I received a free copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.
Counting on a Cowboy is the second book in the Four of Hearts Ranch Romance series by Debra Clopton. The ranch is just outside the town of Wishing Springs, Texas and is run by three brothers: Jarrod, Tru, and Bo Monahan. Ever since columnist Maggie Hope came to town (see book 1, Betting on Hope), the cowboys of Wishing Springs have been chick magnets. Some of the cowboys like it, but Bo Monahan isn’t one of them. He’s overcome his original aversion to Maggie, which is just as well since she married his brother Tru. When Abby Knightly comes careening around a curve late at night, avoids a loose steer, and barely avoids Bo by crashing off the road into a fence post, Bo hopes she isn’t one of those cowboy-hustlin’ women from the big city looking for romance. And she isn’t.
Abby has been reading Maggie’s column, Gotta Have Hope, and even exchanged some personal letters with her, and, stepping out in faith, she’s decided that Wishing Springs is a good place to make a fresh start and recover from the recent loss of her husband and unborn child, the crash the result of a drunk driver. It has been a hard struggle to reach the place where she can make this decision, but trusting God and His promises, Abby is leaving her friends and family behind to escape their pity and move forward. The last thing she is looking for is romance.
With her car out of commission, Abby is right on the spot when Bo finds out he’s a father by discovering little Levi in a playpen on the porch and a letter of explanation. Bo had dated Levi’s mother briefly and they got carried away one night. Darla moved away and never told Bo that she was expecting. However, the letter tells him if he’s reading it, Darla has died of cancer, and her friend has left Levi for Bo to raise. All of Levi’s documents name Bo as the father. As if he didn’t have enough on his plate caring for his grandfather who’s suffering from Alzheimer’s while Tru is on his honeymoon, and Jarrod is off to a cattle exhibition. Boy does he need help; enter Abby.
Between her own remorse, Bo’s problems, her growing attachment to Levi, and the discovery that her new landlord who lives next door is a closet drinker, Abby begins to have some second thoughts about her “fresh start”, especially when some of her new friends start pushing her toward Bo. But she begins to see God’s hand weaving the events together, and making “all things work together for good”.
This is an intriguing story with real life situations that sometimes are quite comical. Amy’s situation is sensitively and realistically handled, understandably since Ms. Clopton had a similar experience. The people in Wishing Springs are a caring community, looking out for each other and welcoming newcomers. This was a fast, easy read with a “feel good” ending, as any good romance should have. It could be read as a stand alone, but I recommend starting with book 1 while you’re waiting for Counting on a Cowboy to be released on Dec. 29th, 2015. I’m looking forward to book 3, Kissed By a Cowboy, coming in Feb. 16. 2016. * * * *