Review: Last Chance Cowboy by Cathy McDavid

 

Title: Last Chance Cowboy

Author: Cathy McDavid

Publisher: Harlequin

ISBN: 978-0373753697

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

The Last Cowboy of Mustang Valley

The Powell Ranch is not the expansive spread it used to be. With a good part of its land sold off to developers, Gabe Powell is struggling to save his disappearing way of life. He has a legacy to leave his daughter, and starting a stud farm would give him financial stability. But first he must capture the wild horse he’s spotted in nearby Mustang Valley.

Sage Navarre is in Arizona on an urgent domestic matter that will secure her young child’s future. And as a government field agent, she’s been ordered to help Gabe track down an escaped mustang while she’s here. Working with the cowboy is an incredible experience—and Sage finds herself wildly attracted to him.

But what will Gabe say when she dashes his dreams for his ranch? Because he’s not the only one who wants that mustang.

Review:

I am addicted to these Harlequin cowboy books!  It doesn’t matter which line, either.  Romance, Presents, American Romance, they have all kept me entertained!  There is just something comforting about the formula, kind of like a big plate of loaded nachos after an especially trying day.

I could relate so easily to Gavin and Sage.  They both have big, big dreams and plans for the future, but something keeps getting in the way.  Money!  Gavin is suffering from the death of his mother and the financial ruin her illness left for his family, and Sage just wants her deadbeat ex to pay all of the child support he owes her daughter.  Having recently experienced the unpleasant consequences of a devastating illness and a gap in health insurance coverage, Gavin was right there on my sympathy radar.  I liked him better than Sage, in fact, and that’s saying a lot, because she is another character who has been shorted in the good fortune department.  It’s nice when you are behind both protagonists right from the get go.

Gavin is the fourth generation of Powells, former cattle ranchers, and he desperately wants there to be a fifth, but times aren’t so good for him.  The family has turned their cattle ranch into an equestrian center, but their income is still precarious.  Gavin has his hopes pinned on capturing the wild mustang he has seen roaming around the nature preserve by his land.  When Sage, an agent for the BLM shows up, he’s reluctant to trust her or help her catch the horse.  After she assures him that he will be able to adopt the animal once they have it in their possession, he decides to co-operate.

The sparks don’t exactly fly when they first meet, but instead begin to smolder as they spend more time together.  I liked that.  Their courtship was convincing and realistic to me.  They have mutual respect for each other,  and only later do they begin to experience those funny little stomach jitters and accelerated heartbeats that in a different genre other than romance might be mistaken for the flu or a bad lunch.  While it’s fun to suspend belief and get caught up in stories featuring love at first sight, they aren’t very true to life.  A love that lasts a lifetime needs to be based on respect, and I thought that both Gavin and Sage had enough of that to deal with whatever hardships were thrown their way.

If you are looking for a sizzling romance, this isn’t it.  If you are looking for a softer read with realistic characters who are trying to deal with the not so wonderful cards that they have been dealt, you’re in the right place.  I was convinced that Gavin and Sage made each other stronger, and I know that they will find a way to make their dreams come true – together.  I am eagerly looking forward to the next book in this series, which features Gavin’s brother Ethan.  I also hit up Cindy McDavid’s backlist, so I have something else to read in the meantime.

Grade: B+

Review copy provided by publisher