I used to be a huge fan of vampire fiction but I have to admit that a certain fatigue has set in with regards to this particular mythical being as there have been too many novels in recent years that feature vampires that are brooding and just plain not fun. I still look to find original stories that can spark my old interest and decided to take a change on “The Cowboy and the Vampire: A Very Unusual Romance” by Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall hoping to find a novel full of vampire mayhem.
Tucker is a cowboy from Lone Pine, Wyoming, who wants nothing more than to lead the simple life that he has always known. Lizzie is a reporter from New York who is looking to interview a real cowboy and thus is introduced to Tucker. Even though the two are worlds apart in their lifestyles, they immediately feel a connection that quickly becomes love and they feel as if they cannot live without each other. Unfortunately, their contrasting backgrounds is the least of their differences.
Lizzie has a secret in her blood that goes back to the dawn of creation. She is of the sacred bloodline of vampires and she could unwittingly bring about the end of the world (for humans, at least). Every 700 years, a new vampire queen comes along who holds the key to power enough for the vampires to take over the world. Julius, who has been waiting for 700 years since he was beat before he could use the last queen, kidnaps Lizzie and turns her into a vampire. Now Tucker and Lizzie, along with Lizzie’s mysterious vampire benefactors who oppose Julius, must try to prevent Julius from gaining this power and destroying the world. In the face of a superior opponent, the couple can only hope that their love is enough to get them through.
“The Cowboy and the Vampire” is billed as a vampire romance and I guess there are some elements of a romance novel here but it really is not much of a romance novel at all. There are several times in which Tucker and Lizzie give in to their passion but these are not detailed and explicit. It just gets ready to happen and the story moves along. Their love for each other is a key element in the story but, again, it is not really dwelled upon to the extent that I would consider this to be a romance novel. Instead, it is just a novel that centers on a couple. If you are looking for what I would consider a romance novel, then this really is not the book you are looking for.
This novel is a fun read that has just enough of a backstory to make it believable and rise above many of the other vampire novels that I have read recently. The vampires in this story run the gauntlet with Lizzie being the new vampire trying to find her place in the world, Lazarus is the long-suffering vampire of the brooding type, and Julius revels in his power and is pure evil. I found that mix interesting and it kept the story from being bogged down. There is a lot of action and some laughs in the book, as well as that dash of romance, which keeps the story moving along and prevents the reader from becoming bored. While this is by no means a great book, I did enjoy reading it and will definitely give the sequel a read as well.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Pumpjack Press for this review copy. “The Cowboy and the Vampire: A Very Unusual Romance” is available now.