A Cowboy to Remember
It’s been a while since I read a good cowboy romance, and I was starting to miss them. When I saw A Cowboy to Remember getting buzz on Twitter, it caught my fancy. Friends-to-lovers and second chance at love are my two favorite tropes, and this book has some of both going on in it along with the main amnesia plot. While I occasionally had trouble with the pacing, this novel turned out to be a delightful, lively read.
Amnesia plots are difficult to pull off, but Weatherspoon does an excellent job here. The book opens with a glimpse of Evie Buchanan prior to her memory loss. She’s on top of the world, a successful celebrity chef with her own show and a devoted following. While at an industry party, she takes a dramatic tumble down the stairs and awakens with no memory of her past. Her only known family, her parents and grandmother, are all dead and the man listed in her emergency contacts is someone from her childhood whom her assistant knows to contact only if things truly are dire.
Evie’s agent, assistant and closest friend decide things really have reached that point, so they call. And Evie’s childhood friends, Jesse and Zach Pleasant, drop everything on Christmas and fly out to the rescue. Since Evie is both recognizable and lacking her memory, her friends realise her vulnerability at once. They want her to recover, but she needs to be away from New York in order to preserve her privacy and keep her amnesia from becoming known.
So the Pleasant brothers fly Evie out to the family guest ranch in California. We learn over the course of the story that not only was Evie raised by her beloved grandmother, but that she grew up at the ranch alongside the Pleasant brothers and their family. In addition, Evie’s dreams and intuition tell her that she has some kind of history with Zach in particular.
This part of the story works quite well. Not only has Evie lost her memory of events, but also her memory of skills, so we see her relearning how to cook and figuring out what to make of life. In the midst of all this, we also see her interacting with people with whom she has a shared history. That’s the part of the story that actually convinced me that the hero would be a decent guy. Evie has no memory, but Zach doesn’t take unfair advantage nor does he lie to Evie about her past.
This book is most definitely a romance, but it’s also a good story about relationships in general. We get to see lots of interplay between the Pleasant brothers, their grandmother Miss Leona, as well as plenty of scenes involving Evie, her friends and the various family members. This is clearly a loving family, and even if Evie does not remember it for most of the book, it’s obvious that this family has loved Evie for years. We also figure out early on that Evie and Zach have some unfinished business from their past.
Getting to the romance, Zach and Evie have chemistry that is apparent right off the bat. However, given her condition, things develop very slowly between them. Zach lets Evie take the lead, and I liked that. I’ve read too many romances where the hero basically pounces on the recently traumatized heroine, and that just does not work for me. Zach lets Evie have all the time she needs, and frankly, that made their initial love scene very sexy.
Compared to all that is good in this novel, my quibbles are on the smaller side. The main one had to do with pacing. The first two thirds of the book flows very well. However, toward the end, all the various plot threads get wrapped up so quickly that it felt a little disjointed. This was exacerbated by the jumps in action between California and Evie’s connections in New York. Sometimes the shifts in action took place so rapidly that as a reader, I almost felt a bit disoriented because one minute we would be at the Pleasants’ ranch and then the next, we’re with Evie’s agent in New York with little to no transition between scenes.
If you like a good Western, or simply like a story that leaves you with the warm fuzzies, I’d recommend checking out A Cowboy to Remember. This book is first in a series, and I cannot wait to revisit this family.