Painting the Cowboy: A friends-to-lovers romance - Riley Knight

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I'm afraid I had too many issues to rate it higher than a 2.
I love a damaged cowboy story which is why I jumped straight on this. I also love a book that focuses on the development of a relationship and that is what this book should have been. The relationship is the focus but we are shown very little development. Events that happen to the characters develop the relationship but in this book nothing really happens, the relationship almost exists in a vacuum. The only thing that propelled the relationship forward was intense extended periods of navel gazing, but nothing happened to cause them.
There were other issues that I had problems with that a good beta reader/editor should have picked up on.
Excessive use of 'the older/younger man'. That is bad enough in itself but at no point did the author tell us how old either man was or the age difference between them.
Karl's constant over protectiveness towards his 5 yr old son. Yet at one point he sent him out on his own 'to play in the front yard' (of a ranch?) and when they went camping the 5 yr old had his own tent while the two guys slept together in another tent. No. Just wouldn't happen. And every night the men 'messed about' in the tent.
On the subject of the son, he sounded like no 5 year old I've ever had the pleasure to meet.
Oh, and then a decision was made about not using condoms without any consultation with the other party. And don't even get me started on the use of the word 'clean'.


I really wanted to enjoy this book but unfortunately it simply had too many problems for me.