Headstrong Ruben Harper has yet to meet an obstacle he can’t convert into a speed bump. He’s used to getting what he wants from girls, but when he develops a fascination for a man, his wooing skills require an upgrade. Shy, cautious Henry, Ruben’s former high school history teacher, suspects he needs a wake-up call, and Ruben appears to be his siren. But when Ruben bolts, Henry is left struggling to find closure. Inspired by his conversations with Ruben, Henry begins to write articles about the memories stored in everyday objects. As Henry’s snowballing fame takes him out of town and further out of touch, Ruben stretches to close the gaps that separate them.
Jackie is a big rodeo fan and Simon is an up and coming bull rider. When the two meet its an instant attraction. Simon is from a family with strong Christian values and this affects his outlook on gay romance. However, out of the controlling view of his parents, Simon gives in to temptation and begins an affair with Jackie.
Simon does struggle with his feelings due to his upbringing and at times the angst is a little annoying which is the reason for the three stars. Simon’s character is a little too innocent where relationships or interactions between gay men is concerned. At one point he says he didn’t know gay men could have a life together or be happy together. The innocence is cute but taken a little too far for my liking.
Still, Jackie and Simon’s relationship is a sweet romance with some hot moments. Jackie has his own fears of losing Simon and when Simon is outed to his parents, losing Simon becomes a very real possibility. Simon shows a little growth by standing up to his parents and risking their rejection which I thought is a good thing.
This book gives a little bit of a look at what goes on on the rodeo circuit, so if you like books on rodeo romance, this book is for you. If you like to see your characters grow some this book is for you and it’s one of the reasons I’d recommend it. Also if you read the first book and loved like I did, I'd recommend reading this one too just to catch up with Ryan and Dante. I love seeing them again.
I didn’t enjoy all three of these stories equally, but the reason for the 4 is because I did enjoy two of them. Sawyer’s Folly Box Set consists of three stories set in the same small town in Arkansas. The first two are connected.
Love Won’t Run is a historical western romance about an heiress—murder witness on the run. One of Della’s stops lands her in small town Sawyer’s Folley where finds love and courage in Lo a local Romeo. This story catches me right off the bat and pulls me in. As the story opens the heroine, Della is shaking in her shoes due to gun shots and drops the tray she’s holding ruining her employer’s carpets. She’s fired as she leaves she’d hired by a Lo or Lewis who needs a companion for his bratty niece. Said niece is really in need of some companionship and female mentoring, but she’s not all that bad, and as Della bonds with the niece, Raisie. She also bonds with Lo. As the bond grows stronger we learn that Della isn’t just another poor woman looking for a decent job, she’s an heiress on the run having witnessed her husband’s murder. She’s not just afraid of the killer finding her but of her father’s regaining control of her and using her for his own ends as well. Della’s life is going smoothly until a jealous ex of Lo’s happens upon an old flyer advertising an interest in finding Della. The old flame hurries to tell Lo who demands to know the truth. Lo is determined to save Della and keep her in his home and his niece is just as adamant about keeping Della with them. So, Lo sets out to help her only to bring danger to his door. Averting being killed and saving Della from her father, all seems well until more danger comes calling and Della finds has to act with courage to protect those she loves.
The story has a natural progression from strangers to falling in love. There is no sex only a sweet romance with a few kisses, but I still enjoyed it. There were a few out of place phrases for the time period, but it didn’t take away from the story. I give this one a 4 because Della showed some boldness in attempting to make it on her own after fleeing her home. It was also a fun to watch Della whip Raisie into shape. Raisie is my favorite because she is a symbol of the growing independence of women of that time.
The Second book in the set is Love Remembers When is also a historical romance. It’s about an ex husband and wife who fled Sawyer’s Folly after the death of their child only to be drawn back by an inheritance. Peter Bonham fled Sawyer’s Folly years ago and his brother’s wedding brings him home again to place where love broke his heart. Peter returns and so does the ex-wife who broke his heart.
