The Cowboy and the Vampire: A Very Unusual Romance
by Clark Hays & Kathleen McFall
I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
This book was initially published in 1999, so if you were reading vampire romance before it was cool, you might want to double check your shelves and make sure you hadn't already picked it up. Fortunately for me, this was not something I had previously seen (small town libraries did not have this sort of fun when I grew up). This book was a wild ride even in today's market, so I can only imagine how wild it must have seemed 15 years ago.
Tucker is your any-man cowboy in Wyoming with his faithful horse Snort and his faithful dog Rex. Lizzie is an urbane and sophisticated New York City reporter. When they meet during an article she is writing on cowboys, irritation turns to attraction, attraction into lust, and lust into love. But when a different article she is writing, one on vampires, sets her on a dangerous path, she turns to the only man she feels like she can trust, Tucker. Because Lizzie harbors secrets, secrets that have even been hidden from herself. There's danger, drama, and change in this exciting and wild ride.
There's also a strong cast of secondary characters. Like Lennie, the paranoid conspiracy theorist who can create the most dangerous things using duct tape. For the record, in small rural towns, guys like this do exist, there's nothing coincidental about it. And Tucker's dad, a grizzled somewhat snarky older man. Or Lazarus, yes that Lazarus from the bible.
Overall the writing is really fairly good, my one issue is for the first half of the book it ping pongs between first person views and it can be a bit like whiplash trying to figure out whose eyes and head you are in.
The vampires of this world have a very interesting mythology complete with their own bible and prophesies and distant ways in which vampires can breed and feed. It's dark and funny with wicked insights into politics, ethics, and morality. It's is kind of like a darker and less vapid version of Maryjanice Davidson's Undead series, only with cowboys. Not like she ripped it off, but reading this made me seriously contemplate whether or not Davidson had read and been intrigued by this series prior to writing the Undead series.
A had a ball with this book and it rates a solid 4 stars. I couldn't wait to get my hands on the next book in this series.