A real man needs a real love…
To become the man he’s meant to be, one cowboy will have to be the man he never wanted anyone to know he was…
Ryder Dent is a true-blue cowboy. A devoted son, husband and father, but one who is living a costly lie. When they were both young, Ryder and his closest female friend Andy thought they’d found the perfect solution to both their problems—she was single and pregnant, and he was secretly gay—so they got married and raised Jonas together.
When Ryder gets hurt at a party, his son’s new pediatrician comes to the rescue. The connection between Ryder and Dr. Declan Winters is sudden, powerful, and undeniable. Ryder loves Andy and the family they’ve created together—but they both need more. Can they pursue their hearts’ desire without destroying the life they’ve built and losing the son they love?
I love Ryder Dent. This man is a tried and true southern gentleman and he’s just one of those characters I would love to befriend in real life. He’s a good ole’ boy without being a bigot. At seventeen he stepped up to the plate when his best friend needed him and they built a family together so that she didn’t have to deal with her father once her pregnancy came to light. He raised her son as his own with no one the wiser – no matter how much conjecture there was as to how two blue-eyed people could not produce a brown-eyed child (and I loved that genetics lesson). Ryder has a big heart so even when he screws up, it always comes from a place of love and never out of malice or meanness – something both Ryder and Andi were subjected to growing up. And above everything, he loves his son unconditionally, biology and blood be damned. Maxfield created such a great character in Ryder, I’d be hard-pressed not to love him and that makes Andi and Declan’s love for him understandable.
Ryder has never regretted his choice to marry Andi and step up as Jonas’s dad. He gave up a scholarship and college education to become a father, remain in town, and run his father’s business. Once he realized he was gay at age fourteen, he accepted that he could never live as a gay man in his hometown and the family he created with Andi and Jonas made up for that because he loves them both. They are his world. He was content to live out the rest of his life that way until Dr. Declan Winters moves to town and Ryder finds himself in a situation he’s never encountered before – wanting to pursue another man. When Ryder and Declan eventually get together, they are seriously hot together. Thankfully Declan gave Ryder another chance after he screwed up their first encounter so completely.
I will admit that I spent a good deal of the book disliking Andi. Oftentimes the things she said to Ryder and the way she interacted with him made her seem selfish in my book. Her refusal to contact Jonas’s biological father to ask him to terminate his parental rights so that Ryder could adopt Jonas really ticked me off at her – it seemed as though she was more willing to risk Jonas’s happiness than deal with a situation the was upsetting for her. Her plans to tour with the band coupled with her father’s extreme dislike of Ryder just spelled disaster and while I’m glad the author didn’t take the story in the direction, it just added one more mark against Andi for me. Thankfully she got her act together by the end and wiped the slate clean. My main complaint about My Cowboy Promise is that I felt as though it ended too soon. I would have liked to see what Ryder’s father did once Helen got through to him; just as I would have liked to see whether or not Andi’s father was brought to heel. I can only hope that the next book in The Cowboys series gives us an opportunity to catch up with Ryder, Declan, Andi, and Jonas to see how they’re faring in their new family.