4.5 Stars, BA Tortuga, Genre Romance, Pride Publishing, Reviewed by Maryann

Review: Blind Ride by BA Tortuga

Amazon

Amazon

Title: Blind Ride (Roughstock: Vol. One)

Author: BA Tortuga

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 234 Pages

At a Glance: Blind Ride is a story about the love and caring of family, good friends, and the love between two special men.

Reviewed By: Maryann

Blurb: Jason Scott has everything a bull rider wants—success, money and traveling partner Andy Baxter. When he loses his sight in an accident, he stands to lose it all. Jason Scott is at the top of the bull riding game, on his way to a winning season. Along with his traveling partner, Andy Baxter, he’s riding hard on the circuit, working around the country with all of the other bull riders and bullfighters, living the good life. The only thing he wishes he had is Bax, but he’s afraid to take the step that would make them more than friends, worried that it will ruin everything. When a terrible accident leaves Jason unable to see, his whole life goes south. Jason decides to chuck it all, determined to go home and hide at his momma’s ranch. Bax has other ideas. He wants to make sure his best friend doesn’t give up, and he hatches a plan that stuns Jason and makes their friends and family think he’s crazy. With the help of the other bull riders and a very persistent bull fighter named Coke, Bax convinces Jason to give life one more try. With Jason cautiously learning to hope, and his relationship with Bax going to the next level, life gets pretty complicated. Everyone gets in on the project, from Jason’s strong-willed mother to an entire ranch full of children, all of them working to help Jason do what he loves.

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Review: I am such a fan of BA Tortuga. She has added another series to my collection of cowboy stories, and has created more than just a story about bull riders and rodeos; it’s about the love and caring of family, good friends, and the love between two special men. Blind Ride also takes us behind the rodeo scene with the hard work and life threatening injuries that bull riders face.

Andy “Bax” Baxter and Jason “Mini” Scott are just two wonderful cowboys who love the rodeo. They have been friends for six years but have never taken the step to become more than friends. They spend their days traveling the rodeo circuit and even compete against each other, but they hold no grudges.

When Jason is hurt, there’s so much worry. Living in darkness, never riding again, losing out on a career that he loves, and maybe losing Bax, he even thinks of taking his life. But Bax is there for him and he doesn’t let Jason fail. When Bax goes back on the circuit he gets hurt and is done for the season, but he’s back with Jason and starts a plan to get him back on the circuit as well. It was really heartrending to watch Jason struggle with losing his sight—I can’t even begin to imagine how that would feel. He also has to deal with overbearing help, and to try to do things on his own.  Bax and Jason have a great support system besides Jason’s family.  We meet Coke Pharras, Dillon Walsh, Nate, AJ, Missy, and a sweet little boy named Benji.

The only issue readers may find in Blind Ride is in the narrative and dialogue, but BA Tortuga chose to leave things a little unpolished (see: the Author’s Note).  As for me, I didn’t see this as a problem. It just made the story more down to earth.

TNA_Signature_Maryann

 

 

 

 

You can buy Blind Ride here:

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4 Stars, Amber Allure, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Maryann, Sean Michael

Review: A Cowboy Out of Texas by Sean Michael

Amazon

Amazon

Title: A Cowboy Out of Texas

Author: Sean Michael

Publisher: Amber Allure

Pages/Word Count: 13000 Words

At a GlanceA Cowboy Out of Texas is a sweet, heartwarming little story, well written and keeps you interested in its characters.

Reviewed By: Maryann

Blurb: Sam Hawker’s fall off a bucking bronc at an event in Canada has left him both physically broken and financially broke and in a hospital with his leg in traction. Between worrying about how he’ll pay his medical bills and not being able to move, he’s going more than a little stir crazy.

Easy on the eyes, Pat Bouchard is the nurse assigned to Sam for his stay at the hospital, and the two men get to know each other as Pat cares for and entertains Sam. They grow even closer when Pat offers Sam a place to stay while he recovers.

What are they going to do when Sam’s all better and doesn’t have a reason to stay in Canada any longer?

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Review: Poor Sam Hawker. I think you’ll find Sam to be a really nice guy…who worries constantly about getting better. Sam is a rough and tough rodeo cowboy, but all he’s riding at the moment is a hospital bed. With a broken leg, Sam’s hurting, restless and worried, and then he spies that cute little nurse, Pat.

Pat Bouchard is such a wonderful, nurturing character, and he likes the cowboy. Besides taking care of Sam at the hospital, Pat spends personal time with him. So when Sam becomes anxious and wants out of the hospital but has nowhere to go, Pat offers to take Sam in until he heals up and can get back on the rodeo circuit. Which then makes Sam worry about taking advantage of Pat.

Sam and Pat are really great guys, and this story takes us into their everyday lives: shows us how they meet, who they are, and their feelings for each other. A Cowboy Out of Texas is a sweet, heartwarming little story, well written and keeps you interested in its characters.

TNA_Signature_Maryann

 

 

 

 

You can buy A Cowboy Out of Texas here:

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Thianna D

Guest Post: Discovery (Drakyl Ranch: Book One) by Thianna Durston

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Cowboys, Drakyl, Vampyr…and Things That Go Bump in the Night

In Montana there’s a ranch you might want to steer clear of. The men there are nice enough, especially the younger cousins, but these cowboys have a bit of a secret. They aren’t quite human. Have your attention? Humans, see, live blissfully unaware of a paranormal realm that exists beside our own. The cowboys at Drakyl Ranch did too. Once. Until they started to change. And gained a taste for human blood.

Welcome to my world where cowboys and vampires collide in interesting ways. To be honest, when I first even heard the idea of writing a vampire/cowboy romance, I giggled myself silly. Until the Plot Bunny hit five seconds later. The character Aaron began chatting in my head about being tired of his sickness, so tired of being allergic to the sun. And that’s how it all started.

