The Texan's Little Secret is book 3 in the Texas Rodeo Baron's series of books. Each book in the series is written by a different author and Daille is a new to me author. After the rousing success of the first two books, my hopes were pretty high for this one, and sadly I was disappointed.
Here's the plot:
Coming home might be the worst decision Carly Baron has ever made. Each minute on her family's busy ranch is one minute closer to seeing him—her first love—the man who broke her heart seven years ago. While coming face-to-face with Luke Nobel again brings back painful memories, Carly quickly realizes there are other strong feelings just under the surface….
Luke would be a lot better off if Carly had stayed away. Being a single dad to an adorable two-year-old girl and managing the Roughneck is tough enough, but resisting the sparks that fly whenever he and Carly are together is near impossible. But first she must tell him her secret. The truth could heal their past…or forever destroy their chances of becoming a family.
First, what did I enjoy? I liked being on the Baron ranch again, and .... that's about it.
And where did it go wrong? Clearly, all over the place. First, Carly is really really unlikable. When the summary says he "broke her heart" what it really should say is that Carly made unjust accusations and believed he broke her heart. Luke really didn't do anything wrong at all. Carly spends most of the book hating Luke for what he didn't even do. When she finally realizes she was wrong about that, he just accepts he apology, no big deal. When she finally confesses her pretty big secret (secret to him, not the reader) he just lets it roll off him. He doesn't do these things because he believes in her, or is in love with her, or understands her. He just doesn't seem to be emotionally invested.
For Luke himself, he's good on paper, but doesn't seem to have a lot of emotion beyond what he feels for his daughter. He is perfect at everything tho- worked hard to get where he is, is great at his job, has recovered from his wife's tragic death (way to go Harlequin, hitting all the cliches!), was the best bullrider ever and is a terrific dad. He knows he can't be with Carly because obviously she does not want kids. Did he ask this? No. When they finally do realize their feelings, at ALL, not just revealing them, it takes place about 4 pages before the end of the book and there's still room for an epilogue. This is completely unsatisfying for a romance.
Now throw in a already turned two year old who acted like a much much younger baby, and honestly, there wasn't a lot to praise. I suspect Daille's own children (if she has any) are long grown, because a kid who is already two is WAY more mature than Rosie. My kids were more mature by their first birthday. My children had also long outgrown their bucket style car seats by age two.
Overall, a complete dud and while I will finish out the series, I won't seek out more books by Daille.