TOO CLOSE TO HOME
Cassidy Beckett has a secret she's kept for six years: the identity of her son's father. She can't hide the truth much longer. The Easy Money Arena's new bull manager, Shane Westcott, also happens to be the boy's handsome uncle. But Cassidy will do anything to protect her young son, even if it means steeling her heart against Shane's nearly irresistible charm.
It doesn't take Shane long to figure out two things -- Cassidy's son is his nephew, and his feelings for the boy's beautiful mother go way beyond friendship. As a single dad, Shane knows how important a father is to a child. He also knows the men in Cassidy's life have let her down before. Can Shane convince Cassidy to face the truth without losing her trust…or his heart?
Good conclusion to the Reckless, Arizona series. Cassidy has resisted telling anyone who her son's father is, including the man himself. When her father hires Shane as the ranch's new bull manager, she knows that her time is running out. Shane is her ex's brother and he's sure to figure it out. She's worried about what will happen when he does.
Shane is a former bull rider and single father. He hadn't known about his daughter until he quit the rodeo and her mother decided he was responsible enough to handle it. He has come to terms with having been shut out and is determined to be a good father to her.
Shane and Cassidy had dated for awhile years earlier, but it hadn't worked out. There is definitely some spark left between them, and Shane is ready to pursue it. When he discovers the truth about Benji he is upset on his brother's behalf. He confronts Cassidy and insists on her doing the right thing and letting Hoyt know about Benji. Cassidy is reluctant, afraid that she could lose Benji.
I really liked Shane. He has a terrific relationship with his daughter, and has mended fences with his ex as they work together for the good of their daughter. He figures out the truth about Benji pretty quickly, and because he's been there wants to make sure that his brother knows about his son. But he's also attracted to Cassidy and wants to pursue a relationship with her. I liked the way that he was direct with her about her need to contact Hoyt. He also let her know that he was there to support her and would help her through it.
I had a tougher time liking Cassidy. In the previous books she is the one who has been totally against her father's attempts at reconciliation. She remembers the upheaval caused by his drinking, and the actions that finally caused her parents' split. She also carries some guilty feelings about it, which increases her anger over what she sees happening now. I was really irritated by her seemingly constant negative attitude regarding both her father and Hoyt. It seemed like every time something happened, she would envision the worst case scenarios that could result from it.
I liked the relationship that grew between Shane and Cassidy. He is strong and caring and understands her fears. He's there to support her through his brother and Benji meeting, and tries to help make the transition go smoothly. Cassidy has fallen hard for Shane, but there's a small part of her that still expects the worst to happen. When a conflict over Hoyt's actions with Benji arises and Shane doesn't behave as she thinks he should, Cassidy regards it as the worst kind of betrayal. It takes some blunt talk from a friend and her mother for Cassidy to see how unfair she was being to Shane. Shane also realizes that he could have handled things better. I have to say that I didn't like Hoyt much. I thought he was selfish and manipulative, though he did seem to improve a bit by the end. I liked the ending and seeing how everything came together.