I knew, of course, of the basic rules of vampirism:

  1. Can’t go into the sun or they fry
  2. They drink human blood
  3. Deathly pale
  4. Wooden stake to the heart can kill them
  5. Depending on which lore you look at either silver is deadly to them, or it’s the fact the silver is in the shape of a cross that is deadly to them.

But beside those rules, vampire lore goes a bit crazy. You have some people in history that would actually bury bodies face down with the belief that if the dead had been infected as a vampire, that they wouldn’t realize they were digging their way deeper underground when they tried to get out of their casket. You also have some of the newest lore – like Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight vamps who sparkle in the sun.

Let me set this straight. Neither my vampyr nor my drakyl sparkle. And yes, I have two different types. Why? When you’re creating a new set of vampires, you have to think of the wheres, the whats, and the whys. Where can they go, what happens when they get there, and why does this new lore work? My drakyl, once they begin to turn are slaves to the moon. The sun, even before they turn completely, can give them a third degree burn. In many ways, they are allergic to the sun’s rays. This fits into the first vampire lore that mostly seems to have come from the beginning. Plus, it made sense to me that drakyl, vampyr-like creatures that are born human and through a strand of DNA turn into drakyl at around 20 years of age, might be a little more humane, more adept at acting human, though they have to also adapt to having some vampyric traits.

Do they drink blood? Yes. And they aren’t embarrassed about it. Well, Aaron tries to fight his desire for it – thank goodness for blood banks.

Their skin is incredibly pale, but if well fed (human blood especially), their skin can be a pale ivory.

Now, as for the wooden stake to the heart… I have never been able to buy into that one. The undead, it seems to me, would have hardy skin that would be hard to punch a stake through. Besides, the whole sleep in a casket thing is very much for old-lore vampirism wherein the vampire has to sleep in the dirt they were buried in during the day or they would poof and die. My drakyl sleep in beds. Their skin does harden, but especially their veins when they change. The only thing that can bust through their veins is iron and the only thing that can kill them besides the sun is silver.

I love the juxtaposition of creatures who have to live off the blood of others still being quite humane as the drakyl at Drakyl Ranch are.

But for those who are disappointed I left the evilness of vampire behind. Never fear. The drakyl have an enemy, the vampyr. True vampire-like creatures, they are made through death and poison, tortured into their undead state. They reek and have lost their teeth over time, their entire bodies stinking of rot. Vampyr live for three things: to drink blood, to attack and take over, and to murder drakyl.

Welcome to Drakyl Ranch where my drakyl cowboys somehow manage to find their Joined, their forever companion, even with vampyr attacking any chance they can get.

~Thianna Durston

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Discovery-Customdesign-Jayaheer2015-smallpreviewBlurbAaron thought he was dying, Jaret showed him how to live.
Now the only thing standing between them and forever
is an ancient enemy set on their annihilation.

Living in Montana and working the ranch is all Aaron wants to do for the rest of his life. Diagnosed as allergic to the sun thirteen years previous, every day is a struggle to get out of bed. Having to wear long-sleeved shirts, gloves, and even material to cover his face from the effects of the sun, just makes it all worse. Now, in his thirty-second year, he is sure this will be his last summer. While he hates it, he knows he needs to come to terms with the truth and put things in order for his younger cousins. Before he does so, he heads out for one night of pleasure before facing what’s coming.

Jaret loves excitement and new adventures. For over five hundred years, he has sought them out. In Montana on a whim, he comes across someone he doesn’t expect, someone who makes him feel things he does not understand and does not want to give up. In no time at all, he feels like he cannot live without Aaron. The only problem is Aaron doesn’t know who he is, what he is, nor that he isn’t going to die. Not on Jaret’s watch. With a plan to help the other man discover who he is in place, he only has one thing to worry about: whether an ancient enemy will come and destroy everything he now holds dear.

Warning: This book is a paranormal m/m romance with some horror elements. It also crosses cowboy and vampire genres. If you don’t think cowboys look hot with fangs, you’re missing out.

Buy Links: Amazon || Barnes & Noble

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Author BioAuthor Bio: Thianna Durston is a writer by day and supernova by night. Or at least that’s what the faeries tell her. And who is she to deny those pesky *cough* lovely little creatures?

She lives in the Pacific Northwest, though her heart belongs elsewhere. In the meantime, until she can return to the place she calls home, she happily lives in a city that still thinks it’s a small town. Thankfully, it has given her muse lots of amusing places to start a story.

You can find her at: Thianna’s Website || Thianna’s Blog || Facebook Author Page || Twitter || Google+ || Goodreads

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Sarah Masters

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Outcast Cowboys Tour with Sarah Masters

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We’re so pleased to welcome first time visitor Sarah Masters to The Novel Approach today, as she tours to chat about her new novel from Pride Publishing, Outcast Cowboys. Enjoy Sarah’s guest post, then be sure to check out Pride’s contest for the month of August by clicking on the image below.

And now, here’s Sarah!

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I’m Hiding Who I Am Too

Joe, in Outcast Cowboys, is a surly man. He’s been through a lot. He’s been accused of a few things he hasn’t done—bad things—but lets everyone think what they like. He’s done with trying to make people like him for who he really is. And besides, who would believe he was soft at heart underneath it all anyway when his brothers act as though Joe is the devil himself?

In the following scene, Joe starts to thaw.

