Author: Catt Ford
Genre: MM / Contemporary / Western
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 15th, 2013)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5 Hearts
Blurb: Aging bull rider Cody Grainger needs bullfighter Johnny Arrow for more than just protection in the ring. Their bond of trust goes beyond the professional and into love, but while their relationship holds up to the need for discretion imposed by their sport and repeatedly having to watch each other put themselves in the way of dangerous animals, other barriers still tear them apart.
For one thing, Cody is ten years older than Johnny. But instead of contemplating retirement, he focuses on winning the championship, desperate to stay on top. Johnny is only beginning to find the professional recognition he craves. When frustration leads Johnny to walk away, Cody’s season slumps. While they’re apart, they both slowly realize they are meant to be together. But machismo abounds in the sport of bull riding, and their pride might be an obstacle too big for love to overcome.
Review: What a wholesome book. I totally loved it and when the story didn’t go the “predicable” way, instead of putting me down, I loved it even more. For me this novel had it all. Everything you look for in a book was there; realistic characters that you fell in love with, with their flaws and insecurities and big egos; a plot that was amazing from start to finish, hooking and griping and interesting beyond words; and an incredible writing skill that left no room for losing concentration or feeling detached to the story. I think I’m going to be a great fan of this author, because she really made me live this story. feel every emotion she so generously shared and read a book that seemed as if she picked it up right from the arena of bull riding.
The characters Cody and Johnny were amazing. They have an age gap of ten years and as so they are in different stages of life. They are also completely different men.
Cody is a man whose life has been kind. He is a bull rider and his personality suits his profession. He’s strong-headed and persistent. He never gives up and has a thing of always getting what he wants. Even his family is perfect, with a loving father and mother who never batted an eye at his sexuality. He might not be out in the bull fighting world, but when he’s home he is truly free. Cody is a winner!
Johnny is Native American, and his life is the opposite of Cody. He has a mother that doesn’t want to hear about his sexuality, and a family he has to support economically due to poverty. He was never a good bull rider, but he is great at bull fighting. His ability to “read” the animals is astonishing and that’s what’s making him visible in the NBR world. His career is just starting.
This book explores these characters greatly. I get to see a man’s personality from all points of view; when they’re in love, when they are blind, when they are at their best and their worst. I loved the fact that the pair starts together and then splits up. I loved it that life and their wants came in their way the way life really does, full force. I loved it that they had to work it out and it didn’t happen from one day to the other. These characters learned and grew up in the story and that’s what made them appeal more to me.
But, I loved even more the fact that in addition to great characters there was a great, great plot as well that complemented them. The world of NBR was astonishing. I have read other books referring to bull riding, but the difference here was that this book literally took me there. Made me feel as if I was in that arena and behind the stage and in these people’s lives. I got to learn so much and in the end I became a fan as well, going online and Googling and watching on You-Tube and feeling as if I took more from this read than just a love story. It is amazing that this book also made me cry there at the end with Cody’s last performance. It was unexpected for me to feel it so much and therefore more cherished.
So, of course I recommend this book to anyone. It’s absolutely brilliant and intense and realistic. It provides enjoyment in all forms and it would be a shame to miss it.