Reviewed By Donna
SERIES: Buck Wild #1
AUTHOR: Carol Lynne
PUBLISHER: Totally Bound
LENGTH: 61 Pages
BLURB: Two unconventional cowboys make an unconventional relationship work.
As owner of the Rocking W, Dub Walker’s job is to make sure his cowboys keep their minds on their jobs and not the hot rough stock riders who come to the ranch to train. It hasn’t always been easy for Dub to resist the sweet young things, but he’s been doing less prowling since realising there’s only one man on the ranch for him.
For years, Shane Ackerman has tried to prove to Dub that they’re right for each other. Unfortunately, the man Shane loves and worships pushes him away at every turn. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, Shane does what any twenty-something man would do—has sex, lots of it.
Dub could easily take Shane to his bed, but he wants more from the younger man than a roll in the hay. With temptation around the ranch seven days a week, Dub knows monogamy will be a problem for both of them. With the help of a friend and a bit of soul searching, Dub discovers the only people qualified to define a relationship are those in it.
REVIEW: Okay. Where do I even begin with this? Firstly, I know Carol Lynne books aren’t for everybody. They’re not exactly intellectually stimulating but if I ever want a quick read when I just don’t have to concentrate too much, I usually reread one of my Carol Lynne books. I like her long, long series. I like her ménage and I like her twincest. She writes everything from sweet to taboo in very sexy ways. But I emphatically do not like Cowboy Pride.
Just so you know, this review is going to get spoilerish but I feel it’s only fair to justify giving such a low rating. And besides, if you read the blurb for the sequel, you know where Dub and Stephen end up relationship wise.
Dub is the owner of a ranch where they train rodeo riders. His brother, Trevor, and Trevor’s best friend Stephen both work for Dub along with several other men. Stephen has been not so secretly in love with Dub for years but Dub keeps rejecting him over and over. Meanwhile, everybody on the ranch is having sex with the rodeo riders who come to train, with each other and pretty much any one else who wanders past. Basically, if they see it, they have sex with it. However when Dub sees Stephen having sex with Bobby, a man Dub hates, Dub screams at Stephen for being a slut and Stephen leaves the ranch with Bobby. Dub doesn’t even speak to Stephen for months but when an old friend/lover phones Dub to tell him Stephen needs help, Dub rushes in like a knight to the rescue and, say what? They’re in love now?
Well as you may imagine, all that promiscuous behavior, the nasty name calling and the fact that the two main characters are not even speaking for a good portion of this book (it is only short) did not endear these characters to me. I’ll admit, when it comes to romance I’m an old fashioned kind of girl. My preference is always going to be – once the main characters have feelings for each other they don’t keep having sex with other people. However, I realize that that’s my personal preference and I’d hope I wouldn’t allow that to affect my rating. What really bothered me were the attitudes of the characters towards one another.
And seriously, I got so tired of everybody calling Stephen a slut. Besides the fact I really hate hearing people labeled that, Stephen seemed to be no worse than the others. He wasn’t the one who was cheating or the one organizing threesomes. The only difference I could see was that Stephen was the one bending over for these other guys, the other guys who were all manly champs cause they were getting all the ass they could possibly want.
Then, just when I thought I couldn’t get anymore worked up, Dub lays the ground rules for his and Stephen’s relationship. WTF? The reason he kept rejecting Stephen was he didn’t think Stephen could remain faithful to one person and now this is the relationship he wants? Whatever.
You know what, by the end I wasn’t even angry at these characters anymore. They had all behaved in such ridiculous, horrible ways I no longer cared what they did or if they ended up together. I was so very glad to actually finish this book. But, Cowboy Rules, the second book in this series was sitting there waiting for me. This was the first time I’ve ever been thankful that Carol Lynne writes fairly short books.
Reviewed By Donna
SERIES: Buck Wild #2
AUTHOR: Carol Lynne
PUBLISHER: Totally Bound
LENGTH: 21,493 Words
BLURB: Rules are made to be broken. Cowboy rules are made to be shattered.
Although ex-con, Cash Wiley, loves working at the Rocking W, being around Shane Ackerman and Dub Walker is the favorite part of his job. He’d had the chance to be with the two men a few months earlier, but he’d blown it before it could happen. He’d ruined everything because he’d refused to have sex without strings attached.
Stupid didn’t begin to define how he’d felt the following day or every day afterward. Shane took his breath away and Dub was the kind of man Cash had always dreamed of having at his side. It was the rule that stood in his way.
How could he promise to not fall in love when he already had?
REVIEW: Considering the way I felt about Cowboy Pride I was not looking forward to reading Cowboy Rules. Thankfully, I liked this sequel more than the first book. Though I still had issues.
From reading the blurb you probably gathered that Dub and Stephen are still together and still invite other men into their bed. I’ve read books before with couples that do the same thing. Though I’m not big on the idea, unless you know before hand that the book is a ménage and the three men end up together, but my problem with it in this series is the reason behind it. Dub and Stephen decide to have sex with other men because they believe they’re incapable of remaining faithful to each other. Their only rules are, it has to be all three of them together and there can’t be any feelings involved.
Ranch employee Cash is more than happy with the “all three together” rule but in the first book he turns the couple down because he can’t promise no feelings. Cash was actually the only character I liked in the first story and I was so relieved that I still liked him by the end of this book. Somehow even Dub and Stephen grew on me and I did reach a point where I actually cared about their relationship again.
Something I’m not keen on in ménages is when the three characters don’t feel equal in the relationship, as it is with this story. And I don’t know if it’s a point for or against but I was just so relieved that the men were managing to stay in a relationship that it didn’t bother me so much in this book.
The thing that annoyed me the most about Cowboy Rules was the continued labeling of Stephen as a slut. Stephen is even calling himself a slut now. At one point he asks Cash if he hates him for being a slut. It’s treated like some form of disability he’s ashamed of. Sort of, do you hate me because I’m in a wheelchair? Do you hate me because I can’t read? Again I find myself asking, WTF?
When the three men do finally get together Stephen has the thought that he’ll be so busy keeping two men happy that other men will no longer tempt him. Dub has similar thoughts. So Dub and Stephen can’t be trusted not to cheat on each other despite the fact they’re madly in love but add one more man to that equation and they’ll never need anyone else again? Gah! Just writing this I’m getting annoyed again.
As for any story still to come in this series, I don’t think I’ll be interested. Yes, this second book was an improvement. And yes, I’ll keep reading other Carol Lynne books. I think the first book in her newest series is one of her best, but no more Buck Wild. The secondary characters are all so unlikeable I shudder to think who could be next.