Love Drunk Cowboy
This sounded like a cute, fun, contemporary romance with a city girl falling for a rural cowboy. While the basic plot holds, I didn’t find it remotely cute or fun. With too little character development, too many folksy sayings, and a clear “big cities are bad/rural areas are wonderful” bias, I just can’t recommend it.
Austin Lanier’s grandmother died six months earlier, leaving Austin with all her worldly goods, including a watermelon farm in rural Terral, Oklahoma. Her grandmother requested that her ashes be spread right before Easter, six months after her death. Over the ensuing months, Austin talked weekly with Rye O’Donnell, her grandmother’s neighbor, and a man she assumes is elderly. Austin is shocked when she gets her first look at Rye, and discovers he’s a hot young man.
One look at Austin, and Rye is in love, or “love drunk,” and proceeds to act like a bumbling idiot for much of the book. As Austin tries to clean and pack up her grandmother’s home, Rye pursues her, invading her home to cook breakfast, decorate Easter eggs, and any other activity he can think of. Austin quickly becomes entranced with life in Terral, her grandmother’s watermelon wine business, and most importantly, Rye, none of which fit with her plans to return to her job as an oil executive in Tulsa.
For a big city woman, Austin’s language sounds just as folksy as Rye’s, and just doesn’t fit with her background or age. She sounds more like an elderly, isolated rural woman, than a 30-something big city woman raised by wealthy parents. At one point her mother calls and accuses Austin of becoming a redneck. But truly, other than having a pair of high heels with her, there’s nothing that seems particularly “city” about Austin.
The author is clearly going for the country western audience. Austin and Rye dance to country music, and think about country music. I didn’t have problems with that, but found the language too much. Nothing is worded simply. Rye or Austin will speak one sentence, and then their feelings will be described excessively, using convoluted, quirky phrases.
There were some odd discontinuities in dialog, that I hope only appear in the ARC, and not the final version. I’m also puzzled as to whether Austin is a brunette (since she looked like all of her dark-haired relatives) or a blonde (because her hair became even lighter than usual after being out in the sun for days).
I enjoy romances set in small towns and rural areas, but this is one of those big cities are bad, small towns are wonderful books. Austin’s relatives in Tulsa come off as shrill and shallow. Unfortunately, the author did nothing to convince me that rural Terral was any better. Most of the characters came off as caricatures, and not particularly appealing ones at that.
I found this an unbearably slow read. The author used so many folksy sayings, that I often became lost in them. If you stripped away all of the “cutsey/rural” sayings, there just wasn’t enough left. I did love the book’s cover. It’s fun, sexy, and cute; everything the book isn’t.