Ross had joined the workforce at the ranch in Texas with the belief he could finally be his true self. After finding that couldn’t be the case, he once again adopts a persona. He’s used to doing that—he was an undercover cop in London, UK. So he slips into yet another role, one that has Joe shirking off his gruff exterior and giving Ross a glimpse of the real man beneath. I loved watching Joe unfurl, blooming as the book progressed, and showing Ross that he wasn’t the asshat everyone perceived him to be. Here was Joe, a man forced to play a role, and here was Ross, forced to do the same. Somehow, they recognized that in each other, and defenses slowly started coming down. I eagerly looked forward to the point in the book where they could just be who they were—with each other—and know that no matter what, they’d be accepted.

These men, and the writing of this book, touched me profoundly. I grew to love them, to think of them as real people, and although I gave them many complex layers, what I wanted to show was that underneath whatever personality we present to people, there is a soul crying out to be loved and cared for. And the bottom line is, that’s all we really want in this mad game of life, isn’t it? We all just want to be loved.

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Excerpt from Outcast Cowboys: 

Tessa wasn’t alone in the kitchen. Joe was with her, his hand on the table, blood pooling in the palm. It reminded Ross of the time Musket had fought off a blade-wielding maniac when one of their drug meets had gone wrong. He and Musket had escaped, coming out on top. The blade owner had ended up a victim of his own steel, courtesy of Musket, and their reputations had been stronger for it. Ross’ stomach hadn’t been stronger, though. He’d had to sew the wound up.

“Shit, what happened to you?” Ross strode across the kitchen.

“Fucking chisel slipped,” Joe snarled. “What’s it to you?”

“I can fix it, that’s what.” Ross planted his hands on the table and leaned on them, inspecting how Tessa was trying valiantly to soak up the blood with balls of cotton wool.

“Fix it? What, are you a goddamn doctor now?” Joe scowled, his eyebrows darting down over his eyes, rendering them slits.

“Nope, but I’ve seen and done things you wouldn’t believe, and sewing someone’s palm back together is one of them.” He looked to Tessa. “Got a curved needle? The sort used for close work?”

“Yes.” She wedged a load of cotton wool into Joe’s palm. “Hold that down.” She walked to a sideboard with several drawers. Opening one, she produced a wicker box. “In here.” She plonked it on the table then rooted inside.

“I’ll need it sterilized,” Ross said.

“Just hang on a goddamn minute here,” Joe said. “I haven’t agreed to this shit yet.”

“Yet.” Ross backstepped to the sink to wash his hands. “But you will.” It was almost a relief to slip into this part, to be similar to Wes Drake again, the strongest of his previous aliases. “Give it a week or two and the stitches can come out.”

“A week or two?” Joe moved to get up.

Ross went to the table and pushed him back down. “I wouldn’t bother. If you’ve lost a lot of blood, you might faint. You may not enjoy us seeing you like that. Big bloke like you, you’re bound to be stuffed full of arrogant pride.”

Where the fuck those words had come from Ross didn’t know, but he’d said them now and they didn’t appear to have done any harm. Tess was pouring disinfectant into a saucer, and Joe, although still scowling, didn’t seem to have anything to say.

“Yep, a week or two.” Ross grimaced at the state of the wound. “Worried about having to take time off work?”

“Damn right I am. We’ll fall behind.”

“Must be something else you can do.” Ross shrugged. “Not the hand you use most, is it?”

“Nope, but—”

“Then once it’s bandaged you can groom horses, yeah?”

“Yes, but—”

“So then you don’t lose any wages.”

Joe snapped his mouth closed, his face darkening as if he wanted to blast Ross with a stream of expletives but had changed his mind. “Who gave you a personality transplant?” he muttered.

“No one. Wasn’t myself yesterday.”

“Sure as shit you weren’t.” Joe cracked what could be passed off as a smile. “And there was me thinking you had no balls.”

“I’ve got balls, I just choose when to use them, that’s all.”

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Outcast CowboysBlurb for Outcast Cowboys:

You can run but you can’t hide. Problems have a habit of following you, even if it’s only inside your head.

Ross decides to start a new life away from the grim belly of London, England, unable to stomach being a cop any longer. He tells himself he’s moving miles away to find himself a bed partner, but he’s lying. He has to. Facing up to the real reason he’s leaving isn’t something he can handle. His last undercover job proved too much—his life was at risk—and if he stays in London he’ll likely end up dead. Nightmares plague him, his subconscious unable to switch the past off. So he moves to a ranch in America, thinking the new surroundings and different lifestyle will help him to heal—and to forget. What he soon realizes is he’s jumping from the frying pan into the fire…

Joe’s passion—that of caring for the horses—is the only thing that keeps him sane. He’s a surly man, and for good reason—a reason he hasn’t told a soul. Folks think he’s mean and unapproachable and suspect him of committing murder. More than once. Locals assume that Joe got let off the hook. Nothing could be further from the truth, but Joe lets people think what they will. He’s done with their speculation and sly looks.

When Ross and Joe meet, tension is rife. The air between them prickles with animosity as well as sexual tension. Both have a past they can’t get over. Both have skeletons in their closets they wish would turn to dust. And both have to make a decision. Can they cast their fears aside and trust each other, or have the terrors they’ve experienced ruined them for love?

Reader Advisory: This book contains a scene of remembered non-consensual sex in a character’s past.

General Release Date: 18th August 2015

Like the sound of Outcast Cowboys? Buy it here.

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Author BioAbout Sarah Masters: Sarah Masters is a multi-published author in three pen names writing several genres. She lives with her husband, youngest daughter, and a cat in England. She writes at weekends and is a cover artist/head of art in her day job. In another life she was an editor. Her other pen names are Natalie Dae and Geraldine O’Hara.

Sarah also co-authors with Jaime Samms, and as Natalie Dae she co-authors with Lily Harlem under the name Harlem Dae.

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THE GIVEAWAY

CLICK THE IMAGE TO ENTER

CLICK THE IMAGE TO ENTER

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5 Stars, BL Morticia, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Remmy Duchene, Reviewed by Maryann

Review: Wounded Hearts by Remmy Duchene and BL Morticia

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Title: Wounded Hearts

Authors: Remmy Duchene and BL Morticia

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 256 Pages

At a Glance: What a terrific start to a new series.