This story was okay, but a little repetitive for me. Peter’s ex Lillian was engaged to a guy who seemed a little over the top of a jerk just to make Peter look like the better guy. I can only give this one a 3 because it seemed to drag a little which I didn’t like. There is too much rehashing of their pain over their son’s death and now neither seemed to be able to just heal and let go. You never get over losing a loved one, but these two took too long to get closure for me. That closure came in the form of them both visiting the cemetery where their son was buried. I would recommend it to anyone who likes the genre though.
The final book in the series is When Love Arrives is also a historical romance. This one caught me right off. It was about a man—a bit omega in my book, who fled his home in search of work and finds love with a lonely widow. Ethan meets a jerky guy who just happens to share his first name, Ethan. Ethan dislikes Ethan immediately because this stranger tells him he’s newly married and is out to fleece the poor woman. As it happens, this jerk doesn’t get the chance. The train they are on has an accident and kills the jerk Ethan along with several others leaving hero Ethan hurt. Enter the wife. Ethan is urged by the doctor of Sawyer’s Folly to pretend to be the dead Ethan because the wife, Abigail has suffered emotionally in his book. Ethan does but only after trying to set the record straight. Abigail wanted a husband to help her maintain her farm and Ethan is just the man. The romance develops rather quickly, but is very PG though Abigail is eager to take it to the R level while Ethan holds back. There are a few moments of drama as Ethan struggles to do the right thing without hurting Abigail, he sends a letter to his sister which Abigail finds. This creates doubt in her mind about who he is. Then, Abigail’s ex in-laws show up wanting to buy the land. Ethan’s belligerence toward them lead them to have him investigated. He ends up getting thrown in jail for impersonating the dead guy. Abigail finds out she’s pregnant and decides to go get her man. All in all a nice story. It does drag a little, but I’m not the biggest fan of the historical. I give this one a 4 because I enjoyed the concept of the mistaken identity-assuming the dead guy’s identity. I also liked the very independent woman that Abigail is.
The author did a great job of keeping the language and descriptions of dress true to time. This is a plus in my book. All the stories were a well-written, good reads if you enjoy the historical romance, the western historical romance genres, or sweet romances, you’ll like these stories.
Lucy is an orphan in the wild west and when she meets Gerald the world she knows spins wildly out of control. And she likes it. Gerald is all male, all tough and hard edges unless he’s with Lucy. Can Lucy be the Villain’s woman or is all just too much for her to handle?
I haven’t read a western romance in a while and this is a great story! I like Gerald, he has that hard exterior but when he’s with Lucy it’s like a whole new side of him. I find him totally hot and intriguing. Lucy is young and slightly naive, definitely innocent but she isn’t a coward. She fights for her man and that makes me love her even more. The romance is sweet rather than sexy but I enjoyed it. In only 42 pages, the author told a beautiful tale.
Patch ran from his home in East Texas but when his parents die unexpectedly he returns home. Tucker Biggs is his father’s best friend and the will left him in charge. They never got along but Tucker is having unexpected feelings for the young man in the tight blue jeans.
This is a bit taboo and there is the age gap. As long as you’re okay with those two issues I think you’re going to love Lickety Split as much as I did! I love the city slicker versus the old cowboy dynamic. It really makes the story flow right along. I wish there was more about Patch and his family. That issue is just kind of simplified and we all know family is anything but simple. As the story progresses, I find myself falling more and more for these guys.
Lickety Split is a sexy story with a bit o’ happily ever after.
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Title: Canaan's Land
Author: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
Length: Novel -116 pgs
Genres: MF Romance, Contemporary, Western/Rural/Cowboy
TBR Reviewer: Jean
Rating: 3 stars - A Good Read!
Heat: 1 - tame
There's an old saying that good guys finish last.
