Family Man

Her Very Own Family

The Cowboys Secret Son
by Trish Milburn
(Harl. Amer. #1386, $5.25, PG) ISBN 978-0373-75390-1
Trish Milburn often chooses heroes or heroines who have had a rough time and are trying to recover. In this one, she has a heroine who had a rough childhood, a child out of wedlock and then some more rough experiences. It is time she got a break and luckily for her, returning to a little town in the Texas Hill Country is the answer.

As a teenager, Grace Cameron was shy and awkward. When football star and overall hunk, Nathan Teague needed a tutor for math, she was thrilled. It didn’t matter that her parents were ultra strict, required her to never be alone with Nathan and then took her money to help pay family expenses. Just being in the room with her crush was enough. And then when he asked her to meet him at the big party, life was good. Of course, life turned bad when Nathan and Grace made love and then Nathan acted as if he never met her. It got worse when she discovered she was pregnant, her family made her leave town without telling anyone and then set it up that the child was given away.

Grace persevered though, hunting down her child, enrolling in college and finding two friends who helped her put her life together. When cancer struck, those friends stuck by her. Now she has been declared cancer free and realizes she has to do something she has dreaded. Go to Texas and tell Nathan Teague he has a six year old son.

The story opens as Grace arrives at the Teague ranch, where they are having a cowboy camp experience for kids. Evan is six and is cowboy crazy. Grace has many fears and only one of which is how Nathan will react. But she has to make him understand that he needs to be there in case something else happens to her and that she doesn’t want Evan to know until Nathan agrees not to try to take him from her.

The story is fairly predictable and goes as one would guess. There are some sentimental parts, but the author holds the line against melodrama. Nathan goes from anger to awe to disappointment to unsettled feelings. His family clearly senses the connection and plays along until Grace and Nathan figure things out. All of the characters were developed to the point the reader could identify with their feelings, insecurities and ultimately their realization that life is short and love is precious.

Nathan’s brothers, Simon and Ryan are introduced and stories about them will follow. This story was interesting enough to make me what to see what happens in their lives. The Cowboy’s Secret Son is nothing new, but is a book that the reader can enjoy while reading.

--Shirley Lyons

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