Sunday, April 3, 2016

Calvin's Cowboy by Drew Hunt

Synopsis From Publisher:

Calvin Hamilton reluctantly returns to his home town of Parrish Creek, Texas, to sell his parents house.  Finding the place in need of repair he hires John "Brock" Brockwell to renovate the house before putting it on the market.  Brock bares a passing resemblance to Gary Cooper, especially as he often wears western clothing.  Calvin has always had a weakness for cowboys. 

Time has reversed the two men's fortunes.  In high school Brock was the big man on campus, his popularity allowing him to hide his true nature.  Calvin was a nerd, bullied by most of the jocks for being perceived as gay. Now Calvin is a successful New York advertising executive, and Brock is a divorced father with a teenage son who faces financial ruin, unable to pay his late father's hospital bills. 

Can Calvin put past bitterness behind him and help the cowboy with who he is rapidly falling in love?  Will the deeply closeted Brock be able to admit he has feelings for Calvin?  Or will pride, fear, distance, and the past prevent them from building a future together? 

A few days ago there seemed to be another twitter storm brewing over HEAs in romance novels, for any of you who doesn't get the acronym, it stand for Happily Ever After.  I'm not sure what prompted the kerfuffle, but it's a ridiculous argument.  Apparently there are some who think a HEA is not needed in a romance novel.  Granted, I'm fairly new to the whole romance game, but I don't get the idea of romance without a HEA.   Why else would I allow myself to get suckered into the story, if it wasn't to see the main characters, after all the strife they've gone though, grab the brass ring at the end.  They need the HEA.  Hell, for that matter, I need them to have a HEA.  How else will I ever believe that there is one out there for me someday?

Everything I just wrote, was to allow me to comment on the last paragraph of the synopsis.  And it's just not a comment on this synopsis, but on the whole concept of publisher synopses to begin with.  The language, in general, is so hyperbolic.  I get that they are trying to grab a readers attention, to make them buy a book in order to figure out the outcome, but give me a break.  This is a romance novel, of course they work it out in the end.   And speaking of this synopsis, Brock is not deeply in the closet.  Is he out to the general public, no, but both his ex-wife and son are in the know.

This was one of the first romance novels I read, and one of the first to get me hooked on the whole cowboy theme in romance novels.  I don't think I really had a thing for cowboys before, but after almost two years into my romance education, I'm hooked.  There is something about a hot guy in tight denim, carrying himself with honor, and taking care of his loved ones before all else.  And Brock is one of the best of them.  He doesn't live on a ranch, he doesn't ride a horse, but he is all cowboy.  He has sacrificed himself, and his needs, in order to be what he needed to be for his dad, and for his son.  He's taken a beating for it, and when we meet him, he has some deep wounds, but like all cowboys, he refuses to give up, and he does what needs to be done to take care of his responsibilities.  He's that guy you are rooting for as soon as you meet him.  He's also the guy you want to take home to meet your family.

When he meets Calvin, and Calvin is a whirlwind, he isn't quite sure what to make of it.  Here is this guy, that he's quickly falling for, offering him a way out.  But in Brock's mind, he's the cowboy, he's the one that is supposed to come riding to the rescue, not be the one getting pulled up onto the horse, thus avoiding the stampeding buffalo.  So it takes a while, just a little bit of time, for him to trust that Calvin will be there to catch him, to trust Calvin enough that being vulnerable in front of him, admitting that he needs help, won't emasculate him.  But once he does, once he excepts what's being offered, not only for himself, but for his son, he claims what's his.  It's a perfect HEA, and only an idiot would think it should have worked out any other way.


carol said...

I need a happily ever after in romances. I don't tend to read cowboy romances, though. They make me think of hay which just isn't sexy to me.

TracyK said...

I agree with you about the HEA. I always want a happy ending, even in books that I know won't have one. I also have problems with publisher synopses, which often seem not to be about the same book. And this story sounds good.

Lisa said...

If there's no HEA, is it even a "romance" novel? Isn't the point of a romance novel is that you know the romance will flourish and win the day? Otherwise, isn't it just a fiction novel with a romance thrown into the mix? It would be like if in Notting Hill, Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts really couldn't make it work because their lives were just too different.