COLD HEART, WARM COWBOY – Caitlin Crews
Cold River, Colorado – Present Day
Rodeo cowboy Ty Everett was in a terrible bull riding accident eighteen months ago that led him to return to his family's ranch. He'd left Cold River Ranch at age eighteen after getting fed up with his father's verbally abusive behavior, but the old man is now dead, and the ranch is being run by Ty's brothers, Gray and Brady. Yet the aftereffects of the accident linger on, including one little fact that Ty hasn't revealed to his family: he can't remember the two years preceding his accident. Then one day, a beautiful blonde shows up in town looking for him. She seems to know a lot about him even though he can't remember her. Ty figures she might be a buckle bunny, but then she reveals the truth: she is his wife.
Hannah Monroe Everett has come looking for Ty. They fought bitterly eighteen months ago, just before he got onto the bull and ended up injured. She knows why he turned his back on her, yet she doesn't realize he has no memory of her—until he flat out informs her that he doesn't remember her. How can he have forgotten their sweet courtship and Las Vegas wedding? How did he forget her ? But more importantly, how is Hannah going to tell him that they have a son, Jack?
Ty is the middle Everett child and the one who received the most vitriol hate from their father, Amos, a bitter man who drove away the mother of his children and treated his children badly. To get away from his father, Ty left the ranch and joined the rodeo circuit where he forged a decent career. It is inevitable that he ran into Hannah, as she was a rodeo queen who toured with them. The moment they met, Ty started pursuing Hannah, but she resisted because they weren't supposed to be dating due to the rules of her reign, let alone thinking of marriage. But somewhere along the way, he persuaded her to marry him—secretly—so they could enjoy the fruits of marriage. They hadn't discussed children, so when Hannah informed Ty that fateful night of her pregnancy, she was shocked to learn he didn't want children. While she didn't know it then, Ty has this fear of ending up a mean bastard like his father.
After Hannah confronts Ty about their marriage, she doesn't tell him about Jack. Why? Because she isn't sure whether their marriage is worth saving and she isn't sure how he will react learning he has a son. Ty's initial response about her being his wife has him in shock, then he asks her to move into his cabin on the ranch and introduces her to his family. Things are platonic—at first—but we know that won't last long as the sexual chemistry between them is intense. Readers will wait with bated breath wondering when Hannah will tell Ty about Jack…and how he'll react. Meanwhile, as they grow closer, love is being rekindled between them.
COLD HEART, WARM COWBOY does take a while before Hannah spills her secret to Ty, so maybe his response isn't surprising. The second book in the Cold River Ranch series by Caitlin Crews, it can be read as a standalone without too much difficulty, though Gray and Abby (from A TRUE COWBOY CHRISTMAS) do pop in and out of scenes. Readers will love COLD HEART, WARM COWBOY as a contemporary cowboy tale about a sweet woman mending the soul and heart of the man she loves. It's a romantic, fun, and emotional tale, and one that I highly recommend.