Ben vs Brody

Books 1 and 4, Dawsons of Montana Series

Early in the first book of the Dawsons of Montana, Brody fills the reader in about his stepbrother Ben.

Brody removed his ball cap and scraped fingers through his hair. He felt gritty and dirty from his long trip and the shock of walking in on Lori Ann and friend earlier. Now this.

Jim Dawson had been a good stepfather. The man had raised him from the time he and Brody’s mother married. Brody had been about ten then. That was twenty years ago. Mercer had been born six months after the wedding. He’d helped raise his little half-sister until he went off rodeoing.

Brody let out a slow breath to release the tension in his body. “Is Ben here?”

Mercer shook her head. “We haven’t gotten in touch with him. He’s working up north at that big cattle ranch. We’ve left several messages. The foreman is trying to reach him.”

Sounded like Bennet Dawson. Jim’s firstborn had always been a workaholic. They’d never gotten along. Ben saw Brody as an interloper, and in a way he and his mother were. The ranch land had belonged to Jim’s first wife, Bonnie Bennett Dawson. It was by rights Ben’s land. The dude ranch part was just an afterthought, and Liz’s idea to boot, making it a bigger sin in Ben’s eyes.

I introduced the conflict with the stepbrothers in the beginning of the series. Now it’s time to find out if the two, now grown men, can resolve their conflict.

BEN is the fourth book in the series. Ben has had it tough since his mom died. He’s in exile, a self-imposed one, preferring to work on a cattle ranch instead of his family land, now a dude ranch for city slickers. He and Brody had been at each other’s throats since Brody had arrived at the Bennet Ranch.

From the prologue that didn’t make it into the book:

His dad always had high expectations, and Ben had always tried to meet them. Now he was getting chewed out because of this punk kid.

“Pay attention,” his dad scolded. “You can be the best roper or bronc rider in the world, but if you don’t watch what you’re doing, it won’t do you any good.”

Brody dropped his gaze, looking contrite. “Yes, sir.”

Ben fumed. His insides were ragged raw with anger.


“Yes, sir. I get it.”


Ben watched his dad lope away to the head of the herd. He looked askance at Brody, hoping his furious stare sunk into the kid’s thick skull.

Brody shrugged. “What?”

“You and me will have it out someday.” Ben clucked to his horse and rode away at a trot.

What do you think? Will Brody and Ben have it out in this new book?

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