by Carolyn Brown
Series: Spikes & Spurs #1
Published by Tantor Audio on September 3, 2012
Sub-Genre/Theme: Contemporary, Cowboys
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High-powered career woman Austin Lanier suddenly finds herself saddled with an inherited watermelon farm deep in the countryside. She's determined to sell the farm, until her new, drop-dead sexy neighbor Rye O'Donnell shows up.
Rancher Rye O'Donnell thinks he's going to get a good deal on his dream property - until he meets the fiery new owner. Rye is knocked sideways when he realizes that not only is Granny Lanier's city-slicker granddaughter a savvy businesswoman, she's also sexy as hell. Suddenly Rye is a whole lot less interested in real estate and a whole lot more focused on getting Austin to set aside her stiletto heels.
Love Drunk Cowboy is book #1 in Carolyn Brown’s Spikes & Spurs series. I enjoyed some parts of this story, but overall felt that it ran overly long due to unnecessary details. I also had some issues with the dialogue, which strayed toward the silly, especially during some of the bedroom talk and flirtatious scenes.
Austin is a corporate executive for an oil company in Tulsa, OK. Austin’s beloved grandmother has passed away and left her a watermelon farm in Texas. After she inherits the farm, Austin intends on selling it to her grandmother’s neighbor, Rye. Austin and Rye spend approximately six months talking on the phone, but haven’t met in person yet.
When it’s time to scatter her grandmother’s ashes, Austin and Rye finally meet. To Austin’s great surprise, Rye is not an older man close to her grandmother’s age–instead, he’s a 30-something hot cowboy. (Wouldn’t she have been able to tell this over the phone? The voice of a 30-year-old generally does not sound like the voice of a 70-year-old, I’m just saying.)
Rye is a cattle rancher and occasionally rides rodeo. When he sees Austin for the first time, he is indeed love drunk. Likewise, Austin is instantly attracted to Rye.
What follows next is a very long, drawn-out courtship between the two. I was all in favor of them getting to know each other, but by the time they finally end up having sex, it’s wham bam, thank you ma’am. I didn’t understand why there would be so much elongated build-up to their romance, only to glaze over the first sex scene. This struck me as quite odd, since the author goes into very descriptive detail about other things.
For example, there’s a scene that describes a picnic, down to the homemade bread, cheese, and watermelon wine. There’s also another scene when they go out to eat and discuss how they both like their steak medium rare with the outside blackened. Why do I need to know these things as a reader? How is this important? Right, it’s not. Yet I felt that I knew more about their dietary habits than why they were so fond of each other.
Having said that, I did find certain things about the book likable. I’m always a fan of small town settings. For the most part, the residents are charming, with the exception of some of the older ladies whose comments border on inappropriate at times. I liked Rye well enough, as well as Austin. I just needed more believability when it came to what they saw in each other and why it mattered so much.
Rye has several siblings, but for some reason his sister Colleen hates Austin from the start. I’m still not sure why she had so much animosity toward her. It seemed random.
Something else that felt unnecessary was a subplot toward the end involving mistaken identity and false arrest. I have no clue what purpose this served, other than to lengthen the book and perhaps offer some comedy relief. Again, though, it felt like random filler.
Lastly, something that really bugged me is the awkward dialogue between Austin and Rye after they’ve started sleeping together. Their flirting and “dirty” talk didn’t strike me as very sexy at all. Rather, it seemed like what older folks think that younger people say to each other. But it just comes across as very corny and not sexy.
Overall, I didn’t love this book. I think it had the potential to be really charming and fun, but it got bogged down in needless details about miscellany, rather than required details about the romance itself. I doubt I’ll be reading the rest of this series and wouldn’t recommend this one.
Rating: 2.5 stars