Desert Isle Keeper
Cowboy Charming is a fitting capper to Dylann Crush’s stories about the extremely quirky town of Holiday, Texas. At turns extremely funny and filled with rip-roaring action, there’s a loose-limbed feeling to the whole enterprise that’s extremely appealing.
Preacher’s daughter Dixie King is spending her life slinging beer to cowboys and their cowgirls at the Rambling Rose. Presley Walker knows how to make her yearn for more, but Dixie’s decided she won’t go there – he only sees her as a friend, and he’s an impossible pain in the butt.
Then opportunity rears its head. Her boss puts her in charge of the Rose for a few weeks after a road accident, a runaway pig and injured family require his presence elsewhere. But Dixie can handle it – and running the Rose’s first ever chili cook-off and all of its attendant festivities – all by herself. Yet this will mean working directly with Presley, who uses the chance to flirt with her shamelessly while trying to care for an ornery pig named Ham Bone, the latest addition to the Rambling Rose’s coterie of porcine boarders.
Presley has always enjoyed winding Dixie up – which is why an unexpected kiss between them shocks him from the top of his head to the tips of his cowboy boots. Oh no – he enjoys teasing her until her cheeks turn red, but doesn’t expect her to give him the tingles in return! When Dixie turns to him for help learning the art of seduction so she can use it to charm a California-based land developer out of information about his plans for a plot of land next to the Rose, all bets are suddenly off. Can Dixie talk the investor into moving elsewhere and save the Rose, or will they need divine intervention?
Cowboy Charming is definitely a rib-tickling comedy first and foremost, though its sparky, sassy romance is definitely going to be a solid crowd pleaser for lovers of western romance. It’s fast-paced and stuffed with silliness and action – I really enjoyed how out there it got, and how it played with southern romance tropes while having a ton of great time on its own.
Dixie and Presley are both a lot of fun. While Dixie seems like a good girl, she’s got her wild streak – and she’s smart and ambitious to boot. Presley is a rogue but the kind of rogue who’s caring and quick on his feet. They’re delightful together, one heck of a pairing.
I have to give Dylann Crush a lot of credit – she knows how to blend humor and sentiment very well. The chili cook-off portions of the book are hilarious and she has a real verve for the small-town, somewhat redneck-y feeling of southern life that really works for the series and provides belly laughs for the reader. I loved the subplot with Dixie trying to reel in her outrageous grandmother, and anything having to do with Presley’s book-long struggle with Ham Bone. There are some engaging characters to be found – like toad-obsessed Kermit, who becomes involved with Dixie’s Gram. The problem’s solved in an amusing way that employs classic southern tropes – and a climactic poker game!
Overall, Cowboy Charming is a fun, big-hearted romance that’s a really great little romp. Readers should dig its wacky hometown feel, and come back for seconds –or thirds
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Lisa Fernandes is a writer, reviewer and recapper who lives somewhere on the East Coast. Formerly employed by Firefox.org and Next Projection, she also currently contributes to Women Write About Comics. Read her blog at http://thatbouviergirl.blogspot.com/, follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/thatbouviergirl or contribute to her Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/MissyvsEvilDead or her Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com/missmelbouvier