Monday, February 27, 2012

So That You Don't Have To

My husband and I were talking about books and reviewing the other night.  I was reading a review book that I really, really wanted to like, but the author was making it so hard for me that it was essentially a losing proposition.

"Why do I read these things?" I asked in disgust.

"So that others don't have to," he replied, and his response struck me as the truth. 

It's also helping me get through books that I know I'll be panning.  Often this happens halfway through and there seems to be no way for the author to recoup from all the losses to either the characters or the plot, or both.

A case in point is The Last Cowboy by Lyndsay McKenna.  McKenna probably heard how rugged, testosterone-driven men are the staples of Western romances.  So she piled on macho posturing, troubles galore, and manly spirit.  It's as if a cook says she likes chocolate, so she mixex every kind of chocolate she can find--liquid and solid--into a cake pan combined with powered cocoa and calls it a cake.  Not only does it look awful but it tastes worse. 

McKenna's novel is all the tropes about cowboy romances written to their maximum.  Only a reviewer would read the first hundred pages about a mean-spirited cowboy and keep reading and hoping for him to become the hero.

The good news about this book, however, is maybe now that McKenna has written about the Last Cowboy, she'll write about something, anything else in the future.

Sadly, this is the best Western romance cover I've seen in quite a while.  I only wish the inside were as wonderful as the outside.

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