Cowboy Come Home
by Janette Kenny
(Zebra, $6.99, PG) ISBN 978-14201-06602
***
Janette Kenny has written the third of her new series in a way that makes one think of a Western Epic. There is a lot going on here and a lot of territory to cover. At times, it felt slow and at times, it moved fast. Through it all was an enjoyable love story that ultimately gives the reader a good feel and sparks interest in the other two tales.

Trey March was born somewhere and left on the steps of an orphanage with nothing but his birthday pinned to his shirt – March 3. So an enterprising social worker named him. Trey grew up without real love except he did make lifelong friends with two other boys in the orphanage. Reid, Dade and Trey were ultimately “adopted” by a rancher who raised them to work his ranch…with promises of taking over for him. It was the first family Trey had. Dade still had memories of a little sister, who had been separated from him when some of the girls from the orphanage were sent on the Orphan trains. The three made a pact to always be on the lookout for Daisy and let Dade know when she was found.

Due to circumstances detailed in the other books, Trey is in Texas working on the JDB ranch and he falls for the owner’s daughter, Daisy Barton. She is young and Trey and she share a love, until one day Trey comes up missing. Daisy is told he left. But really Trey was roped and dragged until he was almost dead by the ranch foreman, Ned Durant. As the story opens, Trey returns after six months. He has healed and is determined to get his savings, which Barton was keeping for him. He also has some horses at the other Barton ranch, the Circle 46. However, things are not what they were when he left.

Barton has died of an apparent stroke. Daisy did not marry the rancher she had been engaged to and is trying to run the ranch, something she was never trained to do. And Ned Durant is still there, trying to force Daisy into marriage and all the while stealing cattle that he claims were promised to him as part of his salary. Daisy and Trey enter into an uneasy alliance and are determined to get the ranch back on its feet while staying away from each other.

There are lots of secrets between these two but there is definitely a spark. It is easy to see why Daisy is uncertain; in fact, her courage in the midst of all that happened to her, is pretty amazing. Trey is determined to have Daisy but without committing to loving her, something he is certain he can’t feel because he doesn’t know what it really is. And there are lots of things to overcome – drought, Ned’s interference, sabotage and even the fact that Trey slowly discovers a secret about Daisy…

The story slowed in pace at times and sometimes hard to believe all of this could really happen to the same people. There are a lot of action scenes and maybe some of the inferences could be traced to the other books, but some of them seemed unnecessary. There is a whole interlude with a rancher who kidnapped Daisy that just didn’t seem reasonable.

Overall though, Cowboy Come Home is an enjoyable story of epic proportions. When Reid and Dade both show up for the finale, it is clear these three men share a bond like brothers. The hints at their stories intrigued me enough to want to check them out.

--Shirley Lyons


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