Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Last Cowboy by Lindsay McKenna

I was very excited to read this book because I looooovvvvvvve me some cowboys, and the author’s note at the beginning had me even more convinced that this would be a great read. As it turned out, however, I enjoyed her note more than the book itself. It’s not that it was bad, but it’s not the romance I expected. I’ll try to explain why this one just didn’t work for me.

I’m going to start by saying that The Last Cowboy was really a difficult book to read and review. While it was very well written, we spent the first 30+% of it learning about the equestrian world of dressage and techniques of endurance riding, the way horses are tested to see if they’d make good endurance runners, and other details of the sport. That would have been fine had it been necessary to the story, but I don’t believe that it was, and it took away from what I consider to be far more important – the characters. And even though Ms. McKenna used the character's interactions and dialogs to impart all of this information, we didn’t get a good feel for Slade and Jordana until well into the book - and I do mean well into it.

What I'm trying to say is that as a reader, I’m first drawn into a story by forming emotional attachments to the people, but instead I found myself immersed in details that I had little interest in. Better balance would have gone a long way to making this a really good read, but to be completely honest, I had a hard time staying focused or even mildly interested in the story or the characters. Sadly, while the characters have great potential, the story doesn’t allow them to shine.

The bottom line - If you’re wild about horses and love everything about them; riding, training, competition, health, temperament... then I do think you’d love this book! However, a large part of the story read more like contemporary fiction than contemporary romance, so don’t expect to fall in love with the characters or to get a strong, romantic, happily ever after. Go into this story because you love horses, and I think you’ll enjoy it.

This book was provided by in behalf of HQNbooks, a Harlequin Imprint.

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