Review: Cowboy Up! by Mike Flanagan

A couple years ago, I was browsing my local used book store and stumbled upon this book, along with a couple others in the series. I was of course excited, because I love rodeos and westerns, and this book sounded like it was the perfect combination of the two.

This book is the perfect example of why I love the western genre. I loved the settings, the book was well divided between ranch life and the rodeo. Sometimes I find that western books don’t focus enough on the things that make it a western and just think “well if there is cowboys in it then it’s a western and that should be good enough”. But that was not the case with this book. I really felt like I was experiencing the western life. Reading about the men checking fences, struggling with cattle rustling, feeding the herd and tending to other ranch duties. And then of course there was the rodeo aspect of the book. I absolutely love watching rodeos and the way things were described in the rodeo scenes was exactly what I have seen and felt while watching rodeos. The way the author described the movement of the bulls and horses as the men rode then for those few short seconds was perfection.

The two main characters, Clay and Jack, were very enjoyable to read about. Jack is your typical rough cowboy who does things his way and doesn’t like change. Whereas Clay is a young up and comer who’s had a rough life and is looking to change his ways. Seeing these two men slowly form a friendship over the book, the basis of that friendship revolving around the rodeo, and to a slightly lesser extend the ranch life, really was what I was hoping for.

I devoured this book and immediately wanted more. Luckily I owned most of the series and was able to order the remaining novels shortly after. I am really looking forward to continuing on with this series. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves westerns or those who are looking for a great book that will allow them to dive into the genre.

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