Monday, September 26, 2016

Stockyard Snatching - Barb Han (HI #1655 - Aug 2016)

Series: Cattlemen Crime Club (Book 1)

A Texas rancher will do anything to protect a woman in jeopardy and the little boy who could be his son…

With the ferocity of a tigress, Kate Williams desperately fights a kidnapper trying to snatch her adopted son from her arms. When rancher Dallas O'Brien sees the skirmish, he bravely saves the infant and his lovely mother. Single and new in town, Kate accepts the handsome cowboy's offer of a safe haven at his ranch.

Spurred on by their Texas-sized attraction, Dallas and Kate untangle a web of lies that throws the baby's paternity into question. And Dallas wonders -- could he be a father? Could he be a husband? But when bullets start flying, the real question is, will he survive to find out?

Good book. Dallas is at the feed store when he sees someone attempting to snatch a baby from a woman's arms. He jumps right in and saves the child and his mother, then takes it upon himself to protect them both. But does he have some extra motivation, other than his feeling of responsibility? Dallas has recently received word that a former girlfriend gave birth to a son, and that he could be the father. He has set a PI to investigating and discovered that her child may have been put up for adoption, through the same agency where Kate adopted her son.

Kate's marriage recently ended, but not her desire for a family of her own. So she has adopted a baby and set out to make her own life the way she wants it. She is running a soup kitchen and giving back to the community where she has made her new home. She is terrified when someone attempts to kidnap Jackson and grateful for the help of the stranger who came to her aid. There's something about him that makes her feel safe, but she's wary of getting involved with another man.

I loved the way that Dallas fell so hard and so fast for both Kate and Jackson. He quickly makes them part of his life and doesn't want to let them go. He's also fascinated by Jackson, and wonders what the chances are that he is Jackson's father. I loved his protectiveness toward them both, and how he is determined to get to the truth about the attempted kidnapping and follow on attempts. 

I felt bad for Kate and the problems she has been having with her own family. Their lack of support is only emphasized by the closeness of Dallas's family. She is also wary of getting involved with Dallas so quickly because of her experience with her ex-husband. She is afraid of making the same mistake again, though her heart tries to tell her that there is no comparison. 

The mystery of the attempted kidnapping is very well done. When they discover that the attempt on Jackson is just one of a series, the question becomes why. It is especially puzzling because the kidnapped infants show up unharmed a few days later. It also appears that there could be a link between them kidnappings and the disappearance of Dallas's former girlfriend. It was interesting to see the false clues left, and how Dallas and Kate worked to figure out the truth. I liked seeing what it was and what it meant for Dallas. 

There was also some unexpected information that came out about the recent deaths of Dallas's parents. He had held himself responsible for what had happened to them, but the new information shows something entirely different/ There are hints that things were not all what they should have been in some of the family dynamics. I suspect that this storyline with continue through the series, and I am looking forward to seeing if I am right about who is responsible. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.

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