Review: A Baby for the Deputy by Cathy McDavid

A Baby for the Deputy by Cathy McDavid
Series: Mustang Valley (# 9)
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 224
Source: book provided by NetGalley for review




A secret, no-strings relationship with Aaron Travers has suited Melody Hartman just fine for the past eight months. The lives of the Mustang Valley veterinarian and the deputy sheriff have always been complicated–and are about to become more so, because Mel is pregnant!

Raising his toddler daughter and protecting his Arizona town are Aaron’s priorities. But this unexpected pregnancy is a life changer. The widowed single dad is ready to do the right thing and marry Mel. Can he say the three words she is waiting to hear? Will she think he wants to marry her only because of the baby? Or will she acknowledge that their feelings for each other run deeper than either of them realized?


Review:  I’ve been in a western romance kick lately.  When I saw that Cathy McDavid was looking for review crew members, I decided that it was a good fit considering my reading habits of late.  I got this book about 6 months ago, read it and then totally forgot to review it.  I failed in my review crew assignment, but now I’m catching up.  After a quick re-read of the book, I’m finally ready to put my thoughts online.

If you’ve ever read my reviews in the past, you’ll know that I’m not a huge fan of the surprise pregnancy / baby story line.  As it says in the blurb, “will she think he wants to marry her only because of the baby?”  It’s a really hard hurdle to jump and make it believable.  So, I went into reading this book with some wariness… is Ms McDavid going to be able to pull it off.

As the blurb tells the reader, Aaron and Melody have been having a no-strings affair.  Melody comes from a local family and is the town’s veterinarian.  Aaron recently moved to town with his daughter and his late wife’s mother.  The two have been seeing each other on the sly, but they’re both starting to have feelings that the other isn’t aware of.  Throw in a surprise pregnancy as well as family issues on both sides and it’s obvious they’re going to have a bumpy ride to their happily ever after.

I liked Aaron and Melody, but I certainly didn’t like a lot of their choices.  Neither of them wanted to confess feelings and both of them were letting family issues and the past get in the way.    While I can’t relate to losing a spouse and what it takes to get past it, I didn’t particularly like how Aaron’s mother-in-law manipulated him and he pretty much let her.  I suppose that probably happens, but here it just made me feel that the “hero” of the story wasn’t that alpha male I tend to expect in a romance.  That said, I liked Aaron, just questioned some of his choices.

When it came to Melody, I felt that she was a bit of a jerk to a new family member.  But I totally understand wanting to keep this person and Aaron at arm’s length, wanting to protect herself from disappointment and heart ache.  But just as I said earlier, it was a real reaction… and pretty much if she’s done anything else, I would have been whining that this wasn’t realistic.

Throw in a horse thief mystery as a secondary plot line and I found myself turning the pages wanting to see how everything was going to resolve.  If you enjoy westerns and especially if you like the surprise baby trope, this may be the book for you.