Tuesday, November 22, 2016

ARC Review: Cowboys Don't Come Out by Tara Lain

Rand McIntyre settles for good enough. He loves his small California ranch, raising horses, and teaching riding to the kids he adores—but having kids of his own and someone to love means coming out, and that would jeopardize everything he’s built. Then, despite his terror of flying, he goes on a holiday to Hana, Hawaii, with his parents and meets the dark and mysterious Kai Kealoha, a genuine Hawaiian cowboy. Rand takes to Kai’s kid brother and sister as much as he drools over Kai, but the guy sports more prickles than a horned toad and more secrets than the exotic land he comes from.

Kai’s earned his privacy and lives to protect his “kids.” He ought to stay away from the big, handsome cowboy for everyone’s sake—but since the guy’s just a haole on a short vacation, how much damage can he do? When all of Kai’s worst fears and Rand’s darkest nightmares come true at once, there’s not much chance for two cowboys who can’t—or won’t—come out.

Jewel's rating:

I saw Cowboys Don't Come Out and immediately thought-- "Hawaiian cowboy and California cowboy? Sign me up!" But...well, it didn't work for me as well as I hoped it would. And that makes me sad, because I think it could have been awesome.

The story concept, two cowboys who have stayed closeted for whatever reasons, find each other and discover that they can't live without one another, I really really like. And the setting, in Hawaii, appeals to me quite a lot, I mean, why wouldn't it? So, why didn't this story work for me?

Well, the first half of the book was paced way too slow. All the repetitive inner dialogue, the meddling mom, the distraction of a girl to throw mom off the trail...all that just about killed me. The second half of the book was, in some respects, better for me, but then we get not one, but two huge doses of melodrama. Just when I was enjoying things, too. And they just seemed so pointless, and seemed to serve only to add conflict, where there was already plenty with said stubborn cowboys. And that doesn't even address the insta-love and the wrap up - which was way too much way too fast.

There was potential here, but for me, that potential wasn't met. You might like the story better, though, so if the blurb appeals to you and you like this author, give it a try. Even though it didn't work well for me, it might be better for you.

ARC of Cowboys Don't Come Out was generously provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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