Her troubled teenage brother just brought Sheriff Declan Winslow back into Charlotte Pace’s life.
Their brief fling ended three months ago, but Charlotte can’t keep her pregnancy a secret much longer.
Nor can she afford their attraction to surface again when she and Declan seek shelter during a tornado watch.
Haunted by his past, Declan’s never seen himself as a family man.
But with Charlotte’s brother depending on him and a baby on the way, maybe this is his chance to find out!
Titles in the Top Dog Dude Ranch series include — Last-Chance Marriage Rescue —♥— The Cowboy’s Christmas Retreat —♥— Last Chance on Moonlight Ridge —♥— The Little Matchmaker —♥— The Cowgirl and the Country M.D. —♥— The Lawman’s Surprise —♥—
*Although I’ve read and enjoyed all the stories in this series, some reviews are on another of my blogs – only the titles reviewed on Happily Ever After Romance are linked here*
This is an adult 18+ story that may contain language, possible violence, and/or sexual situations geared to an adult audience.
Title: The Lawman’s Surprise
Series: Top Dog Dude Ranch #6
Author: Catherine Mann
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: February 21, 2023
Publisher: Harlequin Special Edition
My Rating: 4.5 stars
I always love returning to the Top Dog Dude Ranch world, and The Lawman’s Surprise was such an enjoyable, emotional story that I was easily caught up in within moments. It’s always fun to run into familiar faces and get the chance to catch up a bit on some of the previous couples in this series.
Charlotte and Declan were a couple… until they weren’t. When Declan was temporarily leaving his sheriff position to do his National Guard rotation, she simply wanted a break; he took that request to another level by breaking up completely. Heartbroken, Charlotte wasn’t going to beg a man to stay where he didn’t want to be, so she didn’t fight him but went on with her life at the ranch while hiding how much he’d hurt her. Soon though, it would appear that she has to hide something else for a while. She’s pregnant, Declan has just returned home without contacting her, and her brother, Rory, is in a heap of trouble… now didn’t seem the right time to tell Declan about the baby, but she would soon. Unfortunately, not soon enough.
Frankly, I was an emotional wreck during The Lawman’s Surprise. Both Declan and Charlotte have some huge issues that need to be dealt with, things from their pasts that are affecting their present and their possible future. But they’re skirting around the important conversations and perhaps focusing on some of the non-threatening to their emotions everyday sort of things. And that lack of communication will blow up in their faces and their hearts.
The teen years can be such a challenge for both the teen and those that love them. My heart went out to Rory. Oh, I understood why he was acting out and how lost Charlotte felt in not being able to help him. This is as much Rory’s story as it is Declan’s and Charlotte’s, for his future is very much up in the air as well.
If you love a well-written romance with believable characters facing real-life challenges, if watching a couple take the risk that falling in love requires, and seeing a surly young man begin to turn his life around, then you’ll want to pick up The Lawman’s Surprise. I had such a good time back in this world, and hope there are more stories to come.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the author or author’s team via Booksprout. The opinions expressed in this review are my own – good, bad, or indifferent.*
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