Coulda Been a Cowboy

Author: Brenda Novak

Publisher: Harlequin

Release Date: June 2007

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4.5

Format: PRINT

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Dakota Brown has a pretty good life in Dundee, Idaho, even if at times her small trailer home with her father feels more like a prison cell than a home. She loves her father, but alcohol is turning him into someone she does not recognize. She works at the local pharmacy for a low wage and just tries to get by. A new face in town may just change things for her for the better.

Famous football player, Tyson Garnier, has temporarily moved to Dundee in order to escape the media attention after taking permanent custody of his baby son, Braden. Tyson is also trying to heal his knee so he can get back in the game come the new football season. He is hoping Dundee will give him the peace of mind he needs to recover. Tyson hires Dakota to watch over Braden. Tyson can barely stand to look at Braden. He hesitates to touch him and forget about properly caring for him. That is what Dakota's role is. Tyson cannot help but feel resentful towards his innocent son, a fact he is not proud of.


But being in Dundee is opening his eyes to not only Dakota, but to the things Tyson has neglected in his life. Love, honesty, and kindness. As Tyson unwillingly grows closer to both Braden and Dakota, he realizes Dundee may have just healed him in other ways. But is it a permanent change or will this stubborn athlete find a way to put his newfound happiness behind him once he leaves Dundee?


COULDA BEEN A COWBOY is the long-awaited new novel in Brenda Novak's Dundee, Idaho series. From start to finish, this book creates indelible characters and an unforgettable love story. Dakota is a hard worker, a woman of great inner strength, and a woman who is looking for the family that seems to have deserted her, first her mother, and then her father with alcohol. In Tyson and Braden, she discovers new emotions, new talents, and most happily, laughter and enjoyment. But of course, there are still problems as love cannot cure all ills. Fortunately, for Tyson and Dakota, love becomes the means to put the past behind them.


Tyson in particular begins the book resenting his son and being very unsure of his new fatherhood, to ending the book in a much more positive frame of mind regarding Braden. I will not spoil it for you, but subtle changes in Tyson are all for the better. Football has made him a team player, but it is the little town of Dundee, its citizens, and most particularly, Dakota, who show him a positive spirit and encouragement in the face of defeat.


COULDA BEEN A COWBOY is a robust and lovely story between two characters who are facing realistic challenges but who face them with a proud and defiant will.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Sarah W

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