The slightly misleading title of The Cowgirl and the Stallion perhaps makes the reader think the action takes place in the stables and pastures of Aya’s ranch, but in truth, most of the action happens in Aya’s and Mason’s hearts. And there’s plenty of the emotional sort of action.
The most remarkable achievement of this novel is how both Aya and Mason grow in front of the reader’s eyes as the story progresses. When we meet Mason (or Nate), he seems to be arrogant and flirty, all with the purpose of tricking Aya into selling her land. She, in turn, is stubborn and won’t listen even to the people closest to her when they try to help her and steer her in the right direction. But their meeting teaches them both a big lesson; it just takes time for them to realize it.
Spencer, Aya’s son, was a delightful character and I was very happy that he was so important to the story and wasn’t just a complication in Aya’s and Mason’s relationship. He was very charming with his pre-teen awkwardness and unexpected intelligence and it was wonderful to follow his interactions with Aya, but more so with Mason.
The biggest drawback of the story was that the roles were stereotypical. Mason was the big bad corporate beast and Aya was the helpless but brave small farmer. With a more original conflict between the two their story would have been even more powerful and deeper.
The Cowgirl and the Stallion shows that sometimes a win is actually a loss and that it takes courage to admit it. Despite the predictable plot, the strong characters make the novel a good read.
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