Book Review: The Cowboy and the Vampire: A Very Unusual Romance by McFall and Hays

Tucker, a cowboy from Wyoming, though the biggest challenge in his relationship with Lizzie, a reporter from New York City, would be sharing his trailer when she came to visit. But he quickly learns that’s not the case when a vampire kidnaps Lizzie. It turns out that Lizzie holds the key to the new age for the undead, and an ancient vampire will stop at nothing to get his hands on her and her power. Can Tucker and Lizzie survive as the world around teeters on the edge of an all-out vampire war?

The storyline of The Cowboy and the Vampire: A Very Unusual Romance spanned from Wyoming to NYC and eventually back west to New Mexico. I liked how the movement between those places felt natural for the story. The authors established those locations early on in the book, so I didn’t question when the characters needed to head to those different locations. It also matched the rise and fall of the story.

Unfortunately, the story fell short pretty much everywhere else.

As a reader, I struggled to care about Lizzie or Tucker. There was nothing particularly unique about either of them. Yes, she had the power to change the way vampires and humans interact, and he loved her so much that he traveled across the country to save her. But I didn’t see anything that made them people I would remember after I finished the book. On top of that, they both made a lot of decisions that I didn’t agree with at all such as walking right into the bad guy’s trap over and over again.

Even in general in terms of the characters, Rex the dog happened to be my favorite. The others seemed like they embodied stereotypes. The power-hungry bad guy, the femme fatale, the repentant wise man, and the one-man militia. A few of them almost seemed like they were developing actual character traits toward the end of the book, but it never happened. I get the sense that the authors may be working on that in the sequels.

The authors changed the point of view character every chapter. I think that this was supposed to give me the chance to see the story from multiple angles, through the lens of good guys and bad. However it seemed like there was a lot of over-sharing. It ruined any tension or mystery that might have helped carry me through the book. I knew what would happen before it did more often than not.

Along those same lines, the point of view was inconsistent. It started off as first person from Tucker’s point of view, then became first person from Lizzie’s point of view, and then third person centering around the bad guy. That was okay. Until Lizzie’s point of view became third person and eventually Tucker’s became third person as well. However the narrator kept referring to Tucker’s father as Dad with a capital “D”, indicating that it was being told from his point of view.

The ending disappointed. I won’t give anything away, but it felt staged. Like why did I fight my way through this book for that?

I would caution anyone looking for a mystery/thriller or a romance that this isn’t the book for you. It’s more of a western with horror elements.

Rating: 

The Cowboy and the Vampire: A Very Unusual Romance by Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall is published as a paperback by the Independent Book Publishers Association.

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