Reviewed By: Maryann

Blurb: Zane Ashford’s stint in the NYPD comes to an abrupt halt when he is injured in the line of duty. After waking up partially blind in one eye, all he wants to do is crawl into a hole, but his friends and family won’t leave him alone. Reluctantly, he lets his best friend talk him into time away on a ranch in Montana. But the moment he gets there and meets Cyrus Abrams, Zane begins to contemplate murder.

Cyrus Abrams is vulgar, ornery, stuck in his ways, and not about to change for anyone, no matter how good Zane Ashford looks in those jeans. The more they lock horns, the more Cyrus begins to see Zane in a whole new light. But Cyrus has a past, one that left him in big trouble and more broken than he cares to admit—a past no one told Zane about. Cyrus fears that when Zane finds out, everything will come to a screeching halt.

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Review: What a terrific start to a new series. Wounded Hearts is such a great collaboration by Remmy Duchene and BL Morticia. I really loved this story; lots of humor, sexy talk, ranching, a cop, and a cowboy. And watch out for the mud wrestling! There’s no mysterious plot or outrageous secrets, just a young, beautiful man from the city, and a crazy, gorgeous, older cowboy, who get so wound up in each other they just keep putting those important conversations on hold. And that certainly leads to some head-butting.

Cyrus Abrams is such a wonderful character; older, grumpy but not vulgar. I just don’t like that word for him, though. Unrefined is more like it. He just says what he feels, and he is very funny at times. He is definitely from another decade, as his previous lover was a gangster, who took Cyrus from bouncer to shady businessman. Even though all that is in his past, Cyrus still carries a lot of grief and guilt about his lost love, and he thinks no one can replace him. When things start to heat up with him and Zane, that guilt becomes a big weight on his shoulders.

Zane is African-American and was adopted by a Caucasian family. After almost facing death, his good friend Renford (Renford is a district attorney, best friend to Cyrus, and like a brother to Zane. He spends some time at the ranch too, and I hope he’s going to get his own story as there seems to be something going on with him) talks him into going to the Montana ranch owned by Cyrus to recuperate. Zane is also very talented with his art, music and photography. He’s not without his issues: can he be a cop again? He feels like he’s not a whole man because of his his injury, and he really wants to find someone special to be in his life.

Brian Daystar is a Native American, younger, and adds a lot of sexy fun to the story. He works for Cyrus on the ranch, and has really bad timing! We also get to meet Cecily, Zane’s older sister, and who could resist Zelda and Woofer? They bring the sweetness to this story!

TNA_Signature_Maryann







 

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Giveaways, Heidi Cullinan, Self-Published

Excerpt and Giveaway: Nowhere Ranch by Heidi Cullinan

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The Novel Approach is pleased to bring you Heidi Cullinan and a giveaway of her latest release Nowhere Ranch.

THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED

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NowhereRanch-reducedBlurb: Love will grow through the cracks you leave open.

Ranch hand Roe Davis absolutely never mixes business with pleasure—until he runs into his boss, Travis Loving, at the only gay bar within two hundred miles.

Getting involved with the ranch owner is a bad idea, but Roe’s and Travis’s bedroom kinks line up against one another like a pair of custom-cut rails. As long as they’re both clear this is sex on the side, no relationship, no interfering with the job, they could make it work.

Shut out by his family years ago, Roe survived by steadfastly refusing to settle into so much as a post office box. As his affair with Travis grows into more than just sex, Roe’s past catches up with him, threatening the thin ray of happiness he’s found, reminding him it’s well past time he went on his way.

But even a loner gets lonely, and at this point, there’s nowhere left to run. The shame and sorrow of what he’s lost will stay with Roe wherever he goes—until he’s ready to let love lead him home.

This novel has been previously published and has been revised from its original release.

Buy Links: Gumshoe Road | Amazon US | All Romance eBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

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Excerpt: I met Travis Loving when I went to work at Nowhere Ranch. I’d been shuffling around ranches throughout the Midwest, doing time in Kansas and the Dakotas. Nowhere, in northwestern Nebraska, was the farthest west I’d yet gone. I will admit I answered the ad because of the name. Also because if I went through one more fucking North Dakota winter, I was going to hang myself. I’d heard it wasn’t quite as bad in Nebraska. So after a few good days of partying in Omaha, I contacted the ranch manager, who said he’d give me a try, and off I went.

The other thing I liked about Nowhere Ranch was it was a hobby ranch, almost as small as a larger farm. I know everybody’s all about the sexy Southern cowboys and big ranches and tumbleweeds blowing by you, but I grew up on a farm, and it’s what I know. Ranches usually feel too big. It’s the wrong culture or something.

Nowhere Ranch was smaller, and it was way out in the boondocks—hence, the name. Apparently when Loving bought it, he kept talking about how he was moving out to the middle of nowhere, and the name stuck. It was a good, solid operation, especially considering the owner was still pretty green. The feed was all organic, and he had about as many sheep as he did cattle. We only had sheep a short while at Dad’s farm, but I knew enough about them to understand what I was getting into.

None of the other hands lived on site, which worried me at first. But the manager said it really was a small operation, and they rotated through a set of local guys when they needed them. He also said if I wasn’t fussy, there was an apartment above the stable I was welcome to. It wouldn’t cost me anything if I was willing to be on standby to do work off the clock, like help round up steers that got out. So it would only be me and the owner at the ranch, with the manager and his family down the road.

