Dirty-Talking Cowboy, Contemporary Romance by Stacey Kennedy
Series: Kinky Spurs #1
My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
(I received an invitation to review this book from the publisher through NetGalley.)
Emma Monroe is dealing with a lot of heartache. Her grandmother recently died, and her boyfriend of a year broke her heart. Thanks to the legacy left to her, Emma has moved to River Rock to take care of rescued animals on Grams’s farm. Emma also works part-time at a bar called Kinky Spurs, where she meets Shep.
For the most part, Shep has it all together. He built his own house on his own land and runs a survival-training company. He rescues Emma from the start, and in turn, she ends up enriching his life and hers.
This is overall quite a sweet romance. In spite of the fact that Emma and Shep get into a physical relationship early on, they balance it out by being genuinely interested in one another as people and respectful of each other’s space. They see and admire traits in one another that have nothing to do with sex. That said, the spice level is impressively high, so I do recommend it to people who see the word ‘kinky’ in the series title and reach for their wallets. Their happy ending wraps up everything nicely and I could picture them being together forever.
Unfortunately, I can’t personally give this more than three stars. It’s too uneven. Most of the external conflict comes from Shep’s problems while all of the internal conflict is Emma’s. This robs Shep of a character arc. The writing style is often unwieldy, especially when it comes to the dialogue. Too much time is spent setting up characters for other books, which makes it seems as if there wasn’t enough going on in the romance in this book. That didn’t help my occasional impressions that their relationship was too heavily based on infatuation.
Although the story is pretty short, there’s a lot of drama to be had, particularly in the last 25% of the book. It never gets too angsty, and stays on the light and sexy side. The best balance is struck by Emma and Shep’s relationship. They’ve got attraction, sexual compatibility, fondness, and mutual understanding. And if one can say that the best part of a Romance novel is the relationship, then I would say it’s a successful Romance.
I could comfortably recommend this book to people who love Western category romance, especially if they don’t mind some old school elements like possessive alphas and nosy families.