Title: Counting on a Cowboy by Debra Clopton
Four of Hearts Ranch Series Book Two
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Contemporary, Christian, Romance
Length: 318 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
After losing everything she held dear, Abby never wants to love again. But a certain cowboy may just spur her to wonder if love might be worth the risk.
Running from a past that haunts her, Abby Knightly is drawn to the cozy town of Wishing Springs, Texas. Maybe this small town could offer hope and healing and a future for Abby . . . if she’s brave enough to reach out and take it by the reins.
Bo Monahan isn’t interested in the new romantic destination his little town has become—or the women who might be looking at him like he’s their next Mr. Right. Between taking care of his Pops and his growing stirrup business, he isn’t looking for serious romantic commitments. But when the infant son he never knew about shows up at his doorstep, his world is turned upside down.
This confirmed bachelor might not think he needs a wife, but he sure needs help. Even Abby can see that, and despite her best efforts to keep her distance, she can’t help but be drawn to this new father-son duo. As Abby throws herself into helping Bo navigate fatherhood, hope sparks between them, revealing that maybe, just maybe, they can navigate their dark pasts and emerge together into a future as bright as the Texas sun itself.
Counting on a Cowboy, the second installment in Debra Clopton’s Four of Heart Ranch series, is a sweet romance but it is also healing story of new beginnings for lead protagonist, Abby Knightley. She hopes moving to Wishing Springs, TX will give her the chance to pick up the pieces of her shattered life and leave her painful past behind.
As soon as Abby arrives in town, she crosses paths with Bo Monahan, a local cowboy who is dealing with a few family problems of his own. Both of their lives take a complicated turn when his not too distant past catches up with him in very surprising way. Although Abby cannot resist helping Bo, his situation is a stark reminder of everything she has lost, so she maintains an emotional distance from him and his adorable baby, Levi, while she tries to resolve her lingering anger and grief over the death of her husband, Landon, two years earlier.
Abby has closed herself off from her family and friends and after receiving helpful advice from Bo’s sister-in-law, she hopes moving to a new town will help her reconnect with life. She has been unable to move past the regrets she harbors over her decision to put her career first and delay starting a family. She is also incredibly angry at the circumstances surrounding the car accident that took Landon’s life and this unresolved anger spills over into heated confrontations with her new landlord. Abby does begin to confide in her new friends but she remains unwilling to risk her heart when she realizes her feelings for Bo go much deeper than friendship.
Bo is laidback and easygoing but he is very committed to saving the family ranch and he will do anything for his grandfather, Pops. His days of indulging casual flings ended with his last short-lived relationship and he has not dated anyone for nearly two years. He is immediately intrigued by Abby but it does not take long for him to realize she is emotionally fragile and he is incredibly patient with her as she works through her issues. While Bo readily gives her the time and space she needs, he refuses to stay quiet once he realizes she is allowing her fears and anger to stand in the way of a future with him.
Counting on a Cowboy is an emotional novel with appealing characters and an enjoyable storyline. The romance between Abby and Bo is slow growing but it is builds at realistic pace considering Abby’s past. The secondary cast of characters is quite colorful and entertaining, but they also play an important role in the developing storyline. This latest addition to Debra Clopton’s Four of Heart Ranch series is an absolutely heartfelt romance that fans of contemporary Christian fiction are sure to enjoy.