In rural Missouri, old sayings are part of the fabric of the community, as are the generations of families who've lived there. The third generation to tend the Moss family farm, Canaan Moss is the last of his line and as good a guy as there could be until hard times strike. As he struggles to make ends meet, unknown parties frame him for growing illegal crops on his land. Desperate to clear his name, his treasured farm is used as collateral to make bail while he attempts to solve the mystery and capture the wrongdoers. But will the bad guys get to him first?
I felt sorry for Cane Moss. A thirty-something loner with no particular trade, talent, looks or fashion sense is stuck with generations worth of debt and very few friends. He has no real desire or ambition beyond squatting on his land, yet fails to notice any suspicious activity going on. Fortunately for him, pretty local journalist Kaitlyn Koch takes a shine to him and nurses him back to health after he suffers a brutal attack, all while helping him solve the case and defend his homestead. However, the love story faces no real conflict and despite his self-reliant country upbringing our hero seems a bit of a wimp. Other than the central threat to Cane's livelihood, the remainder of the plot is not much more than a slice of country life. I dislike stories that go into too much detail about what they're cooking, what clothes they put on, and advertise when they have to go pee, ect.
If Canaan's Land were a song, it would be a Country & Western classic. The story, like Cane and Kaitlin's romance, is sweet, simple and straightforward, and like any good western, the good guys win in the end. If that's your kind of fare, It doesn't get more satisfying than that!
Title: A Christmas Kiss
Author: Kassandra Lea
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Western
TBR Reviewer: Amy
Rating: 3 Stars - A Good Read!
Heat: 1/5 - Tame
Clara Dickens isn't looking for love for the holidays; however Mother Nature changes all of that. Veterinarian Clara is smitten with rancher Asher Barlow. He is a good guy who loves animals. When Asher rescues a pregnant mare down on her luck, he calls Clara to give her medical care. After helping, Asher asks Clara over for dinner as a thank you. One date leads to another and they start having feelings for each other. Maybe with Christmas and the blizzard arriving, they both will finally be pushed in the right direction.
I like the idea of the story and thought the characters are great. I gave this story three stars because to me it needs something more. I feel that these two are always dancing around one another. I wanted more heat between the two of them, especially since they have such a strong attraction to one another. Overall, A Christmas Kiss is a romantic holiday read.
Title: Boots, Chaps, and Cowboy Hats
Author: Alysha Ellis, BA Tortuga, Nan Comargue, Wendi Zwaduk, Molly Ann Wishlade, Beth Carter
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Western
TBR Reviewer: Amy
Rating: 3 Stars - A Good Read!
Heat: 3/5 - Blush Worthy
In this anthology you get six different stories by six authors. Each story is most definitely packed with steamy scenes with a lot of cowboy goodness. Since the stories are so short there isn’t much more to them. They did a good job with describing and characterizing, especially the cowboys! I just wish there's more story and less sex. My favorite story is Tied and Taken by BA Tortuga. The mystery of these two and how they are brought together again by sheer luck is great!
Jimmy grew up on a farm and left for premed school. Now, he’s returned with a flamboyant boyfriend Oliver in tow. Eric is Jimmy’s best friend and straight. They are thrown together when Oliver cheats...
Before I even talk about the main characters, let’s start with the secondary and third and any character in here because they’re all amazingly well created. Scott, Jimmy’s parent’s, Eric’s parents, Eric brothers, even the town characters are fantastic! Then there’s Jimmy and Eric. One a cowboy, one a doctor, both so freaking fabulous that I can hardly describe them. Sexy. Sweet and their romance. Oh my God, it’s so perfect. They’re best friends and then kissing and...just perfect. The sex scenes are, well, perfect. Okay, I know I’m using that word a lot but I love this book so freaking much! Oliver role is admittedly anticlimactic. Nothing happens with him but still, I’m all tingly from this book. I’m going to recommend this book to every m/m reader I know and I’m on the hunt for more books by this author!
My Hometown is a must read cowboy romance!
