| Book 1: The Christmas Secret
THE RODEO MAN’S DAUGHTER
BARBARA WHITE DAILLE
Harlequin American Romance
Rating: 2 Cups
With his bull riding career over Caleb Cantrell feels it is time to show the residents of Flagman’s Folly just how far he has come. That dirt poor kid from the wrong side of town has made it big and he cannot wait to shove it in their faces.
The poor economy has hit everyone hard, and Tess LaSalle is getting worried that if things do not turn around soon, she will be out of a job. Her preteen daughter Nate is also becoming quite a handful, and Tess is getting near her wits end with all of the stress.
Buying the biggest spread near Flagman’s Folly is how Caleb wants to show off his success, but dealing with Tess is leading him in a whole other direction. Tess knows landing the deal with Caleb will keep the realty business afloat, but their past is all she can think of. She never told him she was pregnant, and has no intention of doing so now, but every day that he and Nate get closer her secret begins to crack. The folks around town have completely surprised Caleb with their warmth and welcome, but Tess’ cold shoulder is becoming more unsettling, and his feelings for her more intense.
The imagery, flow, and dialogue of this story are so well done, you can almost feel the sun beating down on your head, and hear the squeal of little girls. I wish this pleasure could have spread on to Tess’s character as well, but her never ending anger and irritation really throws a wet blanket on everything. Keeping secrets like Tess did is a huge turn off for me personally, and I find it very hard to get past her attitude to enjoy the rest of the story. I feel it is Caleb and Tess’s family who make this story and even the hotheaded Nate is a refreshing and enjoyable voice.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More