Release Date: Aug 4, 2020
Series: Tying the Knot in Texas
Heat Level: Sensual
Publisher: Penguin Group
The Cowboy Says I Do is the first in a new series by Dylann Crush. Lacey Cherish has been newly elected as the mayor of Idont, Texas. She’s got a plan to rectify the reputation her family has gained after some un-mayorly like conduct by her father. When her grand plans for rebranding, the town go a bit haywire she enlists the help of Deputy Sheriff Bodie Phillips. But Bodie’s got problems of his own, not the least of which is his family. Can these two civil servants work together to revive the town and their families or are they doomed from the start?
I came to this book a little hesitant because the last book I read by this author I did not enjoy at all. I must admit that this offering was a pleasant surprise and a much better written novel. My previous issue with the author was that the heroine and hero seemed immature and idiotic in their choices. And while Lacey and Bodie make some odd choices that are the inciting incident of this book, they never felt too over the top for me.
In the current political climate reading about a Texas mayor and a Deputy Sheriff could have been very difficult, but these two people were so relatable that I ended up not caring about their jobs. Both Bodie and Lacey are driven by their desires to help their families and the town move past some embarrassments and hard times. Both Lacey and Bodie have pure motivations for taking care of their town and actively working to bring business and tourism back into Idont. The rebranding to a wedding destination and changing the name to Ido was a fun a unique answer to a lot of the town’s problems.
The chemistry between Bodie and Lacey was good, if a bit tame for my personal tastes. I want my romances to feel like these two really can’t get enough of each other. And while there were some great scenes with sexual tension and steam. Their emotions just felt a little bland, perhaps this is because of the steam level the author chose or maybe it was the characters themselves. I’m not quite sure. But what really popped off the page was the banter between these two. Crush really impressed me with her quick wit and humor in these interactions between Lacey and Bodie.
My biggest issue with this book was a series of misunderstandings/bad communication that makes Lacey think Bodie is actively working against her. Though he clears it up this addition to an already busy plot felt like the author was just packing on the angst for the sake of it. I would have rather kept this out of the plot and instead had Bodie and Lacey working together on other outside forces rather than silly internal misunderstandings between them. There were plenty of other problems including illegal activities that I didn’t feel like I had the patience for hidden emotions and miscommunications.
Overall, this book reminded me a lot of other Texas based contemporaries from authors like Lori Wilde’s Wedding Veil Wishes series or Rachel Gibson’s Lovett, Texas series which are some of my favorite contemporaries of the early 2000’s. Crush, just as Wild and Gibson, does a entertaining job of balancing mystery, love, and small town intrigue. I will warn that there is some difficult content around animal abuse that may be hard for some readers to see, so buyer beware. But that aside, this was a enjoyable read that totally redeemed this author in my eyes. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.