Bestselling cookbook author Drummond (The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl, 2009) tells the tale of falling in love with an Oklahoma cowboy.
When she was in her mid-20s, the author left California, and a four-year relationship, seeking a new life in Chicago, with a quick stop on the way at her childhood home in Oklahoma. There her plans changed considerably, as she met a drop-dead gorgeous, steely cowboy who became known as Marlboro Man. She fell hard, enamored with his smoky voice, blue eyes and disarming chuckle, which “could quiet stormy waters. Bring about world peace.” Marlboro Man also turned out to be an admirable guy—grounded, hardworking, chivalrous, honest and open. Drummond, too, is a sweet character, who has written this love song from what feel like fleshed-out blog notes: fresh, intimate, minute and unselfconscious. The author’s gushing prose often becomes cloying and soporific—“I was in a black hole, a vortex of romance…I was floating on vapors. One kiss, and I was transported”—but she tempers it with cringingly hilarious descriptions of her sweat-drenched panic episodes when she first met his family and again at her wedding, and she writes artfully of the tall grass prairie and other natural wonders on the plains. The gloom cast by her parents’ marital breakup could have served as a counterpoint to her bliss, but Drummond lets it slip away by never fully exploring their circumstances.
A sometimes enjoyable love story hampered by treacly prose and syrupy sentiment.