Brodie Hayes is a former rodeo star, now a rancher--a cowboy, through and through. But when he finds out some shocking news about the circumstances of his birth, he begins to question his identity. Luckily, private investigator Alexandra Donovan is there to help him find the truth about who he is. Along the way, he discovers that even a man who thought he'd be alone for the rest of his life can fall in love.
For Brodie, love was something you did once--and for always. But is Alex the type of woman who can take on a stubborn man like him? Because there's one thing about him that will never change, no matter what they find out about his past--once a cowboy, always a cowboy.
I got Once a Cowboy by Linda Warren as a free Kindle read a while back. I have absolutely zero romance going on in my life so I figured why not live vicariously through someone else. Hehe. This someone else happened to be Alexandra Donovan, a private investigator who finds herself falling for the hunky cowboy who just so happens to be the subject of one of her investigations.
Helen Braxton comes in to Alex's office asking her to check out rodeo star Brodie Hayes, claiming he's the son she had 40 years ago that was stolen from the hospital not too long after birth. Alex tries to be discreet and not stir up too much in Brodie's life but it doesn't quite work out the way she'd planned. Now she's bulldozed her way in to his goings on and he doesn't know which way is up anymore.
Once all is said and done with Brodie, though, Alex gets a shock of her own that she has to figure out how to come to terms with. And does surprisingly well for someone whose world has just been turned upside down. Brodie seems to have rubbed off on her.
Alex Donovan is a no BS character. She doesn't expect people to take care of her and she's opinionated and straight forward. Extremely likeable and refreshing. She's blunt but caring and can tell you what's what with tact. Brodie sounds like a handsome cowboy who knows exactly who he is. Until Alex comes along. Despite that, though, he takes the news as well as can be expected.
This was a quick read and not quite what I'd expected. I was pleasantly surprised. And I enjoyed it a lot. I think I would have liked to see the relationship between Alex and Brodie develop a bit more before diving right in, but it wasn't too hurried to be at least a little realistic I suppose. Although it's always frustrating when you know what's going to happen long before it does and then you have to spend the rest of the book waiting for the character to figure it out as well. The love scenes between the two were tasetful. Not overdone or poorly done.
I loved Alex's grandmother. One reviewer on Goodreads said the author should write "The Many Adventures of Naddy". I completely agree. Naddy is definitely not your typical grandma. And it sounds like she'd be a fun character to follow for a while. Alex's father, Buck, was not what he'd been made out to be though. I did not get the sense that he was the bulldog she claimed he was. But that's ok. He was a minor character and didn't really play a huge part in the book.
The ending, in my opinion, was a little "You've got to be kidding me". Still a great book, but I didn't like the development in Alex's life. The blow she was dealt after she'd helped Brodie and the Braxtons. And reading the epilogue, even though I knew that all of the characters had been mentioned, at least in passing, there were still a lot of names to try and keep straight and I had to read it a few times to get it figured out. It made me smile though.
I'd recommend this for anyone looking for something new to read. Or anyone who loves cowboys and romance. Probably not anyone under the age of 17, simply because there ARE some love scenes. It really was a good book to read.