As soon as I heard about having my own apartment, not a bunk with other guys, I was ready to do about anything to get there. I was careful about anybody finding out I was queer, but I still couldn’t shake the feeling something I didn’t expect would trip me up. I was pretty sure handling sheep and calves wasn’t going to give me away, but in my own place I could jerk off without watching to make sure nobody noticed there was nothing but dick in the mags and vids I had.

Except the apartment was a real fucking dive. It was about twelve by twelve, and I think the carpet had been there since 1972 without once making the acquaintance of a vacuum. It was furnished, with a bed and a table and a recliner and a nightstand, but I took one look at the bedding and headed to Walmart to replace it. While I was there I picked up a bottle of bleach too. But I was still overall pleased with the place. After a little cleaning and replacement parts, it was a palace to me.

The only problem was there really wasn’t a kitchen to speak of, just a dorm-sized fridge and a hot plate. I’m not any kind of fancy chef, but eating out all the time is expensive, and I get tired of sandwiches. It was enough of a hitch in my get-along that I thought about asking for a proper stove, but in the end I decided I could limp along to start. I’d lobby for a moderate kitchen upgrade once I had a better lay of the land. If I even stayed long enough to bother with it.

The first two weeks I only saw Loving in passing, usually in the mornings as he stood with the manager, Tory Parrish, at the fence rail. Tory would nod while Loving spoke quietly, his tan cowboy hat bobbing as he turned this way and that, gesturing to fields and barns and equipment. Occasionally I also saw Loving head out on his horse a couple hours after the last of the hands had gone home and he’d had his evening meeting with Tory. Sometimes I would watch him ride out, because it was a nice vista, man on horse, silhouetted against the sunset.

Loving was tall and broad, a few inches shorter than my six-two. Handsome in a way I appreciated, but he was significantly older than me. By this time I was almost twenty-five, and Loving had to be pushing forty. He seemed more like my dad than somebody to ogle. Also, he’s the boss. I knew he used to be a professor in Omaha and he was divorced with no kids, and I knew he’d only owned this ranch for about three years. Mostly I didn’t pay him much attention outside of noting when he was around so I could work harder at not being a dick. Because I did like the job, and outside of the mediocre kitchen, I enjoyed the apartment.

One Saturday night there was a knock on my door, and when I opened it, by God if it wasn’t Loving standing there. He gave me a curt nod as a greeting. “We got trouble on the north ridge. Can I get you to lend a hand?”

I said sure. After hustling into my boots, I grabbed my hat and followed him down the stairs.

Tory was already on a four-wheeler, rifle stowed in the back. Loving had his own ride waiting beside Tory’s, but I noticed there wasn’t a third, so I climbed on behind Tory and held on to the rack as we rode.

When I saw the ewe bobbing around in the field, bumping into the other sheep and acting like she was drunk, I knew what we were in for.

“It looks neurological.” Loving sounded uncertain though, and Tory shrugged.

“It’s neurological all right,” I said. “That ewe has rabies.”

They both turned to me, surprised. “How can you tell?” Tory asked.

I motioned to the ewe. “She’s acting all crazed. It’s eating her brain right now. We’ve got to put her down and get her the hell out of here. Need to isolate the rest of this herd right quick. Groups as small as you can get. You don’t know how many she’s bit.”

“I’ll call the vet.” Loving reached for his phone.

I shook my head. “Ain’t no point.”

“But there’s a treatment,” Loving pressed. “They give it to people.”

“Yeah. And it’s several thousand dollars a pop. This is thirty head of sheep. You’d do better to slaughter them and get new.” I gestured to the huddled herd. “Partition them off as best you can and wait it out, is my advice. Either they been infected or not. All you can do is wait and see.” I tugged on the brim of my hat. “What you do need to do is call all the hands and make sure none of them’s been bit. You only got so many hours between exposure and death.”

Loving reached for his phone again, but Tory already had his out and waved him off.

“I’ll call the boys. You two get her put down and figure out how the fuck we’re going to isolate them.”

Loving grabbed the rifle, nodding at me as he loaded the cartridges. “You’re sure about this?”

Hell yes, I was sure. “They get it from skunks, see. Anyway, it’s the sort of thing you don’t mess around with. She could infect half the herd tonight. Better to kill her and find out I’m wrong than wait and lose them all. The only positive test is to examine her brain. Which kind of requires her to be dead.”

Loving grimaced and nudged his hat higher on his head with his knuckle. “And here I thought foot rot was hell.”

“Oh, everything about sheep is hell. We never cussed more than the years we raised them.”

Loving sighed and raised the rifle, only to lower it again. “Would you mind trying to separate her a little? But don’t expose yourself.”

Heading for the main body of the herd, I clapped my hands and called, “Hee-yah,” until they started to bleat and stumble over each other trying to get away. The rabid ewe followed them for a second before she fell. She got up pretty quickly, and when she did, she came for me.

Sheep don’t exactly set land-speed records, but I hustled out of the way because I wasn’t interested in catching any stray gunshot. Turns out I needn’t have worried, as Loving could shoot a single hair off your head at half a mile. He put the bullet right between her eyes, and she went down like a ton of bricks.

Tory tucked his phone back into his pocket. “I got hold of everybody. All the boys are coming in to help sort them out. I thought probably in the stalls in the horse barn. Chaucer and the boys won’t hurt to be out in the pasture a few days, and we can whip up temporary pens in the south field.”

That’s what we did. We ended up only losing two more sheep total, which was good. But I didn’t talk to Loving for the rest of the week. On Friday, he took off. Tory said he’d be gone through the weekend.

I thought maybe this would be a good time to get away myself. I was starting to get itchy. I headed into town to the public library, where an online search for nearby gay bars informed me I would be going three hours north to Rapid City to get laid. I know they have them fancy apps on smartphones to hook up, but I can’t abide putting that kind of money down for a piece of plastic.

