Reviewed by Mandi
The blurb says Ryder Dent is a “true-blood cowboy” and while it may run in his family, I wouldn’t consider him a cowboy. He works at his father’s farm store and lives in Texas. That’s about as cowboy as he gets. Ryder is gay but hardly anyone knows. When his friend Andi was teenager, she got pregnant by a rodeo star and didn’t want anyone to know he was the father. And since Ryder was scared for anyone to find out he was gay, both Ryder and Andi pretend Jonas, their new son, is Ryder’s biological child. They marry and try to live a life the best they can for Jonas. They share a bed, but they are never intimate. Both are honestly pretty miserable. When a new doctor named Declan comes into town, he takes an interest in Ryder’s family and wants to be his friend. Ryder has never even kissed a man, so he has a hard time dealing with Declan and his feelings.
For some reason, Ryder really rubs me the wrong way in this book. I disliked him not because he is a jerk or an ass – more because I felt like he wanted everyone to take pity on him. He tries to exude this perfect persona, but also deep down wanted people to feel sorry for him. He works at his father’s store and doesn’t like it. He let’s his dad boss him around. He is married to a woman, and he is gay. Andi wants to have a big singing career, and little poor old Ryder is stuck at home being a dad. I feel like he resents all of these things, but never tries to make his situation better. The one and only thing that did feel genuine and that Ryder was passionate about is his son. But this story is more focused on Ryder and HIS issues, than a romance with Declan.
We really don’t get to know Declan all that well. I liked him a lot better than Ryder – he seems like a decent, kind doctor – but their chemistry lacked. I wanted to know why they were attracted to each other – besides their looks. Are there any other gay people in this Texas town or is it just because Declan moves there and is gay that there is an attraction?
Does Andi want more out of life than being married to someone she can’t physically be with? There is a big a big plot set-up but then not a lot happens in this book. The poor relationship Andi and Ryder each have with their own fathers and Jonas realizing Ryder isn’t his biological father greatly overshadows Declan and his romance with Ryder.
I DNF’d book two in this series but wanted to give it another try. Going to have to say this series isn’t for me.