The story opens up in the same scene that closed The Cowboy Crashes a Wedding, a book I loved.
This one was enjoyable, but I wasn't as fond of the hero. He was a good guy, but he was frozen in a way that I had trouble wrapping my head around. Twelve years ago he was in love with a woman who left him, because he wouldn't give up the ranching life. He wasn't bitter about a betrayal (the usual Category portrait of a hero); he just decided that was his one and only chance. He doesn't think about her most of the time, has no problem dealing with her husband (his lawyer), but when he sees her a couple of times a month, he is overwhelmed with those old feelings. There is really no explanantion or understanding why. The only thing I could see was that he led a fairly solitary life, in a small town, so maybe it limited his opportunities for growth? Still . . . TWELVE YEARS!
I did like the heroine. I liked her as a secondary character in the above mentioned book, and liked her more as the lead in this one. She had a baby young, by a wannabe band singer that flaked out on her. She wasn't bitter, she didn't waste time hating him, and she didn't beat herself up about it either. She did make a living that didn't thrill her, working in her father's store and dealing with his miserable personality, but she thought she was making a trade off for security for her kid. When another opportunity presented itself at the start of this book, she took it. I was rooting for her the whole time.
(She had a good kid, so you saw where she was a good mom, too.)
The Scheduled Conflict Climax in this Cat was different than usual. It wasn't a misunderstanding, that he loved her and simply hadn't communicated it. It wasn't that the heroine was melodramatically angsty and created a crisis. The hero really WAS conflicted about his choices, and the heroine made a smart decision about ending it.