Reviewed by Donna
TITLE: Hope for Tomorrow
SERIES: Southern Fried Sweetness #1
AUTHOR: Lei Carol and Eric Thornton
PUBLISHER: Self Published
LENGTH: 102 Pages
Jed Hendrix has always put family first, doing whatever means necessary to take care his mother and younger brothers to provide for them- even if it meant breaking the law. When things catch up and he ends up in the back of a cop car with cuffs on, the last thing he expected was to be given leniency from the judge and sent to a work release ranch.
Bryson Sandreaux is a horse tamer at Second Chance Ranch. A hardworking cowboy, he doesn’t suspect he would be working with a traumatically damaged man who has more issues than Bryson could keep up with.
Between the two of them, there is tension, but definitely attraction. Is there a chance for love? Or would it all fall apart at the seams?
Although I’ve rated books 1 star on Goodreads before, this is the first one that I’ve reviewed for Love Bytes. I’ve always tried to avoid doing so. I understand how much work and love an author puts into their stories, so I’m going to try to explain as nicely as possible why this book doesn’t work for me in any way.
So, firstly, the plot. Jed is the oldest of five brothers. His father is a gambler who is in crazy amounts of debt to loan sharks and who regularly beats Jed and his wife (Jed’s mother) just to prove that he’s the man of the house. Jed’s mother is dying of cancer and the whole family often goes without eating because the father has lost all of their money. Jed has been unable to find work, and he resorts to committing a crime to feed his younger brothers. Of course, he’s arrested, but the judge takes pity on him and sends him to Second Chance Ranch instead of locking him in prison.
I did like the premise of this book. I think the ranch is set up as a brilliant location for a lengthy series where we see soft-core criminals get a second chance and find love. But while the idea behind the plot was interesting, the story itself was not well executed. It read to me more like the outline of a story than the finished product. Everything happened too quickly and there were few details to flesh out the bones of the book. On top of that the grammar was poor and the sentence structure was all over the place. Toward the end of the story the writing seemed to get messier and I actually had trouble following what was happening, where the characters were and whether we’d moved on to a new day.
There were also a few happenings that made absolutely no sense to me. And fair warning, if you keep on reading there are going to be spoilers. The first day that Jed and Bryson meet, they decide to have sex. Bryson puts a condom on Jed before they begin, but then half way through he pulls off Jed’s cock, cums on the condom, sucks it clean (after it has been up his ass) and then removes it. Then he bends over again so Jed can continue and cum in his ass. That’s a whole lot of what the fuckery right there. Aside from the utter grossness factor, which I’d never deduct stars for (hey, maybe it’s someone’s kink) that makes absolutely no sense to me. Why even bother including a condom in the first place? No, I’m not protesting the need for safe sex, I just need it to make sense.
Also, I’m not in anyway a professional…horse…person, but it even managed to bug un-horse-educated me, when Bryson, who knows everything about horses, pulls Jed up to sit in front of him on the back of an unbroken horse so he can experience his first ride. On a horse that nods in answer when Bryson speaks to it, and which growls at him when it’s not happy. Google tells me that horses don’t growl. Although, if Google is wrong (heaven forbid!), I apologize.
I tried as hard as I could to find something positive to focus on while reading this, but my optimism suffered blow after blow. Using snookums as a pet name was the final hit. They sank my battleship and unfortunately, I just can’t recommend this book to anyone.