Thursday, January 10, 2019

Her Second Chance Cowboy (Brothers of Miller Ranch #1), by Natalie Dean

Kenzo Publishing, December 2018

Ten years ago, Chastity Parker, tired of the pressure to just marry and have babies from her parents, and assumptions about her because she was half Native from others, left her small Montana town for New York City to pursue her acting dreams. Her visits home got painful enough that finally she stopped going home.

Now her father has died, and she's back, to help her mother cope with the funeral and get settled into the new phase of her life.

Unfortunately, her parents' financial situation is worse than she realized--and there's something wrong with her mother, too. Sometimes she's clear, focused, and lucid--and sometimes she calls Chastity by the names of long-dead relatives, and wonders when her husband will be home.

Also, one of the first people Chastity meets at the wake is Ben Miller, her old boyfriend, who broke his promise to come with her, and in the process broke her heart.

But from his viewpoint, she's the one who broke his heart. The only girl he ever loved left town for no reason he can understand.
What follows is two people working their way through both their own mistakes and challenges, and their understanding of what the other is really thinking and feeling. 

I really feel for Chastity, having myself had a mother who loved me, but had in many ways no understanding at all of what mattered to me and often made me feel undermined when she thought she was supporting me. I like Chastity and her mother, and Ben and his family. These are good, solid people, not always doing right, but doing their best.

This is a Christian romance, and unlike one I reviewed recently, it's the kind I like and enjoy. Even though their denomination is pretty far afield from mine, the substance of their faith is something I recognize. Unlike that other book, it doesn't have that smug certainty about who the Good People are, who is Saved and Not Saved. Their faith gives them strength and guidance, not a belief that theirs is the only right way.

So, okay, it still won't be for everyone, but I really enjoyed it. Recommended.

I received a free electronic galley from the author, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

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