Daddy Wore Spurs (Men of the West) - Stella Bagwell

Series: Men of the West (Book 32)



Nothing shocks horse trainer Finn Calhoun more than learning he's the father of a four-month-old boy! And when the tall, dark, spur-jangling cowboy arrives in Stallion Canyon to meet his baby, Mariah Montgomery has her doubts about his motives. Until a DNA test is done, she insists Finn stay at her ranch -- where she can keep an eye on him.


Contrary to his image, Finn is only too happy to oblige Mariah -- and help to revitalize her own failing ranch and work with her wild mustangs. As his love for her nephew grows, their mutual passions reach new heights, too. But when Finn finally proposes, is he just looking to secure the ranch -- for himself? Or can Mariah trust that he truly wants to build a family with her and baby Harry?


Very good book. Finn is shocked to receive a phone call from the sister of a woman he had briefly known, telling him that he is the father of a baby boy. He immediately heads to California from the family ranch in Nevada to meet his baby. Mariah is baby Harry's aunt, and she's not willing to just hand the baby over to this unknown man. She insists on waiting for a DNA test for proof, and in the meantime she'll keep an eye on him.


I loved Finn. All it took was one look and, not only was he convinced Harry was his, he fell totally in love with the little boy. It was so sweet to see the way that they bonded so quickly. The same couldn't be said for Mariah. She was cautious about him, and not sure why her sister had refused to contact him about the baby. She wants to be sure that he'll be a good father before she can bring herself to give him up. I liked that they were able to talk to each other about what was happening, though there were some sparks that were putting them both on edge. 


There's a definite attraction between the two of them and both try to fight it. Finn sees nothing but complications with Mariah. He belongs on the family ranch back in Nevada, and she has her life in California. Mariah was burned once before by a man who also was with her sister. In addition to that, she always felt that she took second place in her father's and sister's lives, behind their work with horses and the ranch. She sees that same kind of attitude in Finn.


Finn and Mariah get closer as they wait for the results of the test. Finn is used to being busy and takes the time to help out on Mariah's ranch. It wasn't doing well because of neglect since her father's and Aimee's deaths, and she's planning to sell it. There are a few horses left, and Finn takes the time to work with them. He's the horse division manager on his family's ranch, and in previous books he's been arguing with his father and grandfather to get mustangs like Mariah's involved in their program, but without success. Working with her horses just reinforces his dreams. With Finn's involvement in the ranch, Mariah is reminded of all the good memories of living there. Their feelings start to grow, and they started to feel like a family, but both are wary of expressing their feelings.


I ached for Mariah when Finn finally confessed his feelings and his dreams for them. She just couldn't believe that he really wanted her for herself and that the ranch didn't play a part in it. Her fears caused her to say some horrible things to Finn. I also hurt for him because he really didn't deserve the treatment he got from her, even though his proposal hadn't been worded very well. The ending was very satisfying, as both Mariah and Finn had to look at their own hearts and decide if they were willing to fight for their futures. I especially loved seeing the kick in the pants that Mariah got that finally got her seeing the truth. I loved the epilogue and seeing Finn finally realizing his dreams.


My only complaint is with the cover. That man most definitely does not have the red hair described in the book!