Review: “Just a Cowboy” By Julia Talbot

TITLE: Just a Cowboy
AUTHOR: Julia Talbot
SERIES: Riding Cowboy Flats
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Western
LENGTH: 88 pages
RELEASE DATE: April 5, 2017
PRICE: $3.99 -e-book


2nd Edition

Can an old-fashioned cowboy and a young man on the run from his dark past find a future together?

Herschel is a simple rancher who believes everybody deserves a second chance, which is why he tends to hire underdogs—like Dalton, a young cowboy who needs all the support and TLC Herschel can offer.

Dalton doesn’t think anyone can forgive him for what he did, but Herschel seems willing to try. In fact, he might be the best thing that has ever happened to Dalton. He might even be the one to help Dalton trust in the future again. Just when he’s about to tell Herschel everything, all hell breaks loose. Herschel must help Dalton break free from everything that’s haunting him, or they’ll both end up alone.

First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2010.

Even though this is the second book in the series, it can be a standalone. Book one was on Tate and Dave, which are in this book briefly but did not hinder this book at all for me.

Herschel is a good ole cowboy in his thirties that runs a ranch for him and his sister. The one thing I love about cowboys is their big hearts and the way the help others in bad situations, Herschel is no different. He believes people deserve a second chance and hires his right hands that are such people.

This is where the author introduces us to Dalton. He’s a 28-year-old cowboy on the run from his past. He’s a hot ginger with freckles and all. He believes his past is so horrible, that no one can ever know the real him. Dalton is attracted to this big cowboy, but Herschel keeps trying to ask questions. Dalton can’t reveal his real self and tends to run back to the bunkhouse.

This couple is a very sweet and charming couple. Herschel is very understanding and thinks Dalton’s problems are not as dramatic as he makes them out to be due to his age. The age references was the only thing that really bothered me. These two are not even 10 years apart but Herschel is made out to be this old man and Dalton is made to be a kid.

I really enjoyed how the author lets these two build their trust of one another. Trust is huge in relationships, and these two have definitely built trust between them. They even start planning holidays together. That is until Dalton’s sister shows up and Dalton just leaves with her.

Herschel shows Dalton what it’s like to have someone stand behind you no matter what. I recommend this for anyone who enjoys sexy cowboys and an endearing love story.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book***


Review: “Cowboys Don’t Ride Unicorns” by Tara Lain

TITLE: Cowboys Don’t Ride Unicorns
AUTHOR: Tara Lain
SERIES: Cowboys Don’t
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Western; Romance
LENGTH: 226 pages
RELEASE DATE: March 22, 2017
PRICE: $ 6.99 -e-book / $14.99 -paperback


Cowboy Danny Boone—a name he made up one drunken night and has regretted ever since—harbors a big past and yearns for a small future. A short, bright career as a champion bull rider almost ended in his death when his homophobic father discovered Danny was gay. Now Danny longs for a plot of land he can build a ranch house on and enough money to make up for some of the education he missed.

Danny also hides a preference for beautiful femmes who like to top—a combo rarer than a unicorn. Then onto the guest ranch where Danny works drives San Francisco decorator Laurie Belmont, a young man so gorgeous he makes horses gasp, and so ballsy he almost kills Danny’s attacker.

Laurie’s trying to find his way out from under the thumb of a domineering mother, helpless father, and rich, privileged boyfriend.

But no matter the attraction, their lives are worlds apart, and cowboys don’t ride unicorns.

Tara Lain has done it again with another fabulous story. This time it’s with the latest book from her Cowboys Don’t series. Cowboys Don’t Ride Unicorns is the second book in the Cowboys Don’t series, and it’s a standalone book. You don’t have to read Cowboys Don’t Come Out, the first book in the series to understand what’s happening in the second book. That being said, I can’t wait to read the first book, Cowboys Don’t Come Out, and see how Rand and Kai fell in love since they were such wonderful supporting characters in Cowboys Don’t Ride Unicorns.

