Review: One Fine Cowboy by Joanne Kennedy

Cover of One Fine Cowboy by Joanne KennedyOne Fine Cowboy by Joanne Kennedy
Sourcebooks Casablanca, ISBN: 978-1-4022-3670-9, pages 416
(List: $6.99 / Amazon: $6.99 / Kindle: $4.79).

Charlie Banks is a graduate student in psychology who is looking to do research on non-verbal communication, especially between species.  Her advisor has sent her to a clinic at Latigo Ranch with Nate Shawcross who is a horse whisperer.   It seemed like a great idea to Charlie except that the ranch is out in the middle of nowhere Wyoming, with no sizable town, let alone a city, for miles in any direction, and she’s a city girl through and through.   Of course her car breaks down just short of the ranch. Luckily, a cowboy stops by to offer assistance.

Nate Shawcross, her cowboy rescuer and the owner of Latigo Ranch, doesn’t know a thing about the clinic, or the people who signed up.  Seems his girlfriend wrote the brochures, sent then out, collected the deposits, and then wiped out his bank accounts, took the deposits, and left for Denver.  Charlie, of course, is attracted to Nate in spite of herself, and steps in to help him out.   Luckily the other three guests are understanding and more interested in learning to work with the horses than in having a fancy dude ranch experience.

Being a novel,   the readers, know that that’s not the end of Nate’s problems or Charlie’s or the last we’ll see or hear of Nate’s ex-girlfriend, Sandy.  In fact, as a romance this story is predictable; however, that doesn’t take away from the fact that the story is absorbing.  Kennedy manages to stay to the usual tropes of romance writing but give as an intriguing story of people and relationships on many levels.

“No one is an island” said John Donne, and that is still true today and in this story.  Each character acts upon the others and together that forms a community that supports and helps them to cope with their problems and issues rather than retreating into isolation.  Charlie being a graduate student in psychology is not simply a device to get the character out to a ranch in Wyoming, but a choice that allows the author to explore relationships a bit deeper within the story.  It also brings up the question of what is the best use of a person’s talents.  Aren’t the people who work quietly in the background making contributions to society as much, or even more than those on the public stage?  (Discuss among yourselves after you finish the book or bring your thoughts here and share.)

Whether you’re looking for a typical romance or a story that has people dealing with real problems then give Joanne Kennedy’s One Fine Cowboy a try.

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