Thursday, June 18, 2015

My Cowboy Promises by Z. A. Maxfield

My Cowboy Promises (The Cowboys, #4)****

A real man needs a real love…

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?


When Ryder Dent meets the new town doctor the instant attraction he feels is overwhelming.  Unfortunately, Ryder is not only in the closet but he’s also married with a young son.  What the town doesn’t know is that Ryder and his wife and Andy don’t have a normal marriage.  When Andy found herself pregnant, she and her very best and very gay friend, Ryder Dent, decided to get married.  Andy wouldn’t have a bad reputation in her small town, no one would know Ryder was gay and baby Jonas would have two parents that love him very much.  And up until now, that plan was working just fine. Ryder loves his little family.  He and Andy may not have a traditional marriage behind closed doors but they are still best friends and their son is the most important thing in their lives.

But, for the first time in his life, Ryder is finding it difficult to fight the growing attraction he has for Dr. Declan Winters.  It becomes even more difficult when he realizes Declan is just as attracted to Ryder.  Add in the Andy’s encouragement to finally explore and find love and Ryder is confused as what comes next in his seemingly perfect life.   With the support of Declan and Andy, Ryder has to make hard decisions that could possibly turn not only his world upside down but also that of his 5 year old son.

I have never read a m/m romance from quite this angle.  Sure, many of them revolve around coming out.  But I can’t think of single story with such a unique scenario.  I loved Ryder.  The story is told in the first person from his POV so you get to know him well.  His quiet demeanor made me think of Matt Saracen in Friday Night Lights.  He’s rather naïve but everything he does is so steady and thoughtful.  And he is completely all in with this family he’s helped build with Andy. But his dedication to his idea of a normal family is sometimes his weakness because it is holding him back from being who he truly is.  Watching him slowly fumble along and come to terms with the fact that he can’t continue to live his outwardly beautiful life was painful and heartbreaking. 

As you can guess, there is plenty of angst in this story.  But there are some amusing moments as well.  Of course, one of my favorites is so inappropriate.  I’ll just put it out there that Ryder is 100% inexperienced which makes for a moment of awkward hilarity when Ryder and Declan finally have some “alone” time.

If you are a fan of cowboy romances (which I find myself being drawn to more and more often) and/or small town romances (we all know I adore those) I highly recommend picking up My Cowboy Promises by Z. A. Maxfield. 

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