When Jake Rollins rolls into town as if he's never left, Anna Connor is not happy to see him again. Sixteen years ago, they were engaged, and instead of getting married as planned, Jake called her one day while touring the rodeo circuit only to let her know he had married someone else.
Devastated, Anna couldn't tell him her own news and ended up marrying his best friend instead, a man who loved her and whom she learned to love as they raised Anna's daughter as if she was also Carl's child.
*I received a free ARC of Cowboy Come Home from Belle Bridge Books via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*
Cowboy Come Home is a sweet contemporary romance filled with complications for the two protagonists, Jake Rollins and Anna Connor. They were childhood sweethearts, and had been all set to get married when Jake left town to become a professional in the rodeo circuit. Anna knows very well that things can become complicated very fast, and while she is hoping Jake is a lot less charming now than he was when he was twenty, she goes about her life trying to ignore him. Anna has been widowed for a few years when Jake comes back, but she has no intentions whatsoever to pick up where they had left things off in their youth. She has Leigh to consider now, and she doesn’t want Jake to make her life any more difficult than it already is – between her riding school and working hard to make ends meet, she has more than enough on her plate.
Jake has other plans, he has already met Leigh during a competition, and the young girl makes him think that maybe there is something more to Anna and Carl’s story than he ever thought. Cowboy Come Home narrates all the rational reasons Anna gives herself for having never let Jake know he has a daughter. At the same time, she has to admit to herself that she is still very much attracted to Jake, who has matured like an excellent wine. He is more adult, even better looking than before, and he seems to be a lot more reliable than he was when he was twenty. However, Anna needs to keep her secret, because Leigh has grown up thinking Carl is her father, and Anna does not want her daughter to doubt hers or Carl’s love. Especially because Carl is no longer around to help Anna with difficult explanations.
As the attraction between Jake and Anna grows, they both start to question both their own and the other’s motives. When Leigh gives Anna the go-ahead, things become more difficult, because Jake really wants Leigh to know he is her biological father. In the end, Leigh learns this from someone else entirely, and her whole world is turned upside down… The interactions between the characters is very realistic, and friends and neighbors are a big part of the story as well.
The writing is evenly paced, and Cowboy Come Home is easy to read, the story flows nicely as the narrative progresses through the labyrinth that has been created by the two main characters. Both Jake and Anna as well as the secondary characters are well done, and the secondary plots are integrated to the story with flair. All in all, I really enjoyed Cowboy Come Home, and can definitely recommend it as a light and complicated romance that is a perfect summer read. If you don’t know what books to bring with you on vacation, this should definitely make it onto your list.
And oh, Lord, what a man. Same dark-blond hair, same sky-blue eyes, same lady-killer dimple winking in one lean cheek. Six feet plus of pure, hard male.
He leaned over, his arm reaching around behind her. For a minute she didn’t know what he intended and felt a brief flare of fear. No, not fear, she realized, but… excitement. What the heck was wrong with her? She was long over this man.
Jake raised his head, and they stared at each other for an endless moment. He looked as bemused a she felt. Jake Rollins, ladies’ man, befuddled by a simple kiss? Not possible.
No matter how hard Anna tried, Jake occupied a disturbingly large portion of her waking moments. Worse, he played a starring role in most of her dreams.
“You may cry pretty, Anna, which by the way, I find incredibly annoying, but I can still tell when you’ve been crying”.