A Cowboy to Remember by Rebekah Weatherspoon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Rebekah Weatherspoon kicks off her new Black cowboy series with an inventive new take on the Sleeping beauty myth. A Cowboy to Remember blends small town romance, modern fairy tale, and second chance romance. The beauty in this case is Evie, a famous reality TV princess, her prince is a Black rancher from Charming, California, and of course, the witch is a ruthless and resentful reality show competitor. That all tracks. When Evie loses her memory after a terrible fall that is far from accidential, she returns to her chldhood home to recover, and childhood lovers fall for each other all over again.
I liked these characters, their family and friends, and their relationship a lot. The connection is honest and open, and I love the way these two people communicate with each other. The one issue I have is with the way Evie’s memory or lack of memory gets used as a wedge in her relationship with Zach. I’m generally a big fan of second chance romance when the circumstances that separated the lovers are beyond their control. In this case, though, it’s complicated. There is a lot of external interference and pressure, but Prince Charming also commits a whole host of errors.. Because Evie doesn’t remember anything from her past for the vast majority of the book, they don’t really get time to grapple with those past differences. So the relationship they forge is lovely and open and honest, but then it gets discounted and blown apart towards the end.
To me that structure was frustrating. It’s not the amnesia storyline that is the problem. It’s the execution of it— the almost completely all or nothing nature of the memory loss until a switch is flipped—that prevents them from working through what went wrong. Evie’s memory ultimately becomes a a device for delivering this one really dark moment when she finally has to reckon with the past
That issue aside, consider me thoroughly charmed. The bench of chararcter is deep, and this 21st century, media-savvy sleeping beauty retelling is a great foundation for a series. I’m really looking forward to the next one.
3.5 to 4 stars.
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