The Cowboy and the Vampire: Blood and Whiskey
by Clark Hays & Kathleen McFalls
I did not receive an ARC of this book, but liked the first book well enough, and am anal enough to read a series in order (I received ARC's of the first and third books), so I picked this up at amazon.
This book jumps right in after The Cowboy and the Vampire: A Very Unusual Romance. (IF you haven't read the first book you are going to want to stop right here and go back-major spoilers ahead)
We have Lizzie Vaughn the reluctant vampire queen and her erstwhile cowboy lover Tucker. Following the epic and tragic conclusion of the first book, they have returned to Lonepine, Wyoming to settle down with their impending family. Lizzie is still struggling with her new nature, including the fact that she will have to drink blood and kill. And Tucker is still struggling over basically everything, impending fatherhood, Lizzie's new nature, and his own mortality in comparison to Lizzie's immortality. Right when things seemed to be settling down, chaos ensues. Lennie needs a favor, finding his missing niece who has been kidnapped. And just when they are headed out, Rurik, a mysterious and powerful vampire pops up out of the woodwork to enlighten Lizzie on just how precarious the vampire situation is; if she can't turn more vampires, the whole balance of the world will be destroyed. Events are a whole lot more complicated than any of them were expecting challenging love, friendships, and loyalty.
This story maintained it's dark humor but showed us a whole more politically savvy side to Lizzie. The writing seemed a lot smoother and more polished than the first book, or maybe I just got used to it, but I didn't struggle as much to determine whose POV I was looking through. What worked for me was the snarky dialogue, Marion (Dad), Lennie, Elita, and the love and devotion between Lizzie and Tucker. I also enjoy how this series blends evolution, morality, ethics, and politics. What didn't work for me was the set up for a love triangle with Rurik coming between the two, I am just not a fan of this trope and I can see potential for this to be truly miserable.
Lizzie proved herself to the vampire nation in a most surprising way, heartbreak ensues for all the characters, and Lizzie and Tucker's relationship ends on a solid high point.
Another solid 4 stars for this unlikely duo.