There's always one right? One bomb in any set of books? One that just doesn't stand up to the others? For me, and the Texas Rodeo Barons, The Texan's Surprise Son is that one. In the interest of full disclosure, it's possible that I went into this one with lower expectations. I've read one other Cathy McDavid and it was a bit of a disappointment as well, so it's possible that colored my experience. I've officially added McDavid to the list of Authors Who Are Not For Me.
So what's this one about? Another baby, if the title didn't give it away.
Taken By Surprise
Jacob Baron is shocked to discover he's a father. But he's determined to do right by his son, despite the lack of strong role models in his own life. Jacob's a bull rider, and there's no halfway with him. He'll be the kind of dad his son needs…even if Cody's attractive aunt, Mariana Snow, seems to question his daddy skills at every turn.
Jacob cooks, cleans and has a nice touch with a two-year-old. He also has broad shoulders, gorgeous eyes and a mouth that can only be described as sexy. But Mariana's own part-time, no-good father was a rodeo star. She knows their charms can't be trusted. She's hanging around for Cody's sake, that's all. At least, that's what she keeps telling herself….
In this one, the baby plays a giant role. He is in every scene and conversation, pretty much. The romance is completely unbelievable and undeveloped. Mariana is completely unlikable. She's supposed to be a bit of a control freak, but she's so extreme that if I knew her in person I'd probably hate her. Frankly, anyone who hires a babyproofing service is never ever going to appeal to me. She had what should have been completely reasonable reservations about Jacob, but blew them so far out of proportion. If she's listened one second to anything going on around her, they would have been so obviously unfounded. Add to this that she's a brilliant lawyer who should be smart enough to see this, and I just didn't like her. At all.
As for Jacob, I didn't think his issues were quite as bad but I still had some problems. He is apparently hung up on being Brock Baron's adopted son, and feels like he's never been treated the same and is asked to prove himself too much. He is partially right, he is being asked to prove himself, but the issues with Brock are either not real or too easily resolved. One conversation should not be enough to right a lifetime of wrongs OR to suddenly allow you to see them all in a new favorable light.
Add all this to the weak romance, and I can't really recommend it.