Book Review: My Cowboy Heart by Z.A. Maxfield

My Cowboy Heart by Z.A. MaxfieldTitle: My Cowboy Heart
Author: Z.A. Maxfield
Genre: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: review copy provided by publisher
Published: August 20, 2013 by Intermix Penguin

J-Bar ranch foreman Malloy pretty much keeps to himself—slinking around the edges of everybody else like an old coyote, doing his job and staying private. That is until Crispin Carrasco shows up.

Lean, muscular, and with a motor mouth that won’t quit, Crispin sparks something in Malloy—something the foreman didn’t know was there. But how does a lone coyote approach the warmth of a fire? And more important, what would happen if that fire burned?

Reviewed By: J9

In a Nutshell: Good MM romance with strong secondary characters and not-just-sex plot. However, the characters’ issues weren’t developed and were just dropped in my opinion to pave the way for an easy HEA.

The Set Up: Ranch foreman, Malloy, is a lone wolf, doing his job and staying away from relationships—until Crispin joins his crew. Crispin is like a warm fire on a cold day and Malloy can’t resist this fiery man but how can two cowboys build a life together?

Why I Read this Book: Two words: gay cowboys.

What I Liked: I liked both these characters. Crispin is a man with a big heart who stands by his convictions and has no filter between his brain and his mouth. Yes, this means he says hurtful things but he owns them when he does and I liked this character. Malloy is the classic stereotype silent cowboy. His need to protect himself emotionally was believable and had good backstory I sympathized with. It was a delight to read Malloy’s bewilderment with his attraction to Crispin. I adored the humorous and heartfelt scene where Malloy asks his orthopedic surgeon about sexuality. (This scene alone may be worth the book’s price.) Crispin and Malloy are two well written, quirky characters that I wanted to find their contentment and love together. They had a romance that while erotic, was emotional too. Too often in MM romance the relationship is more sex than anything else but I didn’t feel that way here. Malloy and Crispin share their emotional vulnerabilities with each other and sometimes use sex to do so but it’s in the context of their entire relationship and I liked that.

What I Also Liked: The secondary characters were good here. Best of all was the ranch owners, Crandall and Emma. Even though Crandall and Emma are off-stage most of the book on vacation in Florida, their warmth and the ranch they’ve built to include lost souls is lovely to read. Even the other ranch hands, Eddie and Jim, are three dimensional characters with problems and issues but also camaraderie and kindness.

What I Didn’t Like: My huge complaint with this book is that both Malloy and Crispin have deep issues left over from childhood. Crispin’s are so severe that it affects his sleep and his behavior; he lashes out at Malloy and simply falls apart in one scene. He shares why with Malloy and even Malloy suggests he get professional help. But this subject is NEVER brought up again. The men aren’t even involved in a relationship at the time Crispin share’s his past trauma and it’s a huge issue so I can’t imagine that something this large just goes away. Likewise, Malloy has issues with abandonment and he and Crispin don’t discuss this in the context of their relationship. I was deeply disappointed that the author would create these complex characters with life issues and then simply drop them so the leads could have a quick HEA.

IMO: I liked the two leads and the setting of this book but was disappointed at the quick, neat relationship conclusion that didn’t do justice to the leads’ issues, in my opinion.

J9’s Rating:
3 Frogs

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About J9: Vegan. Avid runner. Android addict. Never without a book in hand. Currently devouring MM romance but reads historial romance and paranormal romance as well. Follow J9 on Twitter.


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