Tag Archives: cowboys

#BookReview ‘An Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy’ by @june_kearns

The opening chapter of An Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy by June Kearns is a vibrant introduction to Annie Haddon, the Englishwoman of the title. She’s travelling from California to Texas in a stagecoach with her over-bearing aunt and superior cousin who both tell her what not to do. ‘Mustn’t, mustn’t’, Annie mutters to herself. She copes stoically until the bombshell is dropped that the real purpose for their journey across America is to meet Annie’s intended. ‘Henry Chewton Hewell,’ thinks Annie. ‘Even his name sounded like something stuck between his teeth.’ Like all the best first chapters it introduces the key character, makes you care about her and then ends in the most unexpected way. June KearnsDescribed as Jane Austen meets Zane Grey, Kearns has created a must-read story populated by a heroine to root for, a hero to swoon over and nasty characters to dislike. That’s where the romance formula ends. Kearns portrays an 1867 Texas full of desert dust, coyotes, unhappy Comanche and Sioux, the arrival of the railroad, arrogant cavalry and rowdy townsfolk; fresh and challenging circumstances for the ‘out of her comfort zone’ heroine. It’s a faraway world so alien from today in its customs and culture but surprisingly close in its emotions. An Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy is about first impressions – the cast includes a silent native named Grey Eagle, Clarice the owner of a rowdy saloon, a puppy called Dog – challenging mistaken assumptions and long-held beliefs and prejudices.
What a visual film this would make. It made me chuckle out loud. If you need an escape from the stressful real world, try this. It doesn’t matter that you know how it will end, it is a romance after all and we love a happy ending, but it is the how and why that are intriguing and Kearns kept me guessing to the end.
Hilarious, joyful stuff.

Click the title to read my review of THE 20S GIRL, THE GHOST, AND ALL THAT JAZZ also by June Kearns.

If you like this, try:-
The House on the Shore’ by Victoria Howard
Butterfly Barn’ by Karen Powers
The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon’ by Sarah Steele

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
AN ENGLISHWOMAN’S GUIDE TO THE COWBOY by @june_kearns #bookreview https://wp.me/p5gEM4-5m0 via @SandraDanby

#BookReview ‘The 20s Girl, The Ghost, and All That Jazz’ by @june_kearns #romance

The 20s Girl, The Ghost, and All That Jazz by June Kearns is a fizzing giggly historical romance that makes you feel as if you’re drinking a bottle of Prosecco on holiday. In Gerardine Chiledexter it has a delicate-looking heroine who has inherited the kick-ass nature, and the debts, of her late Aunt Leonie. There’s a loyal friend, a crumbling bookshop, a psychic cat, shiverings and whisperings in the dark, an effete beau and a distinct lack of marriageable men in 1924 England after the Great War. Oh, and there’s a tall brooding cowboy with an enormous ranch in Texas. June Kearns

Kearns has a wonderful flowing style, telling her story with wit and charm and without a glimpse of the author’s feet paddling below the water keeping the story and the characters tip-top. All the romantic conventions are here. A heroine, down on her luck but with an endless wardrobe of floaty Twenties couture dresses. A suitor, willing but uninspiring. An English village, green, damp, without eligible men. A crumbling mansion with an elderly crumbling workforce. Into this walks Coop, a cowboy with a drawl, a hatred of the wet, and a real impatient manner. Aunt Leonie, it appears, has left her half-share of a cattle ranch in Texas to Gerry. Coop owns the other half and he wants Gerry to sell it to him. Now. Immediately. Which of course she doesn’t.

Determined to find out what elegant fun-loving Leonie was doing in Texas, Gerry travels to the Circle-O Ranch in the middle of nowhere. There she finds a number of other romantic ingredients: an uppity neighbouring young lady who says she is engaged to Coop; a will-o-the-wisp teenager called Scoot; a staff of cowhands and Mexican servants with whom she is unable to communicate and horses she must ride. What Gerry doesn’t find is her luggage which has gone missing en route, so she is forced into a selection of Coop’s old trousers and shirts. The Texas section is something of a closed room scenario mixing together a number of unlikely characters, adding a financial mystery and people not being what they seem to be. And though Coop seems desperate for Gerry to sign the sale papers and leave, she remains determined to discover Leonie’s mystery.

There were a couple of times when the pace slowed and I wanted it to speed up again, but Kearns slowed things down at exactly the right romantic moments. Oh, and I loved the quotes for young ladies from 1920s handbooks, a new one at the head of each chapter. For example, from Advice to Miss All-Alone [1924], ‘Try not to become shabby, shallow or sour. Rather, read improving books and drink cocoa.’ Needless to say, Gerry does not take this advice.

This book really surprised me, it made me chuckle out loud. I’ll definitely be looking for other books by this author. One thing, I wish the title was different. Shorter, perhaps including something about the cowboy?

If you like this, try these:-
‘Love and Eskimo Snow’ by Sarah Holt
Forever Fredless’ by Suzy Turner
Pigeon Pie’ by Nancy Mitford 

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
THE 20S GIRL, THE GHOST, AND ALL THAT JAZZ by @june_kearns #bookreview https://wp.me/p5gEM4-3wq via @SandraDanby