Review: The Cowboy and the Vampire by Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall

Format read: ebook provided by the authors
Formats available: Trade paperback, ebook
Genre: paranormal
Series: Cowboy and Vampire #1
Length: 408 pages
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Reporter Lizzie Vaughan doesn’t realize it, but she has 2,000 years of royal Vampiric blood coursing through her veins. Neither she nor Tucker, her cowboy lover, has any idea that Julius, the leader of the undead, has a diabolical plan to reign over darkness for all eternity–with Lizzie at his side. Lizzie battles for her life–and her soul–as she and Tucker find themselves caught up in a vampire war, pursued by hordes of Julius’ maniacal, bloodthirsty followers. Who will be left standing when the sun rises?

To use the western vernacular that the cowboy-hero of this tale wears like a second skin, this dog should not hunt, but somehow, it does. It should buck the reader off like a ride on badly broken bronco. Instead, you stick with the tale until the bloody and bittersweet end. It’s a compulsion. Lizzie and Tucker were mis-matched when she was just a New York magazine writer and he was the man she dubbed “The Last Cowboy.”

By the end of the story, they should be even wronger (and yes, in this story that IS a word) for each other, but they have earned a little bit of peace.

Their enemies will be back. After all, I read The Cowboy and the Vampire to get ready for Blood and Whiskey, the second book in the series (review and interview with the authors on Thursday).

There’s more mystery than romance in this story that the authors subtitled “A Darkly Romantic Mystery” and with good reason. When the book opens, Lizzie and Tucker are already in the middle of their love affair. Their only problem is that Lizzie has gone back to NYC, and Tucker is in LonePine (all one word) Wyoming. Their worlds don’t normally intersect. Only they do. They just can’t figure out how to make anything long term work, no matter how badly they want to.

Then Lizzie’s heritage rises up to bite her. Literally. And there’s the mystery. And the solution to Lizzie’s and Tucker’s relationship problem, as well as the cause of a few zillion more problems. As the deep, dark secrets of Lizzie’s past, and her potential future, are revealed, she turns to Tucker as the only person she can trust when her world turns upside down. In life, or in death. And whatever comes after that.

Escape Rating B+: The idea that vampires have their own biblical-type texts and their own version of the creation was kind of cool, and more than a bit twisted, in a neat way. Also that one of the leaders of the opposing vampire camps was THE Lazarus. Eternity seems to make for twisted politics yet again, and this set of vamps was wackier than the usual run.

Tucker’s family and friends were an absolute hoot. Lenny as the crazy cowboy version of James Bond’s Q was beyond priceless, but he’s just who you’d want in this situation, not that anyone half normal would ever be in this situation.

I enjoyed the differences between Tucker’s internal thoughts and his actual words, he was always more sentimental inside than what he said out loud.

Julius, the evil vampire (this is not an oxymoron in context) was a bit overblown and over-the-top. I’d have believed in him as the big bad a little more if he’d been just a tad less out there on the demonic bwahaha scale.

I also sincerely hope that in the next book there will be an explanation of who or what Lizzie’s “voices” are. That one is driving me crazy. Blood and Whiskey, here I come! (The book, not the liquids–maybe I’ll need the whiskey…)

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3 thoughts on “Review: The Cowboy and the Vampire by Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall

  1. Thanks Marlene, we’re pleased to see that The Cowboy and the Vampire delivered a pretty strong escape from reality. We’ll be anxious to learn how you like Blood and Whiskey. You’ll learn much more about the source of the voices, and all the hoot-worthy western men will return for another ride!

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