The Cowboy and The Vampire by Clark Hays
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I received this book from the authors as part of The Cowboy and The Vampire Book Blog Tour hosted by Bewitching Book Tours.
The Cowboy and the Vampire, written by the husband and wife team of Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall, is one of the most interesting takes on the vampire legend that I have read recently. First published several years ago, before the craze for all things supernatural really hit, The Cowboy and the Vampire has now been re-released and can hopefully pick up some of these new fans of the vampire genre. The novel mixes religion and vampire lore to create an enchanting world that combines the lonesome wild west with the bustling city of New York.
Lizzie Vaughan, a reporter from New York, travels to LonePine, Wyoming for a story and ends up meeting Tucker, an honest to goodness real-life cowboy, horse and dog included. They get off to a rough start - Lizzie manages to get his nose busted - but before long the two find themselves in a relationship. Even after returning to New York, Lizzie can’t forget about her cowboy. After discovering that a new story about the myth of the vampire is actually no myth at all, Lizzie runs back to Wyoming and the safety of Tucker’s arms. Unfortunately for them, Wyoming isn’t far enough to escape the clutches of Julius, a master vampire who turns Lizzie into a vampire as well. That’s because, unbeknownst to her, Lizzie comes from a lineage of royal vampires and her blood has the potential to be very powerful and can change the world as they know it. Thus starts the adventure of a lifetime for Lizzie and Tucker, and several of their friends and allies. One faction of vampires is led by Julius, who hopes to see vampires take over the world, and the other is led by Lazarus (yes, that Lazarus!) who hopes to protect the balance of good and evil and continue the purpose for the complete existence for vampires. Will Lizzie and Tucker survive this battle?
I absolutely adored the character of Tucker. I loved his down to earth personality, which has been shaped by his life of living in the wilds of Wyoming. It was especially funny reading about his observations of New York City. Add in his faithful dog companion, Rex, and what’s not to love? Tucker is lucky to have Rex around, as the little dog saves the day on more than one occasion. The book just wouldn’t have been the same without this special relationship between the two. The love between Tucker and Lizzie is also special. Tucker is willing to do anything for Lizzie, even when it seems that all hope is lost. After learning of Lizzie’s turning, “his mind struggling to keep up with a heart that at the sight of her breathing had immediately and without question resigned itself to her changed circumstances” (pg 202), Tucker robs a blood bank just so she doesn’t have to kill anyone to survive her first few days as a new vampire. How many people would be willing to do that for the ones that they love?
Tucker’s dad brings the practical into this supernatural story. Learning about vampires is ultimately no big deal for him. In his own words, “You just got to do the best you can, no matter what comes along” (pg 299.) Other quirky characters in the story, such as the militia loving, weapon creating Lenny, Lazarus’ long-time friend and fellow vampire Sully, and the vampire seductress Elita, make for a wonderfully entertaining story. I was actually quite surprised by some of the changes that take place by the end of the novel, especially when it comes to Elita. I would love to read more about her and how her character evolves.
I can’t wait to find out more from the world of The Cowboy and the Vampire and hope that a second book in the series is released soon. While this book does have a complete ending, there’s still so much more that can come from Lizzie and Tucker. Overall, if you’re a fan of vampire novels, and you like westerns too, I’d definitely recommend The Cowboy and the Vampire. And if you aren’t a big fan of westerns, I’d still suggest you give it a try!
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Be sure to check back on Tuesday as I will be posting an interview with the authors. Also, Bewitching Book Tours is hosting a giveaway for the tour. (Please note that this is NOT a Books & Barks giveaway, so any information submitted is going to Bewitching Book Tours, not me.) Just fill out the form below to be entered.
For more info on The Cowboy and the Vampire Book Tour, and to know what other sites are on the tour, click HERE.