Reviewed by Joanne L.

I never watched the soaps, but for Dark Shadows. I read Dracula and The Historian and about Sookie and Bella. And, when Buffy, The Vampire Slayer came out – I was a devotee of both the movie and then the series.

On the cowboy side, I learned to ride a horse by watching Roy Rogers and Dale Evans! And I lived in the mountains out west for a couple years and have left a bit of my heart in the high arid country of snow-covered peaks and whispering pines.

Enter, Clark Hays’ and Kathleen McFall’s The Cowboy and the Vampire and I now add a cowboy and vampire category. I am a fan.

The authors use their backgrounds to give voice to the book’s characters. Hays grew up on a ranch in Montana and McFall is a city girl from DC. With tongue in cheek humor and homespun wisdom, McFall and Hays help Tucker and Lizzie learn about the world of vampires and the grayness that infuses the often black and white world.

Main character Lizzie, big city reporter, is unknowingly from a long-line of vampires. She is destined, through the manipulations of Julius, evil vampire, to be their Queen. Tucker, the subject of an article of Lizzie’s on The Last Cowboy, is a citizen of Lonepine, Wyoming. Lizzie and Tucker make the big connection, and fall in love –before Lizzie’s next writing assignment on vampires.

After leaving Tucker to return to New York, Lizzie faces her vampire article academically, “Outside of Dracula, most historical characters fitting the Vampire bill were creations of frightened pre-literate societies, since those bloodthirsty Vampires could handily explain away contagious diseases…”

[amazonify]0738721611[/amazonify]When Lizzie returns to Wyoming unexpectedly, she tells Tucker that she wasn’t certain how long she would stay. His is the voice of pragmatism. “Hell, stay as long as you like,” my mouth said, but all the while my mind was thinking just how long it had been since I’d had a woman underfoot and despite the severity of her situation, how it might interfere with this illustrious single life I’d been living….can’t watch TV with a woman wanting to talk all the time.”

McFall and Hays’ secondary characters offer additional offbeat interplay. When a beat up Tucker goes to his father’s house to enlist his dad’s help after Julius kidnaps Lizzie, Dad shows his own pragmatism. ‘We gotta fix you up first, boy. Can’t fight no Vampires all busted up. I’m gonna call the vet.’”

I enjoyed The Cowboy and the Vampire; the quirky characters, the new mythology of vampires, and the focus upon the uncertainty between evil and good. Especially appealing to me were the personalities brought out through behavior of Tucker’s dog, Rex, and horse, Snort. No wonder Tucker’s dad turned to the vet for help. With family support like that, how can a Cowboy in love go wrong?

Rating: 4/5

Joanne is an organization development and human resources professional with a business background living in Ohio. She has lived in Europe, Africa (including her Peace Corps service in South Africa), and arround the United States. She loves to plays volleyball, read, write, and has a cat named Ender.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.