Monday, July 21, 2014

Maverick Sheriff (Sweetwater Ranch #1), by Delores Fossen

Harlequin Intrigue, ISBN 9780373697823, August 2014

Jessa Wells, Assistant District Attorney, is determined to close an old case, a murder in which the prime suspect is the estranged mother of the local sheriff, Cooper McKinnon. But when her two-year-old adopted son, Liam, is badly injured in a hit-and-run accident that forces her car off the road, he needs a blood donation from the only person locally that shares his rare blood type--Cooper McKinnon.

Cooper McKinnon's wife and six-week-old son were killed in a flood two years ago, and while his wife's body was found, their baby's body never was. Could Liam be his lost son Cameron?

Jessa and Cooper are at war with each other over her prosecution of his mother--not because he's worried about the mother that abandoned him, his brothers, and their father, but because his mother will fight and his father is the next most likely suspect in the murder of of her lover. Now they have a new source of conflict in the possibility that Liam might be Cameron, illegally adopted to her. But then someone tries to kidnap or kill Liam from the hospital, and Jessa and Cooper have to work together to protect the child that means everything to both of them.

There are a number of logic failures in the plot, including Jessa and Cooper's belief that the Bad Guys, who have already tried to kill Liam, won't shoot at the car they're in if they believe Liam is in it. That's not the worst one, but the worst one would be a spoiler.

Nevertheless, the characters are solid, and the pacing is excellent. Despite the logic failures in the plot, Cooper and Jessa mostly avoid being stupid for the sake of the plot or dramatic conflict. They both feel strongly that this little boy is their own, but they also both have respect for the other's commitment to him, and are adult enough to rationally work together for his safety.

I forgive the plot logic failures. This is an enjoyable read.

Recommended.

I received a free electronic galley of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.