Title: Looking for a Cowboy
Author: Donna Grant
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: October 2020
Length: 368 pages
Series?: Heart of Texas #5
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Crime
A beautiful stranger has come to Clearview, asking questions that are nobody’s business. Cooper Owens also wasn’t born yesterday. He knows that this out-of-towner is hiding a dark secret of her own. Much as he knows he should head in the other direction, he can’t make himself turn away. . .
P.I. Marlee Frampton always wanted to lead a nice quiet life, working as a cop in her local police department. But that dream came to an end when her sister was murdered―and her baby kidnapped. Now Marlee’s come to Texas to investigate the Harpers, who may be linked to shady adoption agencies. Cooper can’t believe that his friends could be involved in anything so sinister…and soon he makes it his mission to help Marlee discover the truth―and keep her safe in his arms.
WARNING: The cover does not match the story. This is more of a suspense/thriller with tough subject matter. The book contains some hard things to read about: killing, kidnapping, cutting babies from the womb. It gets intense.
Cooper Owens has come to a fork in the road in his life. All of his friends are married and settling down. He hangs out and helps out, but he doesn’t have a true job and he isn’t sure what he wants to do.
Marlee Frampton is a P.I. brought to Clearview on a new case. She is driven, stressed, and deals in danger daily. Marlee is investigating Cooper – and all of his friends in town. She is on the hunt for a kidnapped baby – cut right from the womb of its mother, who was left to die. It is not the first. In fact, it happened to Marlee’s twin ten years ago in California. There has been an increase in this particularly heinous crime, and Marlee’s goal is to reunite families with their taken babies. Her current case revolves around two of Cooper’s friends and their sudden adoption of a 5-day old baby boy. A baby she suspects was cut from the womb and sold in this adoption black market.
Cooper and his gang eventually welcome Marlee in with open arms and become her own entourage. They work together to pull pieces together and investigate new intel.
While they’re busy at work, they’re busy at play, too. Cooper and Marlee have insta-lust. It wasn’t even anything that was striking about each of them that created a spark. It came off as “Hey, you’re hot AF, let’s go do the S.E.X.” Not typical Grant style, and I didn’t like it in her writing. It was a little tough to get on board that there was an actual relationship building, but as all of the various plot lines continued to progress, they develop a friendship as well as a working relationship. Marlee is able to share things about herself and her life (even if Cooper finds out about some of those things from others). I did enjoy seeing these developments.
I had some major beefs with the story, though. There are SO MANY situations Marlee (and Cooper) get into and they don’t have a damn gun! I don’t know any former police officer that doesn’t carry. It’s second-nature. And especially in Marlee’s particular line of work.
I also found quite a bit of the book implausible, but the suspense is what kept me interested in this story. While it is one of the last books in the series and you don’t have to have read any of the previous books, it was a little hard for me to keep up with such a large cast of characters with how fast-paced the book was.