Favorite Lines: “He knew he’d surprised her, knew he was taking liberties with a woman he barely knew. But he needed human contact right now. He needed the reassurance of a beating heart. he needed something strong to hold on to, something soft to absorb the pain and the rage and the grief rolling inside him that threatened to drag him down to his knees and bring him to tears.” (p. 31, e-galley)
For small-town sheriff Boone Harrison, the investigation into a serial rapist turned killer is painfully personal. Boone’s priority is to find the coward who murdered his sister. But to accomplish that, he’ll have to work with Dr. Kate Kilpatrick, a secretive woman whose striking beauty and kind heart just may be the lawman’s undoing .
Forensic psychologist Kate Kilpatrick was wrong about Sheriff Harrison. He’s smarter and more resourceful than she’d given him credit for—and entirely too attractive. In their combined grief, Kate finds something she didn’t even know she needed: protection. Because when the Rose Red Rapist sets his sights on Kate, she’ll need more than the power of the badge to save her. She’ll need her very own cowboy.
Does it get much sexier than a smart cowboy? Well, I figured I find out by reading Julie Miller’s Kansas City Cowboy.
If you’re unfamiliar with Harlequin’s Intrigue line all you need to know is that it is the line that promotes romantic suspense stories. One of the good things about it is at the beginning of each novel the reader is given a list of characters. The cast list includes the hero, heroine, important secondary characters and the villain. It’s a great way to know exactly what is going on before turning the first page of the book. So, let’s get back to Kansas City Cowboy.
Heroine: Dr. Kate Kilpatrick is intelligent woman who was betrayed by her husband and best friend. She copes with it by not allowing people to get close to her. Until Sheriff Boone Harrison appears and pulls her into a bear hug. She doesn’t have time to strictly focus on him though. An escalating rapist has her in his sights and with all the risks she takes, she just might end up dead.
Hero: Sheriff Boone Harrison’s sister was raped and murdered. As her oldest sibling, Boone plans to find his sister’s killer and leaves his jurisdiction for that of Kansas City. Once there he meets Dr. Kate and feels a spark of attraction. He isn’t ready to follow-up on it though. He needs to bury his sister and see her killer brought to justice.
Villain: The Rose Red Rapist has been taking what he wants and leaving women behind. The reader is given glimpses of him, but never gets to really see him. Eventually it becomes clear that there may be more than one bad guy making the rounds in Kansas City Cowboy. Unfortunately, we find out many things SPOILER but never the identity of the rapist. END SPOILER
Suspense, Romance and Sex: The suspense builds as Dr. Kate is stalked. Classic stalker techniques are used: text messages, break ins and the sound of footsteps. At the same time Boone and Kate are spending more time together with a slow burning attraction. There is sex, but not only does it relieve the tension, but it also leads the heroine to feelings of self-empowerment.
End Thoughts: I was bored with Kansas City Cowboy. The conflict didn’t feel like it was between the rapist and the main characters. I felt more internal battles fought inside Kate’s mind with herself and her former best friend, than I felt between the rapist/stalker and the police. The mystery aspect of the story was alright, but it never sucked me in. I felt semi-cheated when I finished reading the book. (Read the spoiler.) There were moments when I wanted to shake the heroine for being TSTL. I guess it just wasn’t the book for me. Maybe you’ll feel different. Did you read it? What are your thoughts?