Title: My Cowboy Homecoming (The Cowboys Series #3)
Author: Z.A. Maxfield
Publisher: Penquin Books (Intermix)
Release Date: December 2, 2014
Genre(s): Contemporary Western
Page Count: 317 pages
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Love can heal the deepest wounds…
A sense of duty brings a soldier home…but a passionate cowboy makes him want to stay.
After his brother’s tragic death, Tripp has to leave the army and return to New Mexico to take care of his mother while his father is in prison for arson. Seeking work at the J-Bar Ranch, Tripp is immediately drawn to injured cowboy Lucho Reyes, whose foot was accidentally crushed by a rescue horse. But will the sins of the father interfere with the desires of the son? Tripp’s father may be responsible for the death of Lucho’s grandfather. Now Tripp must balance caring for his mother, repairing his father’s damages, and trying to win the heart of a man who has every reason to hate him and his family…
“My Cowboy Homecoming” is third in Z.A. Maxfield’s The Cowboys series set in New Mexico’s J-Bar Ranch. I suppose you could read this as a stand-alone, but read the entire series to get a feel for life as a modern cowboy on the J-Bar ranch. You won’t regret it. FYI, Malloy and Crispin from My Cowboy Heart and Jimmy and Eddie from My Heartache Cowboy make brief appearances here.
Maxfield writes damaged main characters so beautifully, and then turns around and makes you feel as they redeem themselves, one act at a time. “My Cowboy Homecoming” is above all a story of redemption. With his racist arsonist homophobic ass of a father in prison, his brother dead and his mother living in deep denial, Calvin Tripplehorn (“Tripp”) returns home after 8 years in the military to take care of his mother. Tripp has always longed to “cowboy” and gets an opportunity to work at the J-Bar, only because Lucho Reyes has a busted foot. When Tripp and Lucho first meet, the sexual tension sizzles between them, only to fizzle out when Lucho discovers who Tripp’s father is.
There’s hardly a slow moment in the book as Tripp realizes just how fragile his mother is, tries to figure out what strings his father is pulling from prison, and sets about proving to Lucho that “the past isn’t as important as what you learn from it.” And when Lucho and Tripp finally work things out – with a steamy scene along the lines of “save a horse, ride a cowboy” – it’s pure goddamn magic.
Maxfield has created some wonderful characters in The Cowboys series such as Malloy and Jimmy but Tripp is the best of the best. He’s a stand-up guy who constantly has to overcome preconceptions based on his family name, but he’s willing to take whatever comes his way in order to live the cowboy life he loves, in the company of the man he loves. I highly recommend this wonderful addition to the series!