Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: Arm Candy
SERIES: Cattle Valley #14
AUTHOR: Carol Lynