Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2012
Series: “Big Sky Romance” (book 3 of 3)
Genre: Christian Fiction, Romance
Rating: 4 ½ out of 5My Thoughts: Annie Wilkerson has never been in love. She knows that and it has made her desperate. Desperate enough to ask ladies man, Dylan Taylor to help her write her lovelorn column for a western magazine that recently pulled her prior column. Annie’s small business training horses is successful but in the small town of Moose Creek supporting her job-challenged sister and Sierra’s young son, Ryder, means Annie needs all the work she can get – and she desperately needs the money this column could bring into the household. The trouble with Annie is, she doesn’t like cowboys – they always leave in the end, which is why she is so reluctant to give in to the feelings she has developed for the roguish Dylan. What’s a girl to do?
Thanks to fellow blogger’s and friends reviews – plus my own mother, I had been meaning to read a Denise Hunter novel for a long while now. I own about six of her books but until the opportunity to review this, her latest book, came alone, I had not yet had the privilege of reading any of her romantic-comedy books. By the end of this novel, my only thought was: Why did I wait so long? ‘Cowboys’ is a tender, romantic story that is centered on Christianity instead of trashy plot devices that have no business invading otherwise fun stories. Lest you think this review is all about gushing about the sweet romance of Annie and Dylan, I did find fault with a few of the sections meant to be conflicting elements to keep Annie from giving over to her feelings for Dylan. Some where a bit stereotyped – which I don’t hold against anyone since I love a good rom-com, and some didn’t feel authentic for the character.
Throughout the novel, I was loyal to Annie’s assumption that Dylan was a rogue and as such, he wasn’t a man she should trust her heart with. I didn’t respect that he flirted his way through Saturday nights out on the town while at the local restaurant – cover for a broken heart or no, it made no difference to me. That being said, I don’t doubt for a second that he fell hard and head-over-heels for the no-nonsense Annie. Their relationship was sweet and there was something about it that is often lacking from counterpart Christian novels. The second minor (miniscule) thing that I picked up in the prose was the author’s tendency to begin a new “section” or chapter of the book with the character’s names. I don’t know why I caught it because it really shouldn’t – and doesn’t, disrupt the natural flow of the story. From the cute cover art (which really does not coincide with my ideal of this couple, sadly!) to everything in-between, by the time I read through the final page, I had fallen in love with Annie and Dylan’s story in addition to Annie’s kid sister, Sierra and even the outcome of Sierra finding her own happily ever after. From the opening sentences to the last, this one is a keeper.
In Summary: ‘Cowboys’ may be my first foray into Denise’s writing but I am convinced it won’t be my last. Already I am anxious for her newest series to be on store shelves – until then, read this charming romantic comedy about first impressions being mistaken in what is perhaps, a small nod to the classic, Pride and Prejudice.
Synopsis: Annie Wilkerson is Moose Creek’s premiere horse trainer and equine columnist for Montana Living. Money is tight as she tries to put her kid-sister through college and provide for her young nephew. When Annie’s column is cancelled, she’s given first shot at a new lovelorn column-and she can’t afford to turn it down. Only problem is . . . Annie’s never been in love. Always resourceful, she reluctantly strikes a deal with the town’s smooth-talking ladies’ man Dylan Taylor: She’ll work with his ailing horse, Braveheart, if he’ll help her answer the reader letters. – from the publisher
With thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this book for reviewing purposes.