Reviewed by Elizabetta

My Cowboy HeartTITLE: My Cowboy Heart
AUTHOR: Z. A. Maxfield
PUBLISHER: Intermix Publishing
LENGTH: 266 pages
BLURB: J-Bar ranch foreman Malloy pretty much keeps to himself—slinking around the edges of everybody else like an old coyote, doing his job and staying private. That is until Crispin Carrasco shows up.

Lean, muscular, and with a motor mouth that won’t quit, Crispin sparks something in Malloy—something the foreman didn’t know was there. But how does a lone coyote approach the warmth of a fire? And more important, what would happen if that fire burned?

REVIEW:

This is pure and simple, a sweet, romantic love story with at its heart, a theme of second chances. Crandall and Emma Jenkins are the big-hearted ranch owners who take in stray boys and men in need of help. They give them jobs on the ranch and teach them how to rebuild their lives. Nurturing with nature and compassion.

Malloy came to them as a young boy, troubled and hurting from neglect. He is now their foreman, almost a part of the family. At thirty-two years old, though, Malloy has made the ranch his life’s focus as he tries to live up to the Jenkins’ faith and trust in him. To him, this also means shutting himself off to any other serious commitment. Faithful and loyal, strong and silent… that’s Malloy.

Crispin, younger and at loose ends, seems to be the latest project. He is openly and colorfully gay and has had his own passel of troubles. He’s a motor mouth when he’s nervous, yet he can light up a room with his high voltage smile. These two would seem to make an unlikely alliance but there is something that sparks between them.

“This kid’s thoughts seemed to gallop along like a herd of wild horses. I could maybe get close enough to catch one every other minute or so… I think Crispin used talking, at least with people, as a way of disarming them so he could listen to them with his heart.” — Malloy

Can two opposites attract? Well, under Maxfield’s skilled pen, we’re witnessed to an up and down courtship. Crispin offers Malloy friendship and they slowly build trust. There isn’t much tension in their story. There are two other ranch hands, one gay and the other seemingly in the closet, who stir up some trouble but nothing that can’t be handled. Maxfield even manages to poke a little fun at all four ranch hands being gay. She also delivers a lovely sense of protective place on the Jenkins’ land; it is easy to believe that it can heal all these bruised souls.

The strength of the story lies in the author’s ability to make these two very different guys and their connection believable. For a while there, I admit to having to suspend disbelief a bit. The sometimes overly sweet language and interaction between Malloy and Crispin took some adjusting to. There is an early scene where they have a conversation with each other through the Catrinas (skeleton dolls used in Mexican Day of the Dead ofrendas/offerings) that Crispin makes that elicited some eye-rolling. And, really, you have to buy that the crusty, emotionally shut-down Malloy who previously believed himself heterosexual, could be so moved by this lad in a very short period of time. But again… strength of storytelling, something I’ve come to expect from this author, and I get sucked in and pull for the guys anyway.

This novel was published by Intermix/Penguin Group. It’s great to see gay romance being picked up by mainstream publishing houses, however, I was surprised at the smattering of edit errors found in the text, and the e-book formatting, with broken sentences and no chapter breaks, was less than ideal. This didn’t stop me from reading though, and hopefully the publisher will clean this up in future editions.

Apparently there will be a sequel coming out focusing on the other ranch hands. Lots of good reading here for those who like sweet, uncomplicated cowboy love delivered with skill.

Elizabetta’s Rating: four-stars_0

BUY LINK: Book Store :: All Romance eBooks

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Elizabetta is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: ELIZABETTA’S REVIEWS
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COMING SOON!!

My Cowboy Heart Banner II

Z. A. Maxfield will be with us on August 21st, stopping by to promo “My Cowboy Heart”!!

Comments
  1. […] From the blog of Sid Love, “The strength of the story lies in the author’s ability to make these two very different guys and their connection believable.” Read HERE […]

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