Melody Chandler is a history teacher in the elementary school in the small town of Mule Hollow, Texas. Frustrated with having to deal with her drug addict brother, Ty, she decides to get away during the month of July to do historical research. She finds the perfect project on Turner Creek Ranch, where there’s an old stagecoach house containing old journals that might unveil the mystery of the legendary outlaw, Sam Bass. The ranch is owned by the three Turner brothers, Wyatt, Seth, and Cole, with Seth living on and managing the property. Wyatt, the eldest, has made an agreement with Melody to allow her to live in the house for the summer while she does her research, but Seth doesn’t want her or anyone prying into the family’s secrets and disturbing his privacy, so he demands that she leave. Normally shy, Melody, for once, finds the grit to say ‘no!’, setting her on a collision course with the strong-willed Seth.
Surprised and frustrated by her unexpected refusal to comply with his demand, Seth finds himself drawn to her, and when she finds a treasure map, decides to join her in her search for what he thought was a myth, part of Sam Bass’s last big train robbery, which has lain hidden on his ranch for a century. But, before they can deal with the treasure, they must first deal with the feelings that are growing stronger between them, and Melody’s ‘albatross,’ an addict brother who is manipulating her life and getting her to support his addiction.
Treasure Me, Cowboy by Debra Clopton is a western romance novel that introduces small-town West Texas and its colorful inhabitants, with many of the hallmarks of romance novels (without the heaving bosoms and obligatory sex scenes), and a deeply moving story of two people coping with significant changes in their lives. My only complaint was the failure to resolve the issue of the hidden treasure, which I realize was not the main aim of the story, but I’m an adventurer and historian at heart, and it caught my attention. Other than that, though, the story did not disappoint. It had emotions, a bit of adventure, and a lot of small-town humor, which, as someone who grew up in a small Texas town, I could readily identify with.
You don’t have to be a fan of the romance genre to like this book.
I liked it, but the number of unresolved issues, beyond Melody and Seth’s relationship, forces me to give it only three and a half stars.