Monday, 22 April 2013

Carolyn Anderson Jones – Cowgirl up! (1/5)



Genre: Romantic Suspense / Western Romance

This is the book for you if you like:

- Jealous heroes

Summary: (from author’s website)

Life on the Front Range of Colorado is never dull, especially with a spunky vet and a really hot cowboy in the mix.

Samantha Kendrick is a large animal vet in her small hometown of Fairview, and happy tending to her clients during the day and reading sizzling romance novels at night. Until Cheyenne Wells comes back into her life.

Samantha and Cheyenne have known each other since first grade, but it’s been a tenuous relationship that started when he yanked her ponytail and she punched him in the nose. Now Cheyenne is the head trainer and manager of the largest horse ranch in the west, and Samantha is called out to treat their prize stallion.

Their reunion ignites sparks of passion neither one is expecting. Though Sam resists at first, Cheyenne’s Native American magnetism draws her into his life, with some help from her mom and fate. Before she knows it Sam is drawn into a spidery web of evil. Together, Sam and Cheyenne must work to solve the mystery before it turns deadly.

It couldn’t get any worse for Sam, who up until then only pondered mysteries like, “Do cowboys really go commando?”

Thoughts on covers:

I actually think the cover is quite pretty! That sun-colour really catches the eye.


The title is okay. I don’t really see the connection to the book, however.


Cowgirl Up! is mostly about Samantha, Sam to almost anyone. She’s a vet who thinks she’s very plain and consistently compares herself unfavourably to every other girl she meets (Cheyenne has “a beautiful girl” working in his office, her best friend is a “gorgeous Hispanic with long dark hair, deep brown eyes and a killer body”…)

Then there’s Cheyenne, who is the love interest, and his characterization doesn’t really go any farther than that. His main characteristic seems to be ‘insanely jealous’, as he breaks off their relationship after Sam gets a call on her voice mail from another guy who seemed to be interested in her.

My favourite character just might have been Dundee, Sam’s dog.


Fairview, Colorado. A quick google search seems to indicate that Colorado is one of the few states that doesn’t have a Fairview (though it does have a Fairview Natural Area), so it’s a fair bet the town is fictional. It seems to be a pretty small town, with lots of ranches with dozens of acres. The town also have lots of immigrants who only speak Spanish.

General story:

I really struggled through this book.

There is no indication about whether Cheyenne and Sam would make a great couple. Are we to assume that every vet would easily build a relationship with an attractive cowboy? There’s a lot of sexual attraction, but that seems to be all there is. We’re supposed to believe in this romance between them, but there is none actually written. There is also this guy, Luke, who tries to seduce her with a plane and with being nice to her. But he is so obviously only there to get Cheyenne jealous; when he leaves and Cheyenne saves Sam at the end of the book, Luke isn’t even mentioned anymore.

The writing, too, annoyed me at a lot of places. There were completely random shifts in perspective at times; mostly when there’s a guy checking out Sam, the writing suddenly shifts to his POV for a couple of lines, then just as suddenly switches back. There were also very detailed, boring paragraphs detailing the background of every person we meet, without giving any information that would actually be of interest. And an actual scene of men walking into posts because they were so impressed by Sam and Isabelle trying on clothes.

I am pretty sure that this book could have been twice as short without losing any information, there was so much repetition. Then there was just the actual writing style, with sentences like:

“Sam sensed there were sparks flying between them because she could smell the man’s fear. It was sweat.”

I’m pretty sure she smelled the sweat and deduced it was fear?

“Have you ever seen a child’s face when he saw a gigantic sucker in a candy store, or Santa Claus at the mall? That’s exactly how Max Chandler looked when he saw Isabella. He was smitten. Sam was afraid he would stop breathing and might pass out from lack of oxygen, but she didn’t worry. Isabella knew CPR.”


“The voice sounded breathy and blonde.”

How on earth does a voice sound blonde?

Then, the formatting was bad. There are a lot of horses in this book, and every time one of them is mentioned by name, it was in cursive. Why on earth? Because they’re not people? But every time Dundee is mentioned, his name isn’t cursive. I thought it really halting. Also, the ellipses Jones uses have nine dots, instead of three. Does that make them more ellipsis-y? I’m also pretty sure that “Omigod” is not an actual word. Why not just write “Oh my God”?

Overall rating: 1/5

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