I received this book for free from Avon in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Cowboy, It's Cold Outside by Lori Wilde
Series: Twilight, Texas #8
Published by Avon on October 31st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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Everyone in town knows that Christmas in Twilight has a way of bringing lovers together . . . but will its magic bring this pair from “I won’t” to “I do”?
Wearing a too-tight “Santa Baby” costume held in by a double pair of Spanx, Paige MacGregor runs headlong into a gorgeous, grey-eyed hunk of a long, tall cowboy. And not just any cowboy, but country-western star Cash Colton, visiting Twilight to perform in a charity concert. Most women would melt at his feet, but Paige knows all too much about self-assured men with cocky attitudes, so she tells him to get lost.
Cash is in town, nursing his own broken heart, but Paige has knocked him off his feet. He’s convinced she’s perfect—someone to inspire his music and share his now-empty bed. True, he’s not marriage material, but he’s determined to convince her that they’re perfect together—at least for a while. But what he doesn’t count on is falling in love with the one woman who isn’t about to give him the time of day!
Cash Colton is a country music star who’s in Twilight, Texas to visit friends and hide from the paparazzi while he gets over a failed relationship and nurses a bad case of writer’s block. Since his girlfriend, Simone, cheated on him, and someone stole his beloved guitar, he hasn’t been able to write a single song.
Until he sees Paige. Literally sees her. The minute he lays eyes on her, he hears a melody in his head and decides that she’s his muse, his Euterpe. (Euterpe is the Greek muse of music)
I really struggled with this book. I didn’t hate Cash or Paige, but I couldn’t connect with either of them. Paige is struggling to makes ends meet after being swindled out of her life savings by a boyfriend/con-man. She’s a preschool teacher, waitress, and something involving an ill-fitting Santa outfit and the local theater. An usher, maybe? Something along those lines.
She and Cash meet and it’s insta-love. Or at least insta-musing. Walking away from Paige after meeting her for the first time, Cash thinks “She brought rain to his barren soul and watered the roots of his creativity. He had no choice but to bloom.” I mean…..
Which brings me to my biggest problem with this book. I could have looked past Cash and Paige’s rather bland characterizations, but the overly-flowery writing was really off-putting. The first time Cash and Paige have sex, Cash can barely even go through with the act because he’s so busy overthinking and overromanticizing every single thing.
What if, what if, what if she was The One? The One he feared did not exist. The One that stirred feelings he’d spent a lifetime avoiding…. Who was he going to be for the rest of his life? The aloof, brooding stranger who didn’t truly belong anywhere or to anyone except the music? Was he forever going to be the guy who let the belief that you couldn’t have both a committed relationship and big career success hold him back and keep him from taking a chance on love?
His identity cracked, shattered. He was laid bare, and raw and vulnerable…. Gone. Disappeared. Vanished. In place of that old false sense of sense of self was pure essence. He was flooded by blinding white light shining from every pore. Glowing from his cells. Lifeblood. He was vibrating to a higher frequency, true and real and priceless.
And that’s not even at the end when he comes. That’s just what he’s thinking while he’s kissing her. It’s too, too much.
This book was full of tropes, from Paige being all but a virgin, having only ever had sex with the swindling con man ex-boyfriend, and no one has ever gone down on her. But that’s ok, because “He would be her first in one way. So special. Such a gift. He was humbled and that startled him. This pious feeling of gratitude.” I just… I can’t. Cash is also thrilled that Paige isn’t like other girls, so mark off that square on your trope bingo card. Everyone in town loves Paige, constantly giving Cash dirty looks and “don’t even think about hurting poor innocent Paige” talks, even though as far as I can tell, she’s just an average woman. The first time they have sex, Paige is the instigator, and Cash spends several minutes trying to decide if she really wants to have sex with him, or if she doesn’t know what she wants. She actually says the words “I want you”, and he still internally debates on whether or not she actually does, because she’s so innocent she might actually not know what she really wants.
This is the 8th book in a series, but it’s easily read as a standalone. There were other characters who were clearly from previous books, but it didn’t impact my reading of this one. Overall, this book just wasn’t for me, so I won’t read any more from the series.