I worried Tory would say I couldn’t leave the ranch unattended, but he said not to bother about it, as he always kept an eye out when Loving was gone. He said I was to go on and have a nice time.

The drive was okay. Mostly I didn’t notice anything around me, too busy thinking about how I could spend the next forty-eight hours fucking and getting fucked. I checked into my hotel, showered, and fussed with my clothes before heading over at nine.

The bar was small and sad, nothing like the flashy stuff I’d gotten used to in Omaha and Kansas City. In North Dakota I had gone to Fargo, which hadn’t been bad. This place was a different story. There was hardly anybody there, and most of them had already hooked up. But I saw one lone cowboy sitting at the bar, and I bee-lined to him, determined to spread my legs even if he looked like Ethel Merman.

You probably saw this coming, but I have to tell you, you could have knocked me over with a feather when the cowboy turned around and he was Travis Loving.

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Heidi Cullinan head shotAuthor Bio: Heidi Cullinan has always loved a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. She enjoys writing across many genres but loves above all to write happy, romantic endings for LGBT characters because there just aren’t enough of those stories out there. When Heidi isn’t writing, she enjoys cooking, reading, knitting, listening to music, and watching television with her husband and teenaged daughter. Heidi is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights and is proud to be from the first Midwestern state with full marriage equality. Find out more about Heidi, including her social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads), at www.heidicullinan.com.

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5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Mary Calmes, Reviewed by Kim

Audio Review: Frog by Mary Calmes – Narrated by K.C. Kelly

Title: Frog

Author: Mary Calmes

Narrator:: K.C. Kelly

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 5 Hours, 23 Minutes

At a Glance: Worth listening to over and over again

Blurb: Weber Yates’s dreams of stardom are about to be reduced to a ranch hand’s job in Texas, and his one relationship is with a guy so far out of his league he might as well be on the moon. Or at least in San Francisco, where Weber stops to see him one last time before settling down to the humble, lonely life he figures a frog like him has coming. Cyrus Benning is a successful neurosurgeon, so details are never lost on him. He spotted the prince in a broken-down bull rider’s clothing from day one. But watching Weber walk out on him keeps getting harder, and he’s not sure how much more his heart can take. Now Cyrus has one last chance to prove to Weber that it’s not Weber’s job that makes him Cyrus’s perfect man, it’s Weber himself. With the help of his sister’s newly broken family, he’s ready to show Weber that the home the man’s been searching for has always been right there, with him. Cyrus might have laid down an ultimatum once, but now it’s turned into a vow-he’s never going to let Weber out of his life again.

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Review: Omg, I just can’t get enough of Frog by Mary Calmes! I read it a couple of years ago and had a tough time letting it go then. For me, it’s the type of story that sucks you in immediately and doesn’t let go of you, even long after you’ve finished the last page. The audio version of this book did more than meet my expectations, and I swear this is K.C. Kelly’s best performance yet. Listening to Weber’s sexy drawl had me riveted throughout the narrative, and I could understand why Cyrus loved this man so much. What a way to start a long, boring commute! It was such an enjoyable experience. That I ended up, once I finished the audio, rereading the e-book again. What a hangover!

There is one thing I would highly recommend for those that may be reluctant to try Frog in e-book or audio, and that is to go directly to Lisa’s earlier review of the book. It’s an awesome review and describes perfectly what this story is about.

Thank you Mary Calmes and Dreamspinner for an outstanding audio. Frog is worth listening to over and over again for this audiobook listener.






You can buy Frog here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

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Giveaways, Self-Published, Z.A. Maxfield

Guest Post and Giveaway: My Cowboy Homecoming by Z.A. Maxfield

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“A cowboy’s heart has room for anything…”

My Cowboy Homecoming is the newest release from bestselling m/m romance author Z.A. Maxfield. It’s part of the Cowboy Hearts series, stories of men who love the land where they live and the animals they care for. Stories of men who love men. Continue reading

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5 Stars, Genre Romance, Jon Keys, Reviewed by Kim, Samhain Publishing

Review: Drawing the Devil by John Keys

Title: Drawing the Devil

Author: Jon Keys

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 162 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: A heart can live a lifetime in eight seconds.

Ever since his father caught him with another boy and threw him out at the tender age of sixteen, Dustin Lewis has been fighting his way up the national bull-riding rankings. He’s on the brink of qualifying for the National Finals when he draws Diablo, a notoriously rank bull—and the ride goes bad. Continue reading

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5 Stars, Genre Romance, LC Chase, Reviewed by Jackie, Riptide Publishing

Review: Pulling Leather by LC Chase

Title: Pulling Leather (Pickup Men #3)

Author: LC Chase

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 177 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: The toughest ride of his life is all in his head.

Bull rider Scott Gillard has a reputation for quick fists and harsh words. What no one knows is where that anger comes from. After a shocking incident sends him into a tailspin, he knows he needs help: he’s been fighting a battle he could never win. Now he’s trying to navigate a new life and embrace his true self, but some days are easier than others. Continue reading

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Jena Wade, Loose Id

Guest Post and Giveaway: Cowboy Movies – Where to Find Inspiration by Jena Wade

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You would think that when I was writing this story I would have been watching as many cowboy movies I could get my hands on, or at least I would have watched Brokeback Mountain. But alas, I did not.

But now that I think of it, I really should have, because Cowboy movies are the best. Continue reading

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4 Stars, Dane Waters, Genre Romance, Loose Id, Reviewed by Tina, Romantic Comedy

Dane Waters’ “With This Ring, I Thee…Oh Sh*t!” Has Everything A Reader Could Want

“Love is a cowboy’s hardest ride.” ― C.B. Smith


Title: With This Ring, I Thee…Oh Sh*t!

