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Friday, April 10, 2009

A Cowboy's Promise by Marin Thomas

A Cowboy's Promise by Marin Thomas
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Books
Review by Poppy

Her horse-boarding business may have gone belly-up, but Amy Olsen isn't a quitter. Even when handsome former rodeo rider Matt Cartwright shows up with three mares in tow, claiming he's owed a lot of money. Then he makes her an offer she can't refuse….

Matt has come to Amy's Idaho farm to collect a debt and be on his way. But his horse-breeding plans are taking a backseat to helping out the widow and her two young daughters. Matt's never been able to resist a woman in distress, especially one who's suddenly making him yearn for hearth and home.

All he came with was a promise and a dream. And when he starts falling for the trio of spirited females, darned if this roving cowboy doesn't plan to make good on both!

Marin Thomas has done it again--she's given me a hero to fall in love with and a set of secondary characters that feel like friends.

"A Cowboy's Promise" is second in Ms. Thomas most recent series, but stands alone very well. This is greatly due to the fact it's set in a completely different city than the first story, and except for the very end, we really don't see anyone (except the hero) from the first book. Don't worry about grabbing this novel if you haven't read the first. You'll do just fine.

Our hero, Matt, is an amazing man. He comes from money, but is determined to make his own place in the world doing something his wealthy father doesn't approve of: raising horses. All his hopes are pinned on breeding his mares to a champion stud owned by a man who owes Matt a poker debt.

Amy is the widow of the man, and wants nothing to do with the stud who is to blame for her late husband's death as well as the slow decay of her horse boarding business. She also doesn't want help from Matt. She just wants him to leave.

Matt is a dream. Handsome, sweet, thoughtful... he's got a bit of pride that puts a few glitches in his plans now and then, but overall he's one hundred percent hero material. Amy, despite all her intentions otherwise, can't help but be charmed by the man. This reader couldn't help it either.

In fact, this book had some of the best created and three-dimensional characters I've read in quite some time. I thoroughly enjoyed the interactions between all the cast of this book, including the quirky secondary folk who trotted through now and then. Ms. Thomas is one of my favorite authors to read because she has unusual but believable characters in her stories and this book was no exception.

My only complaint was a scene in which the heroine finds out something extremely important about the hero--it felt a bit like a set up, and seemed a little out of character for the hero to impart the information in the way he did. I realize that Amy needed to know this information about Matt, but the way in which it was imparted was difficult for me to believe. Still, this was a very minor speedbump in an otherwise wonderful book that I highly recommend. And, just in case Ms. Thomas wondered...I'm anxiously waiting for the final book in this series!