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The Bull Rider's Secret by Marin Thomas

The Bull Rider's Secret brings together a troubled cowboy, an independent ranch foreman, a deadbeat dad and a struggling teenager. The novel deals with real-life situations in a realistic way, and in the end is, of course, optimistic and upbeat.

Brody Murphy is the brooding, troubled cowboy. Running from his past, Brody travels from town to town, competing in rodeo after rodeo, despite the fact that he’s not actually any good at bull riding.

While trying to scrape up enough money for his next entrance fee, he comes across a pig wrangling contest and talks 13-year-old Ricky into being his partner for the event. After the competition, Brody takes Ricky home to his mother, Kat, who is acting as the Wild Rose ranch foreman while the ranch owners are out of town.

Ricky’s father is a no-good rotten scoundrel, and Kat has supported herself and her son in any way she can throughout the past 13 years, but when Brody comes to town, she begins to think about relying on someone else for the first time in a long time. The problem is, Brody just can’t seem to let go of his past...

I loved Kat’s strong character, I loved Brody’s struggle with himself, and I loved that Ricky was genuinely a good kid, despite coming up against confusing issues all the time. I loved the way the three characters interacted with one another, and I loved the little family unit that Brody, Kat and Ricky made up together.

I also loved the way author Marin Thomas tackled some really difficult, real-life issues in the story. Tons of kids have to deal with an absent father all the time, which means that tons of mothers have to find a way to support themselves and their children without the help of a man. Tons of kids grow up without a real male role model, and often the mother needs to find a way to be both parents. Thomas brought these topics forward in a serious, yet interesting and digestible manner.

Thomas also made light of issues many women face when taking on a man’s job through Kat. Acting as the temporary ranch foreman, Kat was forced to fire two hired hands after they refused to follow her orders. Believe it or not, it’s a reality that many women are forced to deal with in today’s world. It can be tough for a woman in a typically male position, and Kat was no different, especially when those hired hands came back and began to make trouble for Kat on the ranch.

Thomas did a great job with The Bull Rider’s Secret. It’s well-written and vivd , fun, romantic and hopelessly optimistic. It’s great for those who are squeamish about sex in romance novels, as it doesn’t have any graphic sex scenes at all.

I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for an easy read this summer.

The Bull Rider's Secret will be released tomorrow, July 5.

Title: The Bull Rider’s Secret | By: Marin Thomas | Series: Harlequin American Romance | Publisher: Harlequin, 2011 | ISBN: 978-0373753680 | RLB Grade: A | Find it on Amazon: The Bull Rider's Secret

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