Readers Roundtable's Reviews > Heart of a Cowboy

Heart of a Cowboy by Missy Lyons
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Jan 23, 11

Read in January, 2011

Jaymes’ Review:

Heart of a Cowboy is a nice book but missing, in my opinion, a few pieces that would have made it an amazing story.

After reading the summary, I thought this could be interesting. But as I read it I became lost in a disjointed timeline, confusing pieces of background information and the lack of background on key characters and elements of the story.

Derek is a down-on-his-luck prostitute who resorts to robbery to eat. He’s arrested and taken to jail. Angela, the victim, feels sorry for him and wants to help. She convinces Jesse, her rancher boyfriend, to bail him out and have Derek work on the ranch to pay off his debt. This is when the timeline first becomes distorted to me. The way it sounds is that Derek won’t be arraigned until after the holidays which I assumed as a reader were imminent.

The story picks up again with Derek arriving at the ranch and being shown around by Luke, one of the other cowboys, and he meets Ishwar, who was also there the night Derek was arrested, and Beau, Angela’s brother. Derek is instantly attracted to Ishwar but keeps this to himself until he’s beaten up by a homophobic ranch hand named Bo. As Ishwar tries to help Derek after a fight with Bo, Derek acts on his attraction and finds his feelings returned. Ishwar takes Derek out for a ride and they encounter a cow that has been killed. Ishwar knows this is no attack by a wild animal but one by a creature from his tribal histories. Again the timeline takes a strange turn and the flow of the story fluctuates.

Derek thinks Ishwar is avoiding him and goes to a local bar to see if Ishwar is there. While there he is attacked by Bo again but this time he’s saved by Lucas, the local alpha of the Wendigo, the creatures Ishwar warns his tribe about. Lucas helps Derek and they spend the night together. Here again time and flow become confusing because as Derek is heading home, not to the ranch, he’s found by Ishwar and the two make love for the first time.

This is where I became totally confused by the timeline. There are references to Derek having been at the ranch for a few weeks when it actually feels like a few days. Derek’s strained past is scattered throughout the story but it seems almost like it was put in as an afterthought. It breaks up the flow of the story even more. Also his relationships with Ishwar and Lucas seem to happen almost as if they weren’t totally planned.

I read this book twice to make sense of it. Some parts I read more than twice because there wasn’t a cohesiveness to them.

I wanted to root for Derek and his men but I felt lost and confused. If more of the background had been explained or explored, their relationship would have flowed more seamlessly.

I would like to read more of Missy Lyons to get a better picture of her work.

Rated 2 1/2 Gold Crowns by Jaymes!
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