"BRENNA NEEDS A HUSBAND,"
Jed McCal's nephew Tuck told him. Pregnant and alone, Brenna Jamison was back--trying single-handedly to run her father's touch.
"WE NEED A WIFE,"
Tuck said. If footloose cowboy Jed McCall didn't do something drastic, he would lose custody of the boy. But marriage?
asked Tuck. There were reasons that only fed knew. And marrying Brenna--becoming a father to her child--would be like jumping from the frying pan into the fire.
CODE OF THE WEST: Meet the hardworking, hard-loving men of the West! Proud, strong men who live--and love--by the CODE OF THE WEST.
Cowboy Pride has a dark desperation seeping from it. The intensity is deep, the edginess is fierce, the constant wait of when the dam will break and all the emotions bundled up will overflow the scene had me literally holding my breath in wait.
Jed McCall is not a happy man. He is a good man, he is kind, generous, caring, protective, hard working, and even gentle at times, but happiness left his heart eleven years ago. While the edgy darkness looming around Jed was well done, It was so overwhelming, it might have been a bit too much angst for me. It pulled me into a dark place, and I would have loved a little longer HEA towards the end to balance the doom that hangs around Jed most of the story building up and monopolizing the scenes.
Brenna Jamison's life choices weren't traditional. She had done an amazing thing for her best friend, her kindness, caring, and sacrificing nature leading her on in her life. She was a sweetheart of a character, understanding, forgiving, and gentle soul.
Tuck, the nephew is adorable and wise beyond his years. I have enjoyed how the kids in the series have meddled in the romances of their guardians. Tuck's dialog made me smile and his keen observations laugh out loud.
I was really in a spot with this tale, and I had to sit with this review for a couple of days and think about it for a moment. I liked the story, it pulled me in and the angst around Jed really took me to the deep while my mind is trying to figure out where all the self-doubt, trouble, penance, and mistrust was coming from. What on earth did he do eleven years ago that was so devastating it was worth giving up all the hope in life and the brighter, happier future with his new family. And it was the revelation of the reasons at the end that made me take a step back and carefully dissect the story in my mind again and evaluate it before making hasty remarks while utterly frustrated with the prideful cowboy.
The story unfolded in my mind in a seamless flow of rugged and raw, color bleached pictures of the somber side of the hard life of a cowboy. The moment's mistake that can change our lives, and how humbleness and forgiveness to ourselves, and open communication with others can sometimes be the only key to getting back the vivacious colors and joy into our lives.
~ Four Spoons
MY GRADING SCALE:
5 Spoons - Amazing, memorable story that I loved and want to read again. The best of the best and not given lightly
4 Spoons - Fantastic, entertaining story that I enjoyed and connected with and will gladly recommend to readers
3 Spoons - A good story, not much that stood out but I was engaged enough to spend the time to read it through
2 Spoons - A story with some issues, that were a problem to me
1 Spoon - Not for me