Title: My Cowboy Promise (book 4)
Author: ZA Maxfield
Publisher/GR Link: Intermix, GR
Genre: MM Contemporary
Vice: Cowboys, Western, OFY, Children
Rating: 4 out of 5
Lock this book up: 3 keys. The sex is slow to arrive, but there is a slow burn, and the sex fits in the story in a believable way.
Cover Impressions: I like it. Just how I picture Ryder.
Best Line: "Andi had my right hand, and Declan stood so he could take hold of my left. We all bowed low, and in that unique, utterly badass way, he changed Bitterroot, Texas, forever."
Synopsis: To become the man he’s meant to be, one cowboy will have to be the man he never wanted anyone to know he was…
Ryder Dent is a true-blue cowboy. A devoted son, husband and father, but one who is living a costly lie. When they were both young, Ryder and his closest female friend Andy thought they’d found the perfect solution to both their problems—she was single and pregnant, and he was secretly gay—so they got married and raised Jonas together.
When Ryder gets hurt at a party, his son’s new pediatrician comes to the rescue. The connection between Ryder and Dr. Declan Winters is sudden, powerful, and undeniable. Ryder loves Andy and the family they’ve created together—but they both need more. Can they pursue their hearts’ desire without destroying the life they’ve built and losing the son they love?
Impressions: I love some cowboys, and add a kid into the mix? Well, I'm there!
I really enjoyed this book! Ryder was very likable, and Declan was sweet and adorable, with enough strength to make him a strong character who I believed could standby Declan.
Ryder has a lot on his plate, and he is facing the challenge that he has tried to avoid for four years. I found it very possible that Ryder, at the age of 18, could have made a commitment to his friend to stand by her and make a family, in a way that also preserved his standing in the community and gave him a shot at a family and respectability. Though this is not a typical choice, I found it very believable that this was what a young man might choose. In a homophobic town and setting, I could believe that an 18 year old might feel that the only way he could have love was to sacrifice parts of himself and develop a deep friendship love, and familial love, for his wife and child. When he meets Declan, he realizes that he has sacrificed something that he didn't totally understand at 18- romantic love.
I really liked Andi, Ryder's wife, too. She could easily have been written as a nagging banshee, but I found her to be a loyal, though imperfect, and committed to the family she created with Ryder. Though she has moments when she falters, her loyalty always remains with her son, and with their family unit, and I really respected that.
Along Ryder's journey there are some surprises and some let downs, but I thought this was a very unique MM book that focused on several types of love, and looked at family as an evolving and inclusive entity.
I love this whole series, and though this is not your typical MM romance, you will find hot sex, true romance, and a deep and abiding love that exists beyond gender, sexuality, and society's expectations.