Monday, February 20, 2023

The Last Chance Cowboy - Review

The Last Chance Cowboy (Colorado Cowboy, # 5)

By: Jody Hedlund

Publication: February 14th 2023 by Bethany House

352 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

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Goodreads description--As a midwife, Catherine Remington is successful in bringing new life into the world, but she's failed one too many times in finding true love. When she's accused of a murder she didn't commit, she's forced to flee and decides to run away to Colorado to honor a patient's dying wish to deliver a newborn infant to his father.

The repentant prodigal Dylan McQuaid is finally back in Fairplay. Elected as sheriff, he's doing his best to prove to the town he's a changed man and worthy of their trust. When a woman shows up with an infant son he didn't know he had, Dylan is left with only complicated choices on what to do next.

Having grown attached to Dylan's son, Catherine doesn't want to part ways with the infant, but what she doesn't bargain for is how easily she'll fall for the charming rogue, or how quickly her past will catch up with her and put their love and lives in danger.

Bestselling author Jody Hedlund brings her Colorado Cowboys series to an adventuresome close with this page-turning Western romance.

I wasn't sure what headspace Dylan would be in when The Last Chance Cowboy started. But thankfully, he's repented of his wild ways and is working very hard to do better with his life. He's been elected as sheriff on a kind of temporary basis. At least until the next election. He has been sober since coming back to Colorado, and he has been staying away from women, too. I was worried he would be a drunk mess when this book started, so I'm thankful we didn't have to go through the worst of his transformation with him.

Catherine was the midwife that assisted with the birth of Dylan's illegitimate son. Kit died giving birth, but before she passed, she begged Catherine to take Austin to Dylan. Catherine didn't have plans to follow through with her agreement, but she witnesses a murder and basically runs for safety. When she arrives in Colorado, Dylan doesn't realize that she's not Kit. He was drunk for almost all of his interactions with Kit. And so he offers to marry her. Catherine has developed a bond with Austin and doesn't want to give him up. She sees that marrying Dylan might be convenient.

I know I've discussed several times that I love marriages of convenience. The concept is so foreign to our culture. But I love the idea of almost immediately being a team. It wouldn't be "convenient" if both parties didn't get something out of the arrangement. And so the relationships start with some common ground and then develop into love. It's what makes them so beautiful.

I liked that Dylan wasn't completely untempted by his former vices. He still struggles with the call of alcohol. And his understanding that he's already been intimate with Catherine causes him to attempt to be more physical with her than he originally agreed. In hindsight, I can see more things that I feel Dylan should have picked up on or questioned.

Without spoiling too much, I thought Catherine would be honest with Dylan about the mixup very early on. The first time she changed her mind and didn't tell him right away, I understood, but the longer it took her to tell him, the more frustrated with her I became.

I do find it a little unbelievable that often characters in stories like these are willing to give up their partner when they find out the secret they've been hiding. They feel betrayed and that makes them feel like they can't forgive. But when the partner is physically threatened, they suddenly realize that they can't live without them, afterall. Why is that? They were ready to be parted with them? Yet it takes a threat to their safety to make them realize how they truly feel? One of those things I probably shouldn't question too much, I guess.

Favorite quotes:

-"When we do what's right, then we can trust the good Lord for the outcome of His choosing. Might not be exactly what we want, but when we always honor Him, He blesses us for it."

-"The list of my transgressions and shame could drown me in the depths of the sea." "Then let them drown, but without you."

The Last Chance Cowboy is a book that I was afraid I wouldn't get for review since I didn't get approved for a review copy of Falling for the Cowgirl. This made it one of my most anticipated books of 2023. I really enjoyed it. Dylan had a lot of shame and regret to work through, but when he gave his life to God, he got more in return than he could have expected. Catherine was an easily likeable character for her willingness to help those less fortunate--or whoever needed her. I happily give The Last Chance Cowboy 4 Stars. Now I wait for Astrid's book to be the first of a new spinoff series by Jody Hedlund. Have you read The Last Chance Cowboy? What did you think? Let me know!

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