Title: Cowboys Don’t Come Out
Author: Tara Lain
Narrator: K.C. Kelly
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Run Time: 6 hours and 50 minutes
At a Glance: Buy the book, enjoy the narration, and get ready to have all kinds of fun with two cowboys who are building love and a family right before our eyes.
Reviewed By: Mike
Blurb: Rand McIntyre settles for good enough. He loves his small California ranch, raising horses, and teaching riding to the kids he adores – but having kids of his own and someone to love means coming out, and that would jeopardize everything he’s built. Then, despite his terror of flying, he goes on a holiday to Hana, Hawaii, with his parents and meets the dark and mysterious Kai Kealoha, a genuine Hawaiian cowboy. Rand takes to Kai’s kid brother and sister as much as he drools over Kai, but the guy sports more prickles than a horned toad and more secrets than the exotic land he comes from.
Kai’s earned his privacy and lives to protect his “kids”. He ought to stay away from the big, handsome cowboy for everyone’s sake – but since the guy’s just a haole on a short vacation, how much damage can he do? When all of Kai’s worst fears and Rand’s darkest nightmares come true at once, there’s not much chance for two cowboys who can’t – or won’t – come out.
Review: Rand is busy building his dream—a horse farm that allows him to make a living breeding horses, giving riding lessons, and trying to find a way to combine that with maybe finding the man of his dreams. Except, as the title implies, some backwards thinking of this cowboy-at-heart, Rand has trouble connecting. Add to that his parents, specifically, his mother, want him married and making babies to fulfill her desires. So, to try to calm his mother’s meddling, he agrees to a week in Hawaii where he plans to try to enjoy himself.
Kai is busy trying to stave off a nightmare. As a young man, his mother fled their home to follow a man, leaving him alone with pre-teen siblings. He also tries to keep his attraction to men in check so his younger sister and brother have a stable home. When that gets threatened, Kai turns inward and endangers his budding romance with Rand.
Vacations end but reality does not. Kai makes Rand almost glad he’s leaving for home. Rand faces the long flight home with his usual (and cliché) fear of flying. Back in Hawaii, a busybody teacher with obvious disdain for native Hawaiians seeks to destroy the clean and ordered life Kai has made for his young brother and sister. The resolution here is sweet, and happy but still fully within the cowboy romance trope.
K.C. Kelly delivers a great narration with attention to the lilt of native Hawaiians, the cadence of haole voices, and enough other voices to populate the islands. The voices of the children in the book are clear and bright. Kelly is his usual best delivering the story and making it better with his voices and acting. It really makes the difference here. The story is sweet and the plot gives the listener a lot to absorb. Kelly renders both the humor and the conflict in an above average style His voice work does not rely on cliché for any of his characters. As a result, you get to hear the humor, the passion, and the tension of making a relationship work when outside forces are trying to tear it apart. By the end, Kelly’s voice work is a comfort that walks us right up to the conclusion, not caring if you can guess the end. That’s a true talent—getting the listener to the end while still enjoying every word and wishing there was just a bit more to hear.
Buy the book, enjoy the narration, and get ready to have all kinds of fun with two cowboys who are building love and a family right before our eyes.
You can buy Cowboys Don’t Come Out here: