Ryder Dent has the picture-perfect family: a wife who adores him and a son who is the center of Ryder’s world. All of Bitterroot, Texas sees Ryder and his family as the example. If they only knew. Beneath the cookie cutter façade is a marriage of convenience, secrets, and lies. And then the new doctor, Declan Winters, comes into town and throws Ryder’s world for a loop.
Ryder is tired of the secrets and half-truths. He’s proud of his family and proud of his son. Most of all, he needs his son to know the truth about them. When confusion reigns supreme, Ryder turns to the most unlikely of shoulders. Declan shows up at the most inopportune of times, and Ryder doesn’t know what to think about the man. But when Declan offers his friendship, Ryder is hesitant at first until he needs help.
Life blows up in Ryder’s face then his world begins to unravel. With the threat of losing his family and everything he’s worked for, Ryder finds the strength to find himself, to be himself, to seek out love while trying to maintain the most perfect imperfect life he can salvage.
My Cowboy Promises is the fourth book in Z.A. Maxfield’s The Cowboys series. It can be read as a standalone.
My Cowboy Promises is an endearing story of making and choosing family. It’s about the imperfections and mistakes that make people who they are. And it’s about love and the fight for what’s right and what’s true. This story tugs at the heart strings. It’s full of warmth and sweetness and (surprisingly for this author) has only a fraction of the angst that is seen throughout this series.
What I like so much about this one—what makes it stand out for me—is that it’s very different from the rest of the series. For one thing, the cowboy aspect of the book is not that of a ranch hand or owner. Ryder is a sort of cowboy who runs a feed store and who is married to a rancher’s daughter. Yes, there is a very small cameo (more like a couple walk on appearances) by Tripp and Lucho. But mostly this book is its own. It’s the story of a man who is struggling to find his normal and when he finds it, when he looks inside himself, he can no longer lie to the world.
The family aspect of this book is what is so amazing. Ryder, Andi, and Jonas are one unit. They work. They are not the ideal family—no matter what anyone says—but they are perfect for what they each need. At first. Enter Declan. There is so much beauty in acceptance within this story. Don’t get me wrong—it’s set in a small Texas town, so the acceptance is minimal. But the beauty is the openness of this family and what they are willing to compromise and not compromise for the sake of everyone’s happiness. The power of family—chosen and given—that is what the message becomes in this book.
I loved this book. It’s sweet and fun and adorable. I have loved this series from the beginning, but this story—Ryder, Declan, Andi, and Jonas. This story is my favorite. I highly, highly recommend My Cowboy Promises by Z.A. Maxfield.
Favorite Line (you’ll understand when you read the book): “My Amish Evil Twin doesn’t have a phone.”