Novella Review: A Cowboy Unmatched by Karen Witemeyer

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I don’t read many Inspirational romances because I don’t like having the religious aspects shoved down my throat.  I took a chance on A Cowboy Unmatched because the cover is cute, and because it’s a novella.  I figured it couldn’t be too overwhelming considering the length, and there are several other books by the author I am itching to try, but I wanted a less expensive introduction to her writing.  After reading this, I am game to give a few others a go.

 

Neill is traveling the countryside, working odd jobs and saving money to start a ranch with his best friend.  He’s arrived at Dry Gulch in the Texas Panhandle, but job prospects are looking bleak.  Then he finds a note tucked away in his Bible, giving him directions to a job replacing a roof.  When he arrives at Clara’s rundown farmhouse, he’s in store for a surprise.  Clara greets him with a loaded shotgun, demanding to know why he’s on her property.  After explaining about the note and that someone hired him to replace her roof, she reluctantly decides to trust him.  The young widow doesn’t have much choice.  Her deadbeat husband left her with a derelict shack and a baby on the way.  With no money and in no condition to complete the repairs herself, she allows the good Samaritan in town foot the bill for the work.

As Neill works around the homestead, he sees what a ruin the house and property is.  He can tell that Clara is doing her best to take care of things, because her animals are well-tended, but everything else is falling apart.  While she doesn’t have money to hire him, she can give him food and place to sleep, so he stays on, fixing up what he can.  He starts to fall for her during their evening meals together, and learns that her father-in-law wants her baby and will stop at nothing to take it once it’s born.  Her husband only married her to vex his father.  A gambler, he died shortly after their wedding, leaving Clara with no means to take care of herself or their child.  What. A. Loser!

The father-in-law, Mack Danvers, is a wealthy rancher used to getting his way.  He’s irked that Clara is defying him by not agreeing to give up his grandson (he refuses to believe the baby will be anything but a boy), and he’s taken to threatening her to intimidate her into giving up her baby.  He’s a great villain, because you feel just a tiny slice of sympathy for him.  His son and heir died, leaving him no one to carry on the family name or to take over the family ranch.  What you don’t feel sorry for are his underhanded tactics to get what his wants.  No wonder his son was such a spoiled, selfish turd.

I couldn’t put my Kindle down when I was reading A Cowboy Unmatched.  Neill is such an honorable man that I couldn’t help but like him.  He’s hard working, caring, and kind; how could Clara not fall for this guy?  He risks his life to help her and her baby, and you are immediately cheering for this guy.  He’s out to prove himself to his older brothers, but he puts his own dreams for the future aside, and instead makes new plans for himself and Clara, after meeting her.  Yeah!  I really liked Neill.

If you are looking for a cute, sweet read, look no further than A Cowboy Unmatched.  The setting feels authentic, the characters are likeable, and the story moves along at a good clip.  I would like to read more novellas from this collection (A Match Made in Texas) because I enjoyed this one so much.

Grade:   B

Review copy purchased from Amazon

From Amazon:

Neill isn’t sure who hired him to repair Clara’s roof–he only knows Clara desperately needs his help. Can he convince this stubborn widow to let down her guard and take another chance on love?