Title: The Cowboy and the City Slicker
Author: Bonnie Dee
Release Date: March 19, 2019
Genre(s): Contemporary Western Romance
Page Count: 158
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Can a fish out of water find a home on the range?
Alex Wheeler arrives in Arizona with a job to do—convince Matthew Parsons to sell his guest ranch to an Americana-themed resort chain. A landscape filled with nothing but cactus and cattle promises a dull week, until he meets the strong, silent cowboy who lassoes his interest. Alex begins to fall for Matthew’s quiet charm, gentlemanly ways, and hidden sweetness. As their friendship and attraction deepen from casual to intense, Alex delays revealing his agenda.
Matthew Parsons has one wish—to keep his family heritage intact despite financial hard times. He has convinced himself his life isn’t lonely, until a dynamic, animated, upbeat stranger erupts into his solitude and breaks down his barriers. Against all odds, a man he could actually grow to care for has come to the middle of nowhere like a gift just for him. Even knowing Alex must soon leave, Matthew can’t help falling a little bit in love.
When the truth comes out and harsh realities must be faced, their budding relationship is trampled. But a bruised bloom may be nurtured back to life even in the harsh desert.
Alex Wheeler arrives at Matthew Parson’s family / guest ranch with an ulterior motive – to see if the property is suitable for Homespun Vacations’ collection of small speciality destinations. Matthew’s ranch has been in his family for generations and he’s facing bankruptcy hence his decision to have paying guests at the ranch. Alex is immediately smitten with Matthew, and Matthew with Alex, so Alex is reluctant to tell Matthew the real reason for his solo visit to Rancho Verde.
The author does a good job of setting the scene, with a lot of details about the ranch and its desert surrounding, and briefly fleshing out the guests at the ranch (a honeymooning couple and a family with adventurous boys) as well as Lucy (the cook) and her husband Bart who tends to the animals and guests. As Alex interacts with his fellow guests, Matthew finds himself more and more interested in this charming, friendly, attractive man; however, I didn’t really feel a strong sexual sizzle between the two men. I appreciate that each man is mature and really thinks long and hard about all the possibilities and potential downfalls of their situation, but I really longed for a bit of spontaneous passion in order to become captivated by their romance.
Also, although the book is fairly short (under 160 pages), the pace of the story seemed to lag at times … perhaps because the main focus of the book is “will Matthew” or “won’t Matthew” sell the ranch to Homespun Vacations and until he reaches that decision toward the end of the book, it feels like we are just waiting from something to happen. But I enjoyed the ending and especially the epilogue, which gives us a very satisfying HEA for Matthew and Alex. I would definitely recommend “The Cowboy and the City Slicker” if you are looking for a light relatively angst-free in an interesting setting. 3.5 stars.