This review comes to us from Mel! We're excited to work with her on a few upcoming pieces and hope you will all welcome her and maybe fangirl with her on Twitter a bit.
I’m going to start this review by admitting to the following: I don’t particularly love cowboy romances. Ten-gallon hats and spurs and strapping heroes who say “howdy ma’am” do absolutely nothing for me. However, when an author I love takes on the cowboy trope, I’m more than willing to throw my preconceived notions out the window.
A Cowboy to Remember, the first in Rebekah Weatherspoon’s Cowboys of California series, is delightful and tropey in all the best ways. Aside from the aforementioned cowboys, there is also a heroine suffering from amnesia, tons of memorable secondary characters who are all deserving of their own stories, and two main characters with a lot of history and unresolved feelings.
To call this a second chance romance is a bit of a stretch. Evie and Zach weren’t technically a couple back in the day. Evie was very much in love with Zach and he was well aware of it but unsure of his own feelings. Ten years ago, when Evie’s grandmother, her last remaining family member, passes away, Evie turns to Zach for emotional comfort and begs him to be with her. It’s at this point that the book uses the plot device I like to call “it’s for your own good!”, where one of the main characters, typically a man, makes an unilateral decision on behalf of the love interest, which usually manifests itself by pushing said love interest away.
I typically abhor this plot device but in this case I will make an exception for the following reasons:
- As stated earlier, Evie and Zach aren’t actually a couple, it’s more of a one-sided crush on Evie’s side.
- They are both fairly young and given the heightened emotions that come with losing a close family member/family friend, neither one is in a position to make clear, well thought out decisions.
- This is the most important aspect - 10 years pass before Evie and Zach lay eyes on each other and while Evie has amnesia and can’t remember anything, Zach is honest about what happened and how it was his fault. And then, he apologizes.
If there is one issue I have with this book, it’s that in the midst of the plot and the larger than life secondary characters, Zach gets a little bit lost. I found him to be a little bit underdeveloped. By the time I finished the book, I felt like I had a firmer grasp on who his older brother, Jesse, was than I did on who Zach was.
Evie, however, was an extremely well-developed heroine and I think it helped that her amnesia began a chapter into the book, which gave readers the chance to be introduced to her before she had to essentially start her life over from a blank page.
Overall, I really enjoyed this charming book and look forward to getting to know more of the characters in this fascinating world Rebekah Weatherspoon has created.
Advance Review Copy received from publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Content Warnings: Death of a relative (told in flashback), heroine is pushed down stairs by secondary character, hospitalization, toxic parental relationship between secondary character and her father