Author: Dane Waters

Publisher: Loose Id

Pages/Word Count: 184 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: The days leading up to Dean’s wedding include his mild mannered fiancée morphing into a Texas diva. A future father in law who’d like nothing more than to shoot him in the back. Horny bridesmaids with handcuffs, a Texas sized bar fight, a stripper with hygiene issues, and riding a horse without getting killed. Leo, his fiancé’s little brother, gets him through it all as well as reigniting the urges Dean thought he’d put to rest years ago. Continue reading

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LC Chase, Riptide Publishing

Spotlight and Giveaway: “Pulling Leather” by L.C. Chase

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G’day everyone! Welcome to my Pulling Leather blog tour and a peek into the world of rodeo cowboys. (The official schedule can be found here.) This wouldn’t be a proper tour without some prezzies, of course, so read on for giveaway details. Thank you for kicking off my new tour, and to all of you for hopping in the saddle to ride along!

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The Blurb: The toughest ride of his life is all in his head.

Bull rider Scott Gillard has a reputation for quick fists and harsh words. What no one knows is where that anger comes from. After a shocking incident sends him into a tailspin, he knows he needs help: he’s been fighting a battle he could never win. Now he’s trying to navigate a new life and embrace his true self, but some days are easier than others.

Pickup man Cory Ackerson has suffered his share of harassment, but his light still burns bright. He doesn’t let anything or anyone keep him down, so when he meets the rugged cowboy with a battered chip on his shoulder and regret in his dark eyes, all he wants to do is help.

As their unlikely friendship grows into something deeper, Scott must overcome his past to be the man Cory deserves, or lose his best chance at his own happily ever after. Continue reading

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3.5 Stars, LC Chase, Reviewed by Tina, Riptide Publishing

Love Heats Up The Rodeo In L.C. Chase’s “Let It Ride”


“Life had its own plan; folks just had to learn how to ride it or get bucked off.” — L.C. Chase


Title: Let It Ride (Pickup Men #2)

Author: L.C. Chase

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 195 Pages

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Blurb: Pickup man Bridge Sullivan is the kind of cowboy everyone wants—as a brother, a friend, a lover. People think he’s straight, but Bridge isn’t one for labels, and when a sexy male paramedic jumpstarts his heart, he charges in with all guns blazing.
Continue reading

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5 Stars, Amber Allure, Erin O'Quinn, Reviewed by Lana

Nothing Comes Between A Man And His Kilt In Erin O’Quinn’s “Cowboys and Kilts”


“I didn’t find you. I just tripped into your destiny.” ― Rim Rafei


Title: Cowboys and Kilts

Author: Erin O’Quinn

Publisher: Amber Allure

Pages/Word Count: 51 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Lanky Hugh MacPherson wears his tattoo and his cowboy boots all the way from Nevada to his ancestral home in Scotland, only to find a clansman named Graeme Guthrie has a subtle way of claiming the boots, the tattoo, and the man who wears them.
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5 Stars, Andrew Grey, Dreamspinner Press, Reviewed by Jackie

A Man’s Dream Is Challenged In Andrew Grey’s “A Courageous Ride” – Reviewed by Jackie


“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.” ― John Lennon


Title: A Courageous Ride (The Bullriders: Book Three)

Author: Andrew Grey

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 204 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Aspiring orchestra conductor Marshall is exhausted after months of auditions without a single job offer. Marshall’s friend, Terry, recommends a change of scenery and points Marshall in the direction of a dude ranch run by former bull rider Indigo Santana. Marshall is understandably skeptical, but his friend is convincing, and Marshall needs a break, so he agrees to go.
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4 Stars, BA Tortuga, Dreamspinner Press, Reviewed by Jackie

An Ex-Con Tries To Go Home Again In BA Tortuga’s “The Terms of Release” – Reviewed by Jackie


“Home is where we tie one end of the thread of life.” ― Martin Buxbaum


Title: The Terms of Release

Author: BA Tortuga

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 240 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: They say a man can always come home. So after doing hard time, Sage Redding heads to his family’s northeast Texas ranch to help his ailing daddy with the cutting horses.
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Angel Martinez, Freddy MacKay, Mathilde Watson, Mischief Corner Books, Silvia Violet, Toni Griffin

“Hot Off the Range” Is Hot Off The Presses


“Romance is the glamour which turns the dust of everyday life into a golden haze.” – Amanda Cross



Title: Hot Off the Range

Author: Anthology

Publisher: Mischief Corner Books

Pages/Word Count: 443

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Riding and herding. Those spurs that jingle-jangle-jingle. What is it about cowboys that so doggedly fires the imagination? Join the Mischief Corner authors as they give you their own unique takes on the cowboy mystique and mythos, from the American West, to Australia, to outer space. The cowboy story will never be the same…
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Sean Michael, Torquere Press

In Which An “Inheritance” Isn’t A What But A Who



“Don’t argue about the difficulties. The difficulties will argue for themselves.” ― Winston Churchill


BLURB: Cash McCord loves his life. He owns the family ranch, works hard and invites the occasional cowboy into his bed. All that changes when his brother Jack and Jack’s wife Val are killed in a car crash, leaving behind six kids.

Cash is made guardian along with Val’s brother Brad Rafferty. Brad couldn’t be more different than Cash. A Yankee, Brad is a video game developer who works twelve to fourteen hour days at his desk. The two men lock horns on sight, neither man happy to have the other around, but neither willing to give up guardianship of their nieces and nephews.

Can they manage to keep the kids together, and keep from killing each other at the same time?

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Lisa Worrall, White Stiletto Press

Lisa Worrall Will Put You In A “New York Cowboy” State Of Mind



“The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.”–Bob Marley


Vance Wolf owns Wolf Creek Ranch along with his mother. His father died recently of a heart attack that Vance attributes completely to their new neighbor Andrew Blackwell. Blackwell wants to buy Wolf Creek Ranch. When his friendly offers were refused, he resorted to less friendly and eventually illegal means to get his hands on the ranch. Vance receives little to no help from the local sheriff, who is being bribed by Blackwell’s deep pockets.

