Title: Cowboy Valentine
Author: Mia Hopkins
Series: Cowboy Cocktail #1
Genre: Hot Contemporary
Forget chocolate and flowers. This homegrown honey is all the sweetness he craves.
Small-town life is nothing but a waiting room for eighteen-year-old honor student Corazón Gomez. Work and school leave little time for love, but with a full-ride Ivy League scholarship and a one-way ticket out of the boondocks, who needs it?
The answer appears on Valentine’s Day when her old cowboy crush ambles into the ice cream parlor where she works, inviting her to go on a late-night ride in his truck. For the first time she wavers between staying on the straight and narrow, and going off-road with the handsome heartbreaker.
After four years working on ranches all over the country, Caleb MacKinnon is back on the family farm helping out his mom and brothers while his father fights cancer. The one bright spot: smart, funny, and wickedly sexy Cora.
From the start, they both know this blazing-hot love affair can’t last. But when autumn comes and Cora has to leave for the East Coast, Caleb must find a solution to keep himself—and his heart—from falling apart.
Warning: Contains hard, cherry-poppin’ sex in a pickup truck and a cowboy charmer who talks dirty in two languages.
Source: Review copy via NetGalley
Even though I enjoyed the second book in this series (Cowboy Resurrection) the story felt a little incomplete for me, having a really strong beginning and end but no middle, so I was interested to see if the first book suffered from the same thing. Good news! It definitely has a middle. Sadly, that’s about the only good thing I can say.
This isn’t a romance, it’s a story of sex. Essentially this book is three extended scenes about pivotal sex moments in Cora and Caleb’s relationship. There’s their first night together, the last few weeks of their summer, then when they meet up again. Each scene/chapter is set six months on from the last, and there is nothing in between. In fact there’s not a lot of anything beyond sex in this book. I had no idea what Cora was studying until right at the end, and her only goal seems to be to get out of Oleander. These two don’t talk, they know nothing about each other, except that they like rough sex, but apparently despite neither of them having any plans for a future or life or anything other than more sex, this is enough for love. Hm.
About that sex. There’s a lot of it in this book, which isn’t always a bad thing, except I found it all really unsexy. Not just because the first scene has unpleasantly rapey overtones either, though yeah, that really wasn’t fun to read as Caleb completely misses how much pain she’s in and that she’s crying as he flips her over. But it’s all fine, because suddenly she enjoys it! Eh. It’s all really crude and focuses on fluids a lot and his dirty talk was just… not sexy at all (or in two languages – I have no idea where the blurb got that from). There’s no intimacy and they’re all pretty quick encounters – until the last one which is a marathon that just keeps going as they try and tick off as many positions as possible (yawn). Yeah, it did nothing for me, and since that is all this book has it left me feeling let down by the whole thing.
If this hadn’t been so short, I definitely wouldn’t have finished it, and on the strength of this book alone I wouldn’t read any more in the series. As it is, I liked the second one but I’ll be thinking hard before reading the next.
Cowboy Valentine is Out Now.
Visit Mia Hopkins for more details.