This had all the cutesy fluff you'd expect from a Harlequin Western romance with a hot sheriff and a cutesy plot moppet on the cover... but there was a great deal more besides to like about this story.
There's a lot going on in this book; complicated family relationships abound. Aaron, the deputy sheriff of the title, lost his first wife to an agonising cancer battle and now lives with his mother-in-law and his Adorable Plot Moppet daughter. He loved his wife deeply, and I really enjoy that the story doesn't seek to minimise that; Aaron is determined to make sure that his daughter knows all about her mother and how much she loved her. Nancy, the mother-in-law, isn't ready to deal with Aaron maybe moving on and finding someone else, and that too is dealt with sensitively, Aaron not wanting to hurt Nancy's feelings.
Mel and Aaron have been hooking up in secret for a while, neither of them in the market for a serious relationship. Mel accidentally getting pregnant makes everything get serious in a hurry, though, and both parties have to deal with some uncomfortable truths, Aaron in his own household and Mel when she discovers an unexpected new family member of her own and has to face up to some difficult truths. The parallels between Mel's current situation and that of the unknown half-sister she suddenly has to deal with aren't lost on anyone and form a great plot device to help drive the story to a satisfying conclusion.
I really enjoyed this book and I'd highly recommend to anyone who has a yen for a sexy sheriff with a sensitive side!
A Baby For The Deputy is available now in paperback and will be released in ebook form on March 7.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.