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Friday, September 3, 2010

Dexter: Honorable Cowboy by Marin Thomas

Dexter: Honorable Cowboy by Marin Thomas
(Codys: First Family of Rodeo series)
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (216 pgs)
Heat Level: sensual
Rating: 3.5 Books
Reviewed by Poppy

Josie Charles was back in town, and Dexter Cody desired her as much as ever. She was his twin brother's girl, but it was hard to act honorable when all he wanted was to stake his claim on the woman and her boy. Sooner or later, his brother was going to step up and do the right thing. And when that time came, would Dexter be able to step aside and lose Josie all over again?

No way was Josie losing her heart to the sexy-as-all-get-out rancher. The last thing the single mother needed was another Cody messing with her life. But her high school pal had sure grown into one fine-looking cowboy. Caring. Hardworking. Responsible. Exactly the kind of man she'd want to be a father to her son.

Which one is the right brother? Looks as if there's going to be a showdown…

Dexter Cody is everything a good cowboy should be: honest, hard-working, dependable. While reading this book, I wasn’t entirely certain he was happy about owning all those character traits, especially when his happy-go-lucky, irresponsible twin brother, Dusty, seemed to have all the luck.

What luck? Well, Dexter’s had a thing for Josie Charles his entire life, but she only had eyes for Dusty. And now, years later? She’s back, with a son in tow ... a son that looks amazingly like Dusty. Looks like Dexter’s going to lose out again before he even has a chance with her.

Then again, maybe not – Dusty’s not quite ready to step up to the plate and do what everyone tells him is right. This leaves dependable, honorable Dexter to make sure Josie and her son are safe and comfortable. I liked Dexter. How could I not? Honestly, I’m not sure the man has any faults! He’s smart, kind, patient, loving, capable, skilled, honest ... I kept waiting for a wart to show up, but it never did. Considering how badly Dusty is painted in this book, it was never a worry who Josie would want.

The fact is, Josie doesn’t want Dusty any more than he wants her. She only has eyes for Dexter, but Dex has taken himself right out of the running. Add in an ongoing feud between their fathers and you have a whole lot of problems. I admired Josie. She knew what she wanted and went for it... plowing through any excuse or roadblock Dexter put up. She wasn’t ready to let him walk away, not when he was everything she wanted and it was clear he wanted her right back, even if he didn’t think it was the right thing to feel.

This was a good book, full of romance and fun and great characters. I especially loved Josie’s son, Matt – a cute, precocious six-year-old that kept everyone on their toes. He made me smile throughout this book. As noted, Dexter was perfectly yummy. The kind of guy we’d all like, but will never find because the fact is, everyone has a wart or two. And I have to admit that Dex’s perfection kind of made him a little less realistic for me. I really wish he’d had a really strong flaw (unless being too honorable is a flaw?).

The biggest problem for me, though, was a lack of true conflict. We know from the start that Josie has no intention of marrying Dusty, no matter what everyone else seems to think, so it’s never a worry that she won’t end up with Dexter. And the feud between the families, after having gone on for a generation was a little too easily wrapped up and dealt with.

Still, Ms. Thomas has a clean, easy writing style and her books are always fun. They’re chock full of colorful casts of characters, and this one was no different. I really enjoyed the secondary crew, especially Josie’s mother, her son Matt and Dexter’s mom—a woman who rules the roost with an iron backbone, but lets her husband think he wears the pants in the family.

The romance was touchingly sweet but plenty hot as well, though it was all about tension and not fully-consummated love scenes. The oh-so-steamy scene on the mechanical bull was awesome and made me wish for one of my own!

This book held its own in the Codys: First Family of Rodeo series, and I’m absolutely glad I got the chance to read it. It’ll join my other Marin Thomas books on the keeper shelf. If you like a hot cowboy, a fun set of characters and are looking for something a little different to do on the back of a mechanical bull, then you should grab yourself a copy of this book. Despite being part of a series, it stands alone nicely (I know, because I read this one first!) and you could do much worse than picking this up and giving it a read. I’m betting you’ll enjoy it.

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