Review: Texas on My Mind by Delores Fossen (McCord Brothers #1)


Note: This ARC was provided by Harlequin via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Texas on My Mind is the first novel in the McCord Brothers series from bestselling author Delores Fossen and for an introduction to both a new series and to the author's writing, this worked well. Riley McCord's life is all about being in the Air Force and his position as a Combat Rescue Officer or CRO is of utmost importance to him, giving him his identity and sense of purpose. Back home in Spring Hill, Texas to recuperate from near-fatal injuries and a case of post-traumatic stress disorder--all of which have his career hanging in the balance--Riley knows his older brother would love nothing more than to have him pull his weight in the family-owned cattle business. There are countless distractions being back home but all Riley wants is to get back to work. The singular distraction he welcomes is his friend, Claire Davidson, and while the connection between the two of them is as strong as ever, Riley knows that getting involved with her and her young son Ethan could end up with her heart broken once he's cleared to return to work.

This was a well-written story about two friends who have always had feelings for one another but went their separate ways after Claire chose Riley's best friend over him in high school. Since then, Riley has kept his distance, respecting the fact that Claire was in a relationship with his best friend. But now that he's back and Claire's relationship is in limbo, things are up in the air, almost as if waiting where everything will land once these two make up their minds about finally pursuing what's been brewing between them for years. The fact that Claire's son looks so much like Riley has people around town assuming he's the father but then that would have been physically impossible since these two never, ever slept together prior to his latest return to Spring Hill. Speaking of Spring Hill, goodness but does this town have a heck of a lot of busybodies or what?! Not only does everyone seem to know everyone else's business but the word "no" seems to be last in translation and it appears that there are  individuals who do not handle rejection well.

The book includes a bonus short story entitled What Happens on the Ranch, which was originally released separately in January of this year and serves as a prequel novella to the McCord Brothers series. The short story is about Anna McCord and Heath Moore and is a second chance romance between the two, who parted ways when nearly a decade ago. Heath's return in Anna's life coincides with a much needed break from his duties in the Air Force, where Riley serves as Heath's boss. Heath was already warned off Anna nine and a half years ago, but both Heath and Anna are still very much drawn to one another, regardless of what Riley, Logan, and Lucky McCord have to say about it. This serves as a great beginning to the series and while you can read it before or after you read Texas on My Mind, I've always been the kind of reader that prefers to do things in order, so I'm going to politely suggest you read the prequel first. Either way though, it's difficult to resist anything to do with the McCords, and What Happens on the Ranch proves it.

There's the usual kind of humor that you find in small-town romances like this one, but the book appears to have quite a bit of drama when it comes to the McCord brothers themselves. Twins Logan and Lucky, their younger brother Riley, and their sister Anna are close but the only one actively working the family-owned business is the eldest sibling, Logan. The three younger siblings chose to go their own way, but based on Logan's words and actions here, it appears that he's beginning to feel as if everyone went and did whatever what they wanted while he had to be the responsible one and he's none too happy by it. I'm interested to see how that will eventually play out as the series goes on and how the dynamic among the three brothers--since it looks like Anna's been given a pass--will turn out. On a side note, the series originally had a different title--Spring Hill--and the book a different cover, and while I think the new series title works better, I liked the first cover more. Just saying. Texas on My Mind was a good four-star read. ♥

Date Read: 23 February 2016

Learn more about Delores Fossen.

Purchase Texas on My Mind on Amazon | B&N | Kobo.

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