The story’s well written and beautifully edited. The characters are complex and lovable. The storyline has lots of twists and turns and two main characters that are looking for the exception to the rule in stereotypes.
Danny’s looking for a femme guy who loves to top which as he puts it “is as rare as a unicorn” and Laurie’s attracted to burly manly men who prefer to bottom. These two meet and the sparks fly when Laurie goes on vacation with his rich lawyer boyfriend Grove at a dude ranch in Chico, CA. The McIntyre Ranch is where Danny works as a ranch hand and helps with the dude ranch portion of the ranch.

I loved seeing Danny interact with Laurie and trying to be professional when he couldn’t help but be attracted to him. I loved his description of Laurie “…he’s a unique combination of twink-pretty with a dominant streak and a healthy dose of brains.” And then he realized, “Shit, I just described my dream come true and a combo as rare as a unicorn.” But could it ever work out? Danny doesn’t hold out much hope since Laurie is from San Francisco and is used to the finer things in life and Danny is a poor ranch hand who rides bulls for extra cash to try and save money to go to school and also purchase some land.

Tara Lain takes us poor readers through lots of twists and turns, but I loved how she got us through them. This is the second book that I have read by Tara Lain, each of the books has been from different series, and so far she hasn’t let me down. Tara Lain is fast becoming one of my favorite authors to read.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book***


Review: “Eight Second Cowboy” by Piper Kay

TITLE: Eight Second Cowboy
AUTHOR: Piper Kay
SERIES: Eight Second Cowboy
PUBLISHER: Encompass Ink
GENRE: Contemporary Romance; Western
LENGTH: 107 pages
RELEASE DATE: January 24, 2017
PRICE: $0.99 -e-book


It’s Rodeo Roundup time in Houston. Undefeated bull riding champion, Matt Stevens, runs into longtime nemesis, Lance Loskey. Matt is intense, his focus and drive sustain him, but seeing Lance with his carefree attitude rages a plethora of feelings to the surface. This mellow cowboy is in position for more than just the championship after a freak accident paves Lance’s way. This is an opportunity for bull riding opponents to embrace their destiny. Will they succumb to fate, or will stubborn pride end the 8 second ride in tragedy?

This book was such a great read. From the start, you meet the spitfire that is Mindy. Matt could not have gotten a better best friend. What’s even more amazing is she travels with him to the rodeos. Matt is a champion bull rider while she barrel races. Lance is also a bull rider. Matt blames Lance for losing to him in California. They used to be friends training together. But confusion and tragedy tore them apart.

There’s a lot of fire between these two. Lance deals with it by being brash and cocky. For Matt, with the thoughts and dreams he has of Lance, he’s aggressive. The more Lance taunts him, the angrier he gets. You know pretty quick that they’re going to be fighting. There’s no doubt they are both covering their real feelings.

When they do finally get together, the next battle begins. They have to keep it secret. Matt’s sure that if word got out, his career would be ruined. There’s no way the rodeo would accept gay bull riders. All it would take is one little slip up in public. Is Matt brave enough to have the love he craves or will he run scared back home and hide.

Piper Kay has done a great job of giving us a story with all the bucks, twists, turns, and jerks of a real bull ride. I laughed, cried, and even wanted to shake the guys a few times. If you love cowboys, then this is a must read. I look forward to enjoying all of her books. I would like to thank the author for the privilege and opportunity of reading this ARC. My review is an honest opinion of the book.

***I would like to thank the author for the privilege and opportunity of reading this ARC.  My review is an honest opinion of the book***


Review: “Lickety Split” by Damon Suede

TITLE: Lickety Split
AUTHOR: Damon Suede
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance; Western
LENGTH: 286 pages
RELEASE DATE: March 13, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $16.99 -paperback


Lickety Split: Love won’t wait.

Patch Hastle grew up in a hurry, ditching East Texas for NYC to make his name as a DJ and model without ever looking back. When his parents die unexpectedly, he heads home to unload the family farm ASAP and skedaddle. Except the will left Patch’s worst enemy in charge: his father’s handsome best friend who made his high school years hell.

