to someone, but the alternative can be really awful, sometimes worse. 

As I step off my soap box, let me say I really liked Dean. I really liked Hope and her ambitious desire to take care of herself without the sympathetic help from other. She doesn't want to be dependent on anyone and I can admire that. Dean is a genuinely nice guy, he helps everyone, even at the expense of his sanity/time. Both of them are the kind of people you would set up with each other and you root for them the get it together. His dad is real piece of work, but you know right off the bat his awfulness wasn't passed down, thankfully. I also LOVED their friends but also the dynamic of all of them together. 

If you're a fan of a clean romance, with cowboys, something that could easily become a Hallmark movie to spend a weekend on, this is your book. I really want to go back and read the first three though because I love the other couples so I know I'd love their stories, but I'd also get a little background on Dean and Hope knowing how their story ends. (Also sometimes I just really need a solid, sweet story, you know?) 

Thank you to TLC Book Tours and Entangled Publishing for having me on this tour and sending me a copy for review! 
This post contains affiliate links. 

1 comment:

Laura's Reviews said...

I do love clean romances that could be Hallmark movies, but I don't like coming in not knowing what has gone on before! Good review.