A Cowboy Like You
A Cowboy Like You has a really terrific hero and a somewhat shallow, self-possessed yet selfish, TSTL heroine. Add in a romance that moves way too quickly to be credible and some nagging, unanswered questions and you have a romance that falls into the ‘just okay’ territory.
Sheriff Danny Oldman is completely alone by choice, and as Christmas approaches he’s begun to feel the weight of both his job and his self-chosen solitude. Though he has invitations to spend his time elsewhere, he wants to be alone – a bad idea, since isolation and the Holidays activate his tendency to drink too much. Then he encounters an incident of domestic violence, and springs into action.
Skylar Long has been trying to run from her emotionally and physically abusive boyfriend of three months, Matt, when Danny arrives on the scene. It turns out that Skylar and Danny have a past – she’s his one who got away back in high school, the one he’s been longing for ever since elementary school but never had. Skylar had been hopelessly unattainable in their shared youth, and Danny let her go because he knew she wanted to shoot for the stars instead of staying with him forever in their hometown. No, Skylar got out of their small Texas town and stayed out. While she moved to Houston after high school, it seemed as if she had everything she’d ever wanted – and Danny was left in the dust. But now she’s fleeing Matt and the life she constructed there.
With no place better to put her, Danny takes Skylar to his brother Clayton’s place. Spending the days with his brother and his family, even though he rejected the idea of spending Thanksgiving and Christmas with them earlier, provides Danny with a tonic he needs, and he has rootless Skylar considering a permanent move from Houston, her own buried high school crush coming back. But Matt’s not giving up easily – and he has a rich family backing him up and providing him with the resources he needs to harass Skylar. Can Danny save the day?
A Cowboy Like You’s saving grace is its hero. Silent, solid, steady cowboy Danny is a great guy, and he’s a devoted and romantic type to boot. Readers will swoon over him all day and all night as he earns his woman’s love.
But then there’s Skylar, who never feels really worthy of Danny’s attention. While I like that, of the two of them, she’s the one with the long sexual past, and I like that she’s independent. But she makes so many foolish mistakes when she knows she’s being stalked, which results in Danny having to leap in to protect her – sometimes to his own detriment, and the very last foolish decision she makes ends with a bullet lodged in her body. She seems less invested in Danny than he is her – her having gotten on with her life and, while sparing him an occasional thought, enjoying life in Houston. When a man’s waiting for a woman his entire life and she’s been waiting for him since last night, there’s a discrepancy there.
Skylar and Danny are pleasant enough together, but their romance moves far too rapidly to be real. I know they’ve harbored a long-term simmering mutual crush, but even simmering cushes take a while to reach full boil. They’re already having sex thirty-three pages in, only a little over a few weeks after meeting again which was, frankly, too quick to be believed. The book spans from December 2nd to Christmas Eve, and ends…well, I sense you can all guess that. But it’s too fast-moving to be believed.
There’s also the unanswered question of how city girl Skylar will fully adjust – without her trauma guiding her – to life in her small hometown. It felt as if circumstances had almost forced her into the situation, and though she didn’t mind dealing with them in the end they weren’t ideal ones.
A Cowboy Like You is a cozy, nice average read – not DIK-worthy or particularly exceptional, but a pleasant enough distraction.
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