Small rancher Matthew Parsons is in danger of losing his family legacy, despite his best efforts. He’s even turned Rancho Verde into a guest property, but it doesn’t seem to be helping much. His ranch offerings are pretty basic and Matthew isn’t much of a people person. So when Alex Wheeler shows up for a week’s vacation, Matthew is a bit shocked to find himself so taken by his new guest. They seem to click on about every level despite their widely different backgrounds.
When Alex arrives at Rancho Verde, he assumes it won’t be any different than his other assignments. It’s his job to scout potential properties for acquisition by Homespun Vacations. And while Rancho Verde needs a lot of work, Alex sees its potential as a popular vacation destination. Even more attractive is the ranch’s owner, who seems skittish but worth the pursuit. But when the reality of Alex’s purpose is brought to light, he has to decide if loving Matthew is worth taking the biggest risk of his life.
I’ve been a fan of Bonnie Dee in the past, but I’ve struggled to connect with some of her more recent works and, unfortunately, The Cowboy and the City Slicker is no exception. The plot is rather bland and utterly predictable. Additionally, the characters fail to morph into multi-dimensional creations. They feel flat and rather ordinary. Dee has a distinctive and familiar voice that I appreciate as a reader, but despite that and the decent pacing, The Cowboy and the City Slicker struggled from page one.
The plot is is too predictable and we know right from the beginning how things will play out between Matthew and Alex. There’s nothing here that feels fresh or even particularly exciting. I don’t mind a bit of choreographing when it comes to my books, but when there’s nothing else to bolster that, things tend to end up being pretty boring.
It doesn’t help that Matthew and Alex are so blah themselves. They don’t have any real spark between them and that shortage of chemistry is fed by a further lack of definition. The author did give each man some interesting aspects, like Matthew’s fondness for cozy mysteries, but there just isn’t enough scaffolding to either character to allow them real definition. They don’t possess enough substance to ever materialize on page.
I wanted to enjoy The Cowboy and the City Slicker a lot more than I did. I’ve enjoyed a lot of Bonnie Dee’s work in the past, but this one failed to resonate with me. The plot was fairly blasé and the characters didn’t have enough depth to bolster the book. As a result, the whole thing felt rather flimsy and wanting in substance. I’d have to recommend giving this one a pass.