Emily and Cotton. There were not two more opposite characters possible in one book that could be attracted to one another but somehow they managed it. Emily, the Goth, tattooed and pierced, Master's Degreed City girl in Austin. Cotton, the down home, barely made it through two years at Tarlton, constantly wears blue jeans and cowboy boots, a Country boy who rides bulls for a living. Maybe their differences are part of the draw. Maybe their differences will tear then apart. Only time will tell.
LOVE the cover. Covers are often my first impression of a book and this one was an excellent first impression. As I began reading, thinking I would slowly begin getting to know both Emily and Cotton, I had a rather hasty up close and personal opportunity to get acquainted with them instead. Nothing wrong with it I suppose, just out of the ordinary. They have a fun, quirky and sexual relationship right off the bat and I found I could relate to Em in many ways. I remember feeling like the 'old maid' or that I weighed too much when all of my friends were 'Skinny Minnies' and it sucked. She handles it better than I did but to have someone handle it like Cotton and think that it is sexy to be Rubenesque, what I would have given for that! Another character I fell totally in love with was Cotton's momma Caroline. She was my kind of person, calling a spade a spade. I'll bet Ms. Tortuga had such fun writing her character.
The only thing that I really didn't completely like about the book was that practically the entire story related to Cotton and Emily having sex in some way or another - kissing, thinking about kissing, having just kissed and so on . Normally books of that variety make me really hot but this one didn't. When I really thought about the reason why, I decided it must go back to the fact that I can relate to Emily, so any of the problems Cotton and Em have are often tied to her weight, at least in her mind... and mine. I loved the way it got wrapped up though and I was so happy with the ending of the book.
Would I recommend this book? Sure, but not for everyone. First, you really should be over 18. Next, surprisingly, I'm not going to say that you have to like cowboys, just romance, especially when opposites attract.
Title: Rogues and Riverboats
Author: Temple Madison
Length: Novella, 89 pgs
Genres: Erotic, Historical, Western, Menage
TBR Reviewer: Jean
Rating: 3 stars - a good read
Heat: 4 - smoking hot
Jewel of the Delta! Aboard a magnificent riverboat with a scandalous reputation, notorious jewel thief Lady Chablis plans the heist of her career. But the Twilight is a vessel that has other plans, throwing the Lady, by day known as Camille du Peret, straight into the clutches of undercover Pinkerton detectives Beau and Jesse Bannock. Instead of making an arrest, the sexy cowboy brothers capture Camille in an entirely different way, making three-of-a-kind the best hand to be dealt.
This book had a lot of potential with the rich backdrop of the deep south and riverboat glamour behind it. As the story opens the reader gets a sense of the history and mystique of the Twilight and the intrigue that is about to begin with a beautiful, cunning thief and detectives that are not only hot on her trail, but just plain hot! Camille has valid reasons for turning to a life of crime, but we are not certain how she became the "notorious" Lady Chablis, since after all, you are not much of a thief if everybody knows who you are! Likewise Beau and Jesse are not the sharpest tools in the shed when it comes to detective work, and seem more interested in engaging in a threesome mere moments after setting eyes on Camille. The sex scenes, while naughty and erotic, are sudden and seem more like dream sequences than actual events.
Rogues and Riverboats has all the ingredients of a juicy story, but sadly this recipe flops in the end. It appears to be a period piece circa mid-1800s but the timeframe seems out of whack, mentioning the Golden Gate Bridge which was not built until the early 20th century. We are also not told what river they are on, other than a reference to "the Delta", presumably meaning the Mississippi Delta. After awhile I wondered if the Twilight was meant to be an authentic paddewheeler or a modern-day
"theme night" masquerade cruise!
That said, there were flashes of brilliance in the writing, particularly in the dialogue, and Camille's quick-wittedness in making her escape from her captors was entertaining to say the least. You gotta love a spunky heroine! Scarlet O'Hara fans will enjoy meeting Camille du Peret and taking a kinky cruise aboard the sexiest steamboat ever!