Tucker Biggs is going nowhere. Twenty years past his rodeo days, he’s put down roots as the caretaker of the Hastle farm. He knows his buddy’s smartass son still hates his guts, but when Patch shows up growed-up, looking like sin in tight denim, Tucker turns his homecoming into a lesson about old dogs and new kinks.

Patch and Tucker fool around, but they can’t fool themselves. Once the farm’s sold, they mean to call it quits and head off to separate sunsets. With the clock ticking, the city slicker and his down-home hick get roped into each other’s life. If they’re gonna last longer than spit on a griddle, they better figure out what matters—fast.

When I first read the blurb for this book I thought I knew what to expect from the story, I was so wrong! This book was just so far beyond what I imagined that I wanted to kick myself for having pre-conceived ideas.

The story is set in the small, East Texas town of Hixville, where Patch Hastle grew up on his parents’ farm. At 16, Patch left home as his parents weren’t accepting of him being gay, now at 22 years old, Patch has had to return to the home and town where he never felt he belonged after his parents die in a car accident. Patch is now a successful DJ in New York and has plans to eventually open a club of his own with his friend. When he sees that by selling the farm as quickly as possible he can get the money together to make his dream become a reality, he works from sunrise to sunset to get the house cleared out and sold so as he can get back to New York and his life. There’s only one problem with his master plan, and that’s Tucker Biggs. Tucker was Patch’s high school football coach and father’s best friend who also lived and worked on their farm land. As a teenager, Patch was tormented by Tucker, but even though the older cowboy seemed to make his life a misery, Patch couldn’t help the attraction and lust he felt whenever he looked at Tucker. Tucker has been left as executor of Patch’s parents’ will, and because of how he used to treat Patch when he was still living at home on the farm, Patch thinks that Tucker will do whatever it takes to stop him from selling the farm and moving on with his life.

Tucker is a bit of a loner who has never been out of the state of Texas. He doesn’t have many friends and comes from a broken home with a not very pleasant childhood. Tucker has had many failed relationships and almost as many illegitimate children under his belt, and at the age of 43 shows no signs of changing his ways. When Patch arrives back in town to arrange the funeral, he meets Tucker for the first time in seven years. Patch thinks that Tucker will behave the same way he did before he left town, but Tucker surprises Patch by being friendly and helpful, which brings the strong attraction Patch thought he left behind years ago back to the forefront of his mind. Patch doesn’t realise that Tucker also has a little secret, men aren’t off limits for him, and Tucker is attracted to Patch just as much as Patch is to him. When Patch discovers this little piece of information, things between the two men get really interesting and also extremely hot and steamy. Tucker loves to be in control, especially of Patch’s pleasure, so out comes his Dominant side and some rope play to take Patch to levels he’s never experienced before. The two men find a connection that they didn’t expect and one that isn’t as easy to walk away from as they thought it would be.

I really enjoyed this book, I wasn’t expecting it to take me on the ride that it did. There were times my heart was in my mouth because I was scared to read what would happen next. Times I wanted to cry because my heart almost broke and times I had to take a few minutes to collect myself because the sex was so damn hot. I absolutely loved Patch and Tucker as characters, the author has done a fantastic job of bringing them to life in the story. The dialogue is written with a Texas twang which adds to the southern charm of the of the story and characters, this is most noticeable with Tucker as his “accent” is so strong you can’t help but completely fall for him. The big tough and rugged cowboy is actually an incredibly sweet gentleman at heart.

There is one thing that slightly bothered me about the story, and that was Tucker insisting he wasn’t gay or queer even though he was having sexual relations with men over a number of years. The way I see it, if you find sexual pleasure with another man you definitely aren’t straight and I feel like this was never properly addressed. It may just be a personal hang up for me, and I may be looking into it too much and finding something that isn’t really much of an issue, but I feel like I had to mention it as I know it could be a problem for some readers. Even with this small issue, I still had a brilliant time reading this book. The story was perfectly structured and was written in a way that completely drew me in and had me wishing I was on that farm in Texas. A great piece of writing and storytelling by the author.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book***