Cowboy. Wow! Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a single mom, working your tail off to make ends me,and then in walks Garth Brooks into your dumpy little restaurant on a slow, rainy night? He's dressed casually and he asks you for a simple cup of coffee...but he needs a whole lot more. He's down in the dumps and feels like nothing will make him want to keep on living. Since you're not a fan of country music and your job as a waitress and parenting your five-year-old is your entire life, you don't recognize him. Okay, well maybe not someone as famous as Garth, but hey, I don't know what most of the country superstars look like so it's possible. :) Anyway, you don't recognize him and the guy is so depressed he throws caution to the wind and shares his heart with you, but he gives you his real name because he's sick of the superstar treatment.
You connect on a deep level. One that's from the heart because you're not star-struck by him...Remember, you don't realize he's famous. Then he asks for your phone number so you can keep in touch and as a sister in Christ you give it to him because you really do want to minister to the guy. You feel his pain. You've experienced the same loss when your spouse died. Well he starts calling you and you strike up a pretty profound friendship based on mutual respect and the human need to be valued for who you really are, not what people see you as on the outside (a famous singer or waitress.) Your friendship deepens and he sees his need for God, but resists like most people do at first.
Are you with me yet?
Okay, the waitress is Charlize Theron and the singer is Garth Brooks. I can SO see this as a movie it gives me the goose bumps. Staci's novel Cowboy had me SO captivated that I read it every chance I got. I cared so much about the characters that I hated for the story to end. The pacing was excellent, and Staci does something neat that you don't see often in books. She sometimes changes points of view on a frequent basis, but the breaks are obvious when the view changes, so it's not head hopping. I found that technique highly effective in her story. It literally swept me away.
As far as romance themes go, it was one of the strongest I've read. My heart ached and I longed for them to be together, to make it work. And the singer's relationship with the waitresses' daughter will bring tears to your eyes. It did mine. This was the most fabulous Cinderella type story I've ever read and it was totally unique. Nothing stereotypical or cliche whatsoever. Did I mention this story was fabulous? You're probably thinking I like everything. NOT so. In fact, I read a lot of books you never see me post because I can't rave about them. This story I was obsessed with. Truly. And the honesty in their relationship when it came to physical attraction and temptation was refreshingly real. They were both married before and lost their spouses. Of COURSE they would be tempted. The author showed this with tact, but real emotion and I felt like I was right there with them.
I can see this book as a best seller if the right publishing house would pick it up. The author's ability to make you care about the characters is right up there with Lori Wick (in my mind anyway.) Cowboy has it all...spiritual depth, deep emotion and baskets full of love! So, that said...if you don't read Cowboy you are truly missing out on one of the most gripping contemporary romances I've read in the past three years. Cowboy was published by Staci Stallings via Lulu and Spirit Light Publishing in 2006.