As Wolf Creek Ranch (so named because of the creek that runs along the property’s edge closest to the ranch Blackwell now owns) continues to lose cattle to Blackwell’s attacks, Vance and his mother have no capital to replace them. They are quickly running out of money and losing the ranch is a definite possibility.
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Dreamspinner Press, Rowan McAllister

“My Only Sunshine” Offers Hope From Despair



“There is no need to suffer silently and there is no shame in seeking help.” ― Joel S. Manuel


BLURB: Tanner Wallis is nearly at the end of his rope the night Mason Seidel finds him lying next to the mangled body of a cow on the back pastures of the Seidel family’s Wyoming ranch. Recently out of the hospital after he and his boyfriend were brutally beaten, Tanner is jobless, homeless, and almost penniless. His desperate hope is that Mason will believe he’s innocent of the senseless crime and give him a place to heal, both physically and emotionally, until he can get on his feet again.

But Mason already has enough on his plate. He’s only been back on the ranch a few months, ten years after his father kicked him out for being gay, and only because his sister begged him to come help after the man’s disabling stroke. With all his responsibilities—running the struggling ranch and keeping his sister and father off his back—Mason can’t really afford the distraction Tanner represents. But he can’t just abandon the attractive young man either. There’s trouble in spades on the ranch, but if they face it together, Mason and Tanner might find a future with a little sunshine.
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Dreamspinner Press, Zahra Owens

It’s Never Too Late To Reach For The “Moon and Stars”



“Scandal is gossip made tedious by morality.” ― Oscar Wilde


BLURB: After an affair with a married DA led to scandal and disbarment, Cooper Nelson left his legal career in shambles, and found solace working as a hand at the Blue River Ranch. Eight years later, during a rare visit into town, Cooper bumps into Kelly Freed, a man he left behind fifteen years earlier when he started out as an attorney. Unfortunately, Kelly is running for sheriff and his wife is terminally ill, so Kelly can’t even consider rekindling their relationship. Cooper knows from sad experience that hiding the truth leads to lives being ruined, so for his part, he refuses to be anybody’s dirty secret.

In the meantime circumstances at neighboring Blackwater Ranch have taken a desperate turn. Gable’s friend Calley has breast cancer, and when Gable and Flynn take in Calley’s kids, they need help from their friends. Cooper and Kelly’s combined talents are put to work to ensure Gable can make a bid to become the legal father of his children, and that Calley’s affairs are in order if worse comes to worst. For Cooper, staying away from Kelly was never easy, and now with a common cause, Cooper finds he can’t stop himself from seeking the man out.

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Andrew Grey, Dreamspinner Press

Andrew Grey’s “A Daring Ride” Is A New Beginning



“Never a horse that can’t be rode and never a rider that can’t be throwed.” ― Earle Gray



In this, the second book in The Bullriders series, we take a trip back to the rodeo with Andrew Grey. This time around instead of seeing the end of a champion’s reign, we are seeing the beginning of a young cowboy’s career.
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Dreamspinner Press, Rob Colton

“The Ranch Foreman” Leaves A Lot Unsaid

“Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky



When we first meet Matt, Madison Ward. He is meeting his cousin Brian, who has gotten him a job at the Gates cattle ranch. Matt has been taking care of his aunt, Brian’s mother, but she has become ill and has been moved into an assisted living facility. Her house had to be sold to pay for her care so Matt is homeless without this job. He has never worked a ranch before, but he is willing to do whatever it takes to survive. Upon his arrival Matt meets Baxter Hollingsworth, the ranch foreman. Matt recognizes the attraction in Baxter’s eyes, but it seems Baxter is not just in the closet, but he is so far in there he may never come out.

Baxter Hollingsworth is a forty-plus-year-old ranch foreman who has lived his life in the closet and has no intention of coming out anytime soon. He is completely enthralled by Matt when he first meets him, and that scares him to death. The only solution Baxter can see is to stay professional and keep as much distance between them as possible. This seemed to work for him until he gets drunk. Each time he has a few drinks, he finds Matt and has his way with him, but as soon as he is sober, he is back to putting distance between them.

Matt is pretty much at his breaking point and decides that he has to stop letting Baxter use him whenever he feels like it. Right about this time, Matt meets the local vet and finds out that not all the gay men in town are in the closet. The two men go out on a date and it gets pretty hot and heavy, but Matt can’t get Baxter out of his head and he lets the vet down easy. Baxter is enraged that Matt went out with the vet and it leads to a confrontation where Matt finally tells Baxter that he isn’t going to stand for anymore drunk fumblings, and he wants to live and love out and proud. Baxter won’t do that so they are done, or so Matt thinks.

Soon after this confrontation, there is a freak accident that leaves Matt injured and has Baxter questioning his decision to stay in the closet and away from Matt. This is where the author lost me. It seemed to me that all of a sudden the two men are proclaiming their undying love for one another, and it just felt false. The author did write a wonderful story, I just feel so much was left unsaid that needed to be verbalized. There was a situation of sexual assault against Matt, and it seemed he just “got over it”. He never discussed it with anyone, and that just didn’t ring true with me. The owners of the ranch seem to adore Matt, yet there is very little history shown between them, and maybe three total conversations.

This book was a good read, I just felt it could be so much more. I didn’t have any emotional ties to the MCs, and I truly didn’t like Baxter. I just got the impression that the whole storyline was rushed, and I didn’t get all the backstory that would have made the book that much better.

Reviewed by: Jackie

You can buy The Ranch Foreman here:

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