Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: Riding the Circuit
SERIES: Riding Cowboy Flats #3
AUTHOR: Julia Talbot
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 73 pages
RELEASE DATE: June 7, 2017
Rodeo cowboy Frost Barton spends most of his time on tour, and that’s the way he likes it. But when his dad dies suddenly, Frost returns to southern New Mexico to attend the funeral and help his mom decide what to do with their small family ranch. Frost is already considering retiring from bull riding and planting his itchy feet in the ground. Meeting horse trainer Matt Morales just adds another pull in that direction, though Frost still isn’t sure he’s ready to give up the circuit—even if Matt makes settling down look mighty tempting.
Matt is old enough to know better, but he falls for Frost anyway. They only have so much time to spend together before Frost goes back on tour, but Matt believes they might have something special. He keeps the home fires burning while Frost earns his living, but Matt hopes he can convince Frost to come home—to stay.
Its been a little while since I’ve had a good dose of cowboys and this hit the spot perfectly. Frost is in a rough place emotionally; he hasn’t always seen eye to eye with his father, especially about his career as a bull rider, and when his old man passes away a load of guilt is left behind. With harsh words and anger the last thing between them, Frost is determined to at least do right by his mother and that includes giving serious thought to leaving the circuit and settling back at home full time. Meeting and falling into bed with Matt was just supposed to be a quick thing, over and done to scratch an itch, but there’s something about the other man that has him wanting to hold on instead. With the end of the season fast approaching, Frost will have to make some trough decisions about what he wants and where he wants to be.
This was just so good; it was nicely paced with characters I liked near instantly. At first glance, Matt and Frost seem to want different things but as they spend more time together, and apart, you get to see Frost’s priorities changing from what he originally thought he wanted to realizing what he actually needs. There wasn’t a lot of heavy angst in this but there were enough confrontations between various idiots and bigots to add a little something extra to an otherwise easy going story. I particularly enjoyed the issues surrounding Frost’s riding partner and the justice that comes his way later. There wasn’t an overabundance of sex in this but what was presented was well done; what I liked best, however, was the overall intimacy between Matt and Frost, even when they needed to be careful about showing it.
You don’t need to read the first two books to understand and enjoy this one but they do give the back stories for the other two couples that show up here. Overall I found this to be an enjoyable read that I very easily sunk myself into; I’m not even going to complain about wanting more because I found the ending to be sweet and practically perfect. If you enjoy books featuring the rodeo or cowboys in general, I’d give this one a look.