Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: Eye of the Beholder
SERIES: Cattle Valley #11
AUTHOR: Carol Lynne
PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing
LENGTH: 132 pages
RELEASE DATE: June 1, 2009
For a year, Bo Lawson has tried to get closer to his boss, Backbreaker Ranch foreman Rance Benning, but the stubborn ex-rodeo champion refuses to be swayed. Bo can’t understand Rance’s aversion to being alone with him. Could it be Bo’s HIV status?
Rance noticed Bo the first day he laid eyes on him at Brynn’s Bakery. Since that time, he’s done anything and everything to stay away from the dangerous-looking gardener with the chiseled six-pack and tight-fitting jeans. Rance has seen what pity in a lover’s eyes looks like, and he doesn’t plan on ever putting himself in that position again.
When one of the ranch’s prize bucking bulls breaks through the fence and disappears, Rance and Bo are thrust together to help find the one ton money-maker. Although Bo sees their forced time alone as an opportunity, Rance sees it as torture. Every minute with Bo threatens the secret Rance won’t tell anyone, least of all this dangerously sexy man.
Reader Advisory: This book is best read in sequence as part of a series
I never like saying it, but this one was just okay for me. I think the author did some great things in regards to Bo but there were underlying problems with the rest of the story that just took my enjoyment of it down immensely. Let me start with what I thought was great: Bo. I’ve only read maybe one other book that featured a main character that had HIV so I loved that the author wasn’t afraid to put that out there. With everything Bo does, it was showcased just how careful he has to be and the steps he constantly takes to ensure no one else gets infected accidentally. Despite what he lives with, Bo was cheerful and friendly and it wasn’t unusual to see him making others laugh. Bo was seriously the best character in the book.
Now, unfortunately, the rest of the book just wasn’t as enjoyable to me. For one, while you get an explanation later, and I can kind of see where Rance was coming from, he was way too much of a jerk when trying to keep his distance from Bo. His attitude made the eventual turn around and start of a relationship kind of unbelievable. Besides that, I just wasn’t feeling any chemistry between these two men at all. I seriously felt more heat from them both when they were first introduced earlier in the series than what I felt from them here and that was a huge disappointment. That extra thing with Jan and Joey also felt superfluous to me; it didn’t add anything to the story (much like Bo’s two friends) and I think I would’ve been happier had it all been left out.
I found the story likable in a kind of general sense but if you’re reading the book for the ‘romance’ between Bo and Rance you’re going to be disappointed. I enjoyed seeing Bo a lot more and the set up with Jay was nicely done but I may not read this one again in the future.