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    Review of THE COWBOY'S SECRET SON by Judy Christenberry (see her website)

    Harlequin Romance #3961, July 2007

    Five years before, Nick Logan had told Abby Stafford to get out of his life. With his father's death, he'd known he couldn't let her live her dreams--he needed to get back to his small-town family while Abby needed the big city. What neither knew, though, was that Abby was pregnant. When Nick learns that he's a father--that Abby never even told him and that he's missed the first five years of his son's life, he decides it's his turn. He roars back into Abby's life and announces he's taking little Robbie--whether she wants him to or not.

    Although it costs her her job, Abby follows Nick back to small-town Wyoming. She'll find another job, will support herself and her son despite whatever Nick demands. Still, she can only imagine how hard it will be to live in the same town as the man she once loved and who rejected her--a man who just happens to be engaged to another woman. To make matters worse, Nick's fiancee is a witch who wants nothing to do with Nick's family--or Nick's new son.

    Although Abby at first appears to be a push-over, agreeing to let Nick run roughshod over her when many readers will be rooting for her to call the cops and have Nick arrested for kidnapping (fortunately author Christenberry does address this later in the book in an enjoyable romantic subplot involving Nick's mother and the new town sheriff), she toughens up once in Sydney Creek, insists on making her own way despite Nick's attempts at domination.'

    Nick is understandably angry at being denied a part in his son's life. That anger soon turns to confusion as he attempts to balance what he knows to be right with what he really wants. Surely he's moved beyond Abby--and should think of her only as his son's mother. That isn't so easy, however, even though he's engaged to another.

    Author Judy Christenberry (see more reviews of novels by Christenberry) spins a charming reunion story. Nick and Abby both get into trouble when they steal choices that rightly should belong to the other. Although both love their son, and although the sexual attraction between them hasn't faded with years of separation, both must grow and learn not to make all of the decisions for the other before they have a chance at rekindling a relationship. Nick, in particular, has a long way to go. Fortunately, he's got a supportive family.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 5/18/07

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