The Kidnapped Cowboy by Lindsey Brookes is a story of redemption and reconciliation. Not just for the troubled teens at Stoney Brook, but also for the Barnes Brothers.
The story opens with Caitlin Myers, psychologist and head of the Stoney Brook camp for troubled teens kidnapping the wrong Barnes. She had intended to "borrow" Brandon Barnes so that she could explain to him why the camp that his father opened so many years ago needed to stay open and not be turned into a playground for the wealthy. Caitlin had been trying for weeks to get ahold of Brandon, yet he never returned her calls or requests via mail. So she decided to take drastic measures and hold him until he will listen to reason. Only, the Barnes she ends up with is the younger brother, Dalton. Dalton had borrowed his brother's truck to go into town that night and do some drinking and blow off some steam. He was back in town after leaving the rodeo circuit and was training horses on the family ranch.
As Caitlin and Dalton bond over the catastrophes that seem to follow in Caitlin's wake, Dalton becomes determined to help her in her quest to keep the camp open. Even going so far as to strike a bargain with his brother to do the work the camp needs to get ready to open again and then stay through the summer. As he works with Caitlin, Dalton understands why keeping the camp open is so important to her and the kids.
This book had such a great balance of emotion. Going from the comedy of errors and misunderstandings in the beginning to the reconciliation of the brothers and the bonds of family that grow between the teens. This book had me laughing and sighing in equal measure. If you like books that you can walk away from them feeling upbeat and lighthearted, check this one out. If Ms. Brookes writes a sequel and does Brandon's story, I would read it, no hesitation. I am giving it 4 solid stars on Goodreads, for an overall enjoyable read.