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Cathy's Corner
Wednesday, October 26 2011
Liked seeing this review by Kathy Altman, USA TODAY.  A Cowboy to Marry is available in stores and on-line now!

USA Today Happy Ever After

Cathy Gillen Thacker's popular McCabe family welcomes a new member. In A Cowboy to Marry we meet Libby Lowell, whose adventurer husband died two years ago, leaving her to run his family's third-generation tractor-supply company. But after two years of managing a business she has no passion for, Libby is ready for a change, and not only a professional one. She decides to sell the business and the family home, move out of Laramie, Texas, and find a man who will settle down and give her the children she's always wanted.

Holden McCabe, a longtime friend of Libby's husband and a man who suffered a painful end to his own marriage, does not approve of Libby's plans. Selling the business will not only mean the end of a legacy, it could mean the loss of precious jobs. Worst of all, if Libby moves out of town, how is Holden supposed to keep the promise he made to her husband? A promise he's determined to honor, since he considers himself responsible for her husband's death?

That promise — to look after Libby — is one Libby wishes Holden had never made. She doesn't need a keeper, and after two years of the rancher's overprotectiveness it's time to cut the strings. Yes, she and Holden share a special bond, forged by a secret Libby once shared, and by the pain they've both suffered as a result of unhappy marriages. And there's no denying the fierce sexual attraction the two harbor for each other. But Libby will never pursue a relationship with Holden because she fears he might end up confusing love with obligation, and Holden believes that pursuing Libby would be tantamount to dishonoring his best friend's memory.

And yet, it's the holidays. They're both lonely, and they know it's time to re-enter the social scene. But how to start? Holden comes up with a plan to help them move on: He suggests they "rebound" with each other. No strings, no sex, no pressure. No problem, right? Wrong. As soon as they start dating, Holden realizes he loves Libby and can't stand the thought of her leaving Laramie. And Libby finds herself falling in love as well, but unlike Holden, she fights it. She's just starting to become a person she can admire, and a new life awaits her — beyond Laramie. How can she give that up, and stay in the place she's suffered so much heartache? Then a new complication arises, and Libby faces the hardest decision of her life. And Holden faces losing the love of his.

As always, Thacker delivers a satisfying, romantic and sensual story. I enjoyed the uniqueness of Libby's profession and the fresh and realistic ways Thacker found to keep Libby and Holden together, giving their romance time to develop. There were times when I was pulled out of the story — during the roll call of McCabes in the beginning, when Libby is referred to by another character's name, and when Holden tells himself the only reason he's kissing Libby is to help her get through the holidays. I'm thinking it wasn't that big a sacrifice. :-) I also would have loved a pivotal moment, an emotional "pop," to highlight Libby and Holden's decision to take their relationship to the next level. But none of that was enough to mar the pleasure I found in the story.

A Cowboy to Marry has a warm, homey and gratifying feel, and as much as Libby yearns to be part of the McCabe family, the reader will, too.

For more information about Cathy Gillen Thacker and her books, visit her website at Cathy Gillen Thacker.

Kathy Altman writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense.

Posted by: Cathy AT 11:11 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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Cathy Gillen Thacker is the bestselling author of witty romantic comedies and warm, family stories whose books are published in 17 languages and 35 countries.