My Cowboy Promises by Z.A. Maxfield #Review

My Cowboy Promises by Z.A. Maxfield #ReviewMy Cowboy Promises by Z.A. Maxfield

Series: #4 The Cowboys
Genres: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance, Western Romance
Published by Intermix on June 16, 2015
Pages: 282
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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four-stars  

This series is heartwarming and down-home country goodness, but it also offers a little something different with each installment. As every person and their circumstances are unique so are their relationships. I like how this author brings that out. In this story, there is a young guy doing the best he can to keep his family and maybe try for some happiness along the way.

Ryder Dent, to all appearances, is a young guy with a young wife and child that he supports on his job managing his dad’s store. People talk about how they had to get married and both lost their chance for college on his part and a big marriage to a wealthy rancher like her daddy on hers. People also talk about the fact that Ryder isn’t Jonas’ daddy and that he was duped by Andi. What they don’t know is that Ryder and Andi are best friends and they married so he could protect her and her unborn baby and so that nobody would ever learn that he was not into women.

Over the years, they have become a strong, affectionate family. Andi might wish for a career in music and Ryder might wonder what it would be like not to hide, but they are both content. That is until a new doctor comes to town who Ryder can’t keep his eyes off and Andi is given her break by an opening act band. Things are a changing and Ryder has to decide if it is time for everything to come out in the open and if it does, what that will do to all of them.

The story is gently paced and character-driven. Ryder was a teenager when he made the decision to protect Andi and her unborn baby. He never had a chance to fulfill high school dreams of college and football and other guys. He shouldered a family and stood strong in the face of Andi’s rich rancher controlling father and even takes her emotional outbursts when she wants someone else to feel misery with her. He’s just this amazing guy who does the best he can. Unfortunately, he is also naive and innocent. His growing need to be honest and restlessness when he encounters the handsome Declan are the catalysts that motivate him to set things in motion by telling Jonas the truth about Ryder not being his birth father and telling the truth about being gay. His world as he knows it goes up in flames all at once. It was quite the emotional read as a result.

Much of the story is a personal journey of growth for Ryder and he is the narrator and central figure. As such, the romance is a secondary plot that unwinds slowly. Ryder doesn’t communicate well and doesn’t know what he is doing much of the time since he’s never kissed a guy let alone explored what it would mean to be with one so he hurts Declan and causes them to stutter step through things. Declan is as amazing as Ryder. He was hurt in the past, but he is willing to try again with Ryder. He is confused by the situation, but he is accepting as he learns to understand as Ryder slowly opens up to him. They explore the beginnings of a relationship. If I have any complaints about this story, it would be that I wanted more. The story ended more on a happy for now with a lot left unsettled.

On a side note, Trip and Lucho have a few scenes as secondary characters. I enjoyed their spotlight appearances as brief as it was.

All in all, this was another strong segment of the series and works fine as a standalone. I enjoyed being along for Ryder’s awakening and steps toward being the man he was meant to be. I would recommend this one to those who enjoy M/M Cowboy or Small Town Romances.

My thanks to Penguin Group and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • You’re really on a roll with these westerns:D Is it something to do with Summer and all this heat?

  • Tamara

    Hello Sophia, I did not know you were a blogger until you recently got published, thought I’d stop by and say Hi, However I didn’t think I’d be meeting some cowboys too 🙂 great review!

    • Haha! Oh yes, I have been reviewing here with Shari for three years. I love it. So glad I could give you some fun yippeekiyay action for your visit.

  • Lindy Gomez

    The plot of this one sounds interesting. I can see how this would be an emotional story. I feel for Ryder’s situation just by reading your review. I’m glad that he eventually decides to be true to himself, and is able to go through his journey and grow. Declan sounds wonderful. Excellent Review Sophia 🙂

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

    • It was a very tender story, Lindy. I loved it.

  • I’ve always liked the name Ryder and this sounds really good. Thanks for the review.

    • I have a favorite names list, too, Mary. I hadn’t heard of Ryder until I read it in a Kristen Ashley story a few years back. It’s a striking name.

  • RO

    This sounds like a down to earth and very real read, and I like that it focuses on the characters 1st with the romance coming second. I think that’s how life is, so it’s neat to see it in a novel. Great review and Happy 4th to you both, Shari and Sophia! Hugs…

    • Yay! Happy 4th to you, Ro!

      That is a good observation about the focus being on more than romance making it more real. For sure. It was a very down to earth story.

  • They sound like really amazing characters, Sophia!

    • They surely were. I liked them all even if his wife could get a little mean with her words a few times.

  • This sounds like an unique plot with how Ryder is married with Andi both for their own reasons and they are offered a chance at more than being content. I like character driven books as they give you really the chance to connect with the characters and learn more about them. And it’s always fun to see cameo appearances from the characters of the previous books. Great review Sophia 🙂

    • It was a unique plot. I love the ones that really take the time to build up the character and show growth too.