Review: The Cowboy and the Vampire by Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall


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Synopsis: Saddle up for a hilarious, existential gallop through the dying American west with an army of ancient bloodsuckers in hot pursuit. Welcome to LonePine, Wyoming, population 438, where the best of the west faces off against the rise of the undead. It’s a love story for the ages. Worlds collide in The Cowboy and the Vampire: A Very Unusual Romance, when a broke cowboy and a glamorous big city reporter fall lipstick over boot heels in love. But she carries a 2000-year-old secret in her veins that will test their unusual romance. Can her big city smarts combined with his western courage keep an undead love alive? This is the first book of The Cowboy and the Vampire Collection.

What Rhea thought: Let’s divide this book into two parts – a)The Really Fucking Good and b) The Really Fucking Stupid

a) The Really Fucking Good:

C&V is unique. I’ll give it that. It’s unique and it’s pretty damn funny. Tucker – our hero – is a cowboy in Wyoming with the smartest fucking dog on the planet (we’ll get to that) and a couple of horses. The only problem in his life seems to be his neighbour’s alpacas who seem to think that Tucker’s yard is their own. Okay. Lizzie aka Elizabeth enters his quiet, solitary life (she’s a journalist from NYC) and they have a fling which turns to into love, which turns into Lizzie visiting Tucker on the ranch now and then.

The good parts of the story are many. The Creation of Adamites (that’s humans) and Vampires by the same God, garlic-consuming, non-pointy toothed vampires, smart mutts. I love it. And I especially love Elita’s character. She’s focused. She knows what she wants. She’s practical. And she knew when to give up.

Julius-the bad guy-happens to be Lizzie’s father. Also happens to be the leader of the undead species. Also happens to want to consume Lizzie’s menses after she’s been turned. Gross, I know. Believe me. I KNOW.

It does get better though.

Julius’s character is kind of reminiscent of Aro from the Twilight Series. Evil vampire lord, sharp in focus, sugar sweet but most of all creepy.

We also happen to meet Lazarus. Remember the guy Jesus raised from the dead? Yeah he turns up in this book as a fat vampire. He is kinda the good guy but he dies so that sucks. And the dogs are really smart in this novel, did I mention that? So uh…yeah that’s about all.

Let’s get to Part b) The Really Fucking Stupid

The first stupid thing you notice about this book is that Tucker is whiny. Jeez, Mr Cowboy would you like some cheese with that whine? He goes on and on about how much he likes Lizzie but doesn’t want to settle down because he wants beer and doesn’t wanna stop watching TV. (I hope the guy I marry doesn’t think like this; I would seriously lose all hope in the institution of marriage)

We come to Lizzie. She attends some sort of a Vampire themed Costume Party and there she sees people being stripped, caressed and killed, only to be turned into vampires. She freaks out and runs to boyfriend Tucker in Wyoming. So that’s what you do, huh? You don’t call the police, you don’t ask for help, you run straight to a cowboy? Fair enough.

She’s attacked there by said group of vamp freaks and taken back to NYC and then turned in a process where she’s *cringe* aroused by the whole process. Apparently Lizzie is some sort of a Vampire Queen with the power to turn anyone. And that’s a biggie because not every vampire can turn humans. Except Julius. And Lazarus. And now Lizzie.

Tucker-though injured and with Rex (the dog)-manages to find his way to the Big Apple, find his vampire girlfriend and find his way to Lazarus, bringing his father and friend on the way. Wow. No, really, wow. Stupid move, man.

The resulting battle is kind of tame. Considering the amount of build up throughout the novel, one would expect a lot more of gore and blood (the non-menstruating type) and just a bit more imagery. It would have been cool, y’know?

The people in this book accepted the concept of vampires way too quickly and have way too many guns for normal people. I can’t digest it. Maybe it’s a Cowboy thing?

The real hero of the novel? Rex.

You go, boy!

Final Verdict:  I’m yet unable decide if I liked the book or not. So if you’re looking a humorous silly read to pass the time, C&V should be it. ★★★


About the Authors:

I’m a writer, lapsed poet and former cowboy living in Portland, Oregon, with my lovely life and writing partner Kathleen McFall. We’ve written three books together so far: The Cowboy and the Vampire: A Very Unusual RomanceThe Cowboy and the Vampire:Blood and Whiskey and The Cowboy and the Vampire: Rough Trails and Shallow Graves (out soon).Learn more about the books, what it’s like to write with the person you love and find plenty of fresh, undead content at on our Facebook page at and follow us on Instagram — @cowboyvampire

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