Good-ole-boy Texas cowboys are a handful at the best of times with their darlins and their ma’ams, their strutting and posturing, not to mention their sweaty Western cut shirts, dusty rumpled jeans, rodeo belt buckles, and ever-present beat up Stetsons. Dylan, in the second of the Secret Life of Cowboys series, however, takes the cake as the archetypal cliché Peter Pan cowboy.
When he lassos and kisses a blindfolded woman at the strip club where he works part time to make money to pay the ranch’s bills, Dylan, the middle brother of three real lookers, is smitten. If nothing else, he knows he and Ronnie will be great in the sack together.
Transplanted New Jersey divorcee Ronnie DelVecchio isn’t sure if she’s landed in heaven or hell in Pleasure, Texas. The lingerie and scented oils shop that she opened with her divorce settlement has just been trashed and she needs to find a handyman to put it to rights. She certainly doesn’t have time for a 25th birthday in a saloon being kissed publicly by a half-dressed cowboy, no matter how stunning his pecs.
As they dance around each other sexually, after they barter for services—Dylan to restore her shop and Ronnie to cook for Dylan and his two brothers now that their cook has run off to get married—only one roadblock seems to stand in their way: The DelVecchio curse. It’s said if a DelVecchio woman marries an Irishman, she will have twins. Since Dylan’s last name is Garahan and he has a shamrock tattooed over his heart, she should be running long and hard since she doesn’t want kids at the moment.
So with that shaky premise, Dylan and Ronnie do the courtship dance. Dylan, like all tight-lipped, monosyllabic cowboys, can’t communicate to Ronnie’s standards, and Ronnie who’s been hurt by a philandering former husband enjoys tying Dylan’s life in knots, all the while wanting him to open up and declare his love.
Fortunately, the author spares readers the usually obligatory reconciliation between Ronnie and her best friend who was two-timing her. Unfortunately, the author doesn’t spare us endless pages of false angst and a hokey ending that seems scripted right out of a Marx bothers’ movie.
All this high drama might be palatable if there were something going on besides the Dylan-Ronnie two-step and Dylan’s good-old-boy exchanges with his older and younger brothers. The set-up of the ravaged shop and who in the community could do such a thing is put on a back burner to be resurrected when it seemed the author had run out of all the head-butting the lovers could do.
While the last brother’s complicated love life—his fiancé has just remarried her former husband—is next up for the author to untangle, this reader won’t be one lining up to read about it. Sometimes it’s just best to let cowboys do their thing in peace without an audience.