Title: The Last Cowboy by Lindsay McKenna
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: C
Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley
The iconic Cowboy: Pure alpha male, fiercely protective of all he holds dear. The last of a dying breed. Otherwise known as a pain in the rear.
City girl. It was written all over her like a sign warning him to keep off. Sure, Slade McPherson would train her horse… With his ranch one bad day away from foreclosure, he can’t afford to turn away a paying customer. But no way is this cowboy getting involved with a woman like Jordana Lawton—no matter how pretty she looks in a saddle.
Yet everything can change in an instant. A terrifying run-in with an angry bull tilts Slade’s world off its axis, leaving him wounded and unable to compete in a race that could change his future, for good. With Jordana by his side, he just might stand a chance. But what happens when this old-school cowboy finds himself falling for a modern city girl?
With The Last Cowboy, Lindsay McKenna has created a heartwarming love story centered around the world of endurance racing. Throw in the return of a long-lost twin brother along with some emotional baggage from the main protagonists and you’ve got all the essentials for a fast-paced and engaging novel.
Jordana Lawton and Slade McPherson are finely crafted characters. Jordana is incredibly kind-hearted and empathetic, and she clearly sees the wounded man hidden behind Slade McPherson’s gruff exterior. Burned in a bitter divorce, Slade closely guards his heart as he teeters on the brink of losing his ranch. When circumstances throw this unlikely duo together, Slade’s perception of Jordana changes when she selflessly lends him the assistance he needs to save his ranch.
The reappearance of Slade’s estranged brother, Griff, provides added tension and conflict to The Last Cowboy. Slade is unyielding in his contempt and dislike for his twin brother. Griff is definitely a fish out of water as he attempts to begin a new life in the west. Jordana is sympathetic to his plight, and she attempts to smooth over some of the brother’s differences.
While the endurance racing aspect of The Last Cowboy is interesting and very informative, it overpowers the novel at times. The chemistry between Slade and Jordana is strong, but their romance feels a bit rushed and underdeveloped. I found the subplot with Slade’s neighbor predictable and superfluous. The story arc with Griff provides added tension and it reveals many facets of Slade and Jordana’s personalities.
The Last Cowboy is a sweet romance with likeable characters and an intriguing plot. With the conflict between Slade and Griff unresolved, I am crossing my fingers that Lindsay McKenna is planning to write Griff’s story next!