The trouble with Denise Hunter is that she writes books that suck me in and won’t let me go. I can’t do anything else until I read THE END. Somehow, I get stuck in my large easy-chair, feet tucked beneath me indian-style, sunlight dimming through the window, the only glow left, the lamp on the end table. And then … exactly one day later, I’m done and missing the characters already—Sheesh!!!
In The Trouble with Cowboys, Annie Wilkerson’s horse-training column is cancelled in the local paper. Money is tight and she’s offered a chance to continue as the lovelorn, advice columnist—only she doesn’t know much about love. So she turns to Dylan Taylor, a cowboy Casanova, to help her as a trade-off for re-training his blind horse.
If you’ve ever read my reviews, you’ll know I’m a sucker for good characters. If a book doesn’t have them, I don’t care how great the story is, it will not move me to read another of the author’s books. Denise doesn’t just write good characters, you feel them in her voice. In fact, you feel them in their voices. They’re alive and distinct and relatable! While reading this book from Annie’s perspective, I too felt protective for her younger sister, wanting to shake the girl when she made decisions I didn’t like. While in Dylan’s I was ready to swing my leg over a horse and mosey on down the pasture.
But Denise doesn’t stop there. She is one of those writers who speak my language—kinesthetic. I don’t know if she plans this as she writes, but when I read her books, I feel them. I feel the cold floor beneath my feet, the snap of the screen door, the smell of the barn (yes, it has a feel), and the crispness of the dawn. I feel like I’m right there with these characters, experiencing their world as it unfolds. I’m invested in their lives because I’m living it with them. They could be just going to the grocery store, and I’d care how much they paid for produce and if she took advantage of the right sales—not to mention whether or not Dylan kissed the clerk. I care!
So, if you like stories that draw you into the character’s world, read The Trouble with Cowboys. In fact, read all of Denise’s books. And if you are a writer and want to learn how to reach deeper into your character’s, read her books. You won’t be sorry!
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