Claim Me Cowboy by Maisey Yates (Copper Ridge #4)
Released: April 3, 2018
Reviewed by Mandi
Joshua has a successful career in marketing, and has moved back home to escape city life and enjoy fresh ranch air. His sister is an extraordinary architect, and he has started working with her, using his marketing skills to help her business. He is happy and content – but his dad thinks he needs to settle down and start a family. And to make that happen, his dad puts an ad in the newspaper asking for women to apply to be Joshua’s girlfriend.
When Joshua learns of this, he gets very angry and decides to play his dad’s little game. He puts his own ad in the newspaper for a fake fiance, advertising that he will pay a woman to pretend to be his fiance for a few months. He wants this woman to act improper, so his dad will realize his mistake and back off. Danielle answers the ad.
Danielle is twenty-two and has had a very hard childhood. Her mother has a lot of problems, and when her mother gives birth a few months prior to the book starting, her mom takes off afterwards, leaving Danielle to raise her infant brother. Danielle loses her job since she doesn’t have anyone to provide childcare. With child-services sniffing around, she knows she needs money quick so her brother doesn’t end up in foster care. She sees the ad in the paper, and knows the amount of money Joshua is offering is enough to get her own place and raise her brother properly. She is very intimidated by Joshua and his grand house at first, but she also enjoys the comfort he and the house provides. Joshua is shocked to see such a young woman at his door – and she never mentioned she had a child. At first he thinks she will be perfect to thwart his father, but soon he starts to feel bad for using her in such a way.
The premise is a bit silly in this one – Joshua’s dad, who is a great family man, takes out an ad in the newspaper for a girlfriend? But I’m always here for a fake fiance story. Joshua comes off a little cold throughout the book, but I fell in love with Danielle. For as much crap that life has thrown her way, she has fought back. She takes on so much responsibility once her mom flakes on her own baby, and her resilience and sense of humor she still has won me over.
But the romance in this one never worked for me. I feel like we never move past “woman for hire” in Joshua’s eyes, and “I’m safe now in this big house” in Danielle’s eyes. Did Danielle grow to truly love Joshua, who was a complete stranger to start this book? I think she likes him a lot, but I also think she would spend his life with him and all of his money, rather than go back to her old apartment with no furniture. That’s not a solid HEA.
Joshua had a serious girlfriend in the past and she had a miscarriage late in her pregnancy. He blames himself for not protecting her enough and then not being there as their relationship unraveled. I think he looks at Danielle and her infant brother as a chance to prove to everyone he can care for a wife and have that baby he was supposed to have …instead of true love for Danielle.
Maybe we needed more time for it all to develop, but the true romance feelings never showed up for me.