Genre: Sweet Romance/Western/Historical
“No bachelor could be prepared for what happens to the Givens brothers one stormy night in 1876. Finding a pregnant woman on their road, they take her in. Before they can learn anything about her, she gives birth to triplets and disappears. Luckily, the doctor supplies a much-needed wet-nurse— Cynara, a recent widow who lost her baby. Her sad eyes and gentle acceptance awaken something in Barclay's staid soul. But she's not ready for a new man in her life. She'll stay at the ranch and tend the babies, but that's all.
Meanwhile, where is the babies' real mother? Who and where is the father? And what will become of these helpless infants?”
“Charlene Raddon fell in love with the wild west as a child, listening to western music with her dad and sitting in his lap while he read Zane Gray’s books. She never intended to become a writer. Charlene was an artist. She majored in fine arts in college.
In 1971, she moved to Utah, excited for the opportunity to paint landscapes. Then her sister introduced her to romance novels. She never picked up a paintbrush again… Instead of painting pictures with a brush, Charlene uses words.”
For more information about Ms. Raddon feel free to visit her website.
Bachelors & Babies is a multi-author endeavor. Barclay is the oldest of three Givens brothers running the family ranch, and the first of Ms. Raddon’s contributions to the series. Each brother gets his own book, and I think Barclay sets a nice foundation for the other two brother’s stories. However, the last thing this ranch needs are more babies.
The prolog to this story is tragic and heartbreaking. Cynara Stratton is a young widow who has lost everything and most recently her own baby.
The story proper starts one stormy night when the Givens brothers take in a pregnant woman coming up their road to the ranch house. Cold, wet, obviously abused, and in the early stages of labor she is seeking sanctuary for the night. She warily accepts their help, but refuses to even give them her name or where she is from. The brothers are flying blind having only birthed calves. After the baby is born they think they are home free, however the mother doesn’t even want to look at him or hold him. Then the labor pains start again. Doc has been sent for, but is delayed because of the storm and the flooded creek. By the time he arrives a third baby has been born. Since the baby momma won’t give the men even her name they call her Minnie (no relation to the mouse). Doc gives the babies a clean bill of health, despite their small size, and tells Minnie to rest and stay in bed for a few days. However, by the next morning she has run off leaving the babies behind.
Doc brings Cynara to the Givens ranch to be a wet nurse for the premature triplets hoping it will help heal the hole in her soul. She blends in well with the men knowing this is just a temporary situation, but can’t help loving each of the babies. I thought it was endearing how each brother claimed and named a baby. The plot twists and turns as other secondary characters are brought into the story. It’s a rollercoaster ride running the ranch and dealing with more personal attacks. Barclay’s life is turned upside down and inside out as tension builds in the last few chapters for an explosive turn of events.
I found Barclay and Cynara’s journey quite satisfying, and I was glad when Barclay finally found the right words he meant to convey to Cynara. This was a fun adventure into the wild west of Montana.
Barclay is book 4 in the Bachelors and Babies Books.
A small number of proofing issues.
Rating: **** Four Stars
Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin
Approximate word count: 65-70,000 words