*Sigh* Where to start?
I'm gonna spell some things out here. To start:
Stories need C-O-N-F-L-I-C-T. No conflict? You don't have a story. You have something that resembles a long rambling letter from your Aunt Agatha that boils down to 'we're all good here, how are you'. There is lots of potential here for conflict, the MCs character flaws (more about those later) are high on the list, for one. So is deadly disease, financial ruin, homophobia, small town mores and parental disapproval. But they are all either ignored (character flaws) or solved 'Hey Presto!' within a few pages. Calvin's mom tells him on the phone that what he is feeling isn't the same kind of love as what she feels for her husband (actually, she is probably right, he's been in love for like 2 days or so). But, yay, before the reader can get worried she calls back to say she didn't mean it! Pfeww! Close call!
I prefer it if the Main Characters are L-I-K-A-B-L-E. If they are not likable, you gotta be able to love to hate them. Or at least they have to be interesting. Or something
! Calvin is rude to shop assistants. He throws tantrums like a 3 year old in Emergency Rooms (cuz Brock is about to KEEL OVER! from melanoma), dry cleaners and at hardware stores. He unloads his high school frustrations on Brock within 5 minutes of meeting him. He jerks off admiring himself in the mirror in Brocks clothes. He sprouts the corniest, toe curlingly bad western cliches (Ride me, cowboy! is among the least of them). Seriously, if you grow up in cowboyland can you even have
a cowboy fetish? Would that not be like me having a major thing for tall Dutch men and making them come to bed in wooden shoes with a tulip between their teeth?
Now Brock on the other hand may be saddest excuse for a doormat I have ever encountered. Has the man no pride? At all? He is the ultimate sad sack, who is doing absolutely nothing to get out of the mess he is in. Calvin just steps in and pays for everything, then moves him to New York. We're supposed to be touched that the big strong cowboy lets Calvin take care of him, I think, but honestly. Can you spell E-M-A-S-C-U-L-A-T-I-O-N? How sexy is a relationship based on codependency and emasculation? Yeah. Not very. If Brock was a woman this book would be burned at feminist rallies.
I am sure the writer has a healthy aversion to unrealistic romance novels. I'm down with that. But, you know, there is such a thing as T-O-O M-U-C-H realism. Having your characters repeatedly fall off broken toilet seats and having them fart during sex falls under 'too much'. It really does.
Distracted by all the corny cheezeballery in this book I almost forgot about one of the weirdest sex scenes evah. The book deserves OMG-WTF-BBQ status for that one alone. After Calvin throws a most unattractive tantrum in the ER and it turns out that Brock's melanoma is just a dirty scab, making Calvin look like even more of an ass, what does the 'so closeted he probably doesn't know he is gay himself' Brock do? He drags Calvin into a hospital bathroom stall and blows Calvin as a 'thank you' for standing up for him. *blinkblinkblink*
And that, my friends, is Calvin's Cowboy. Bought and paid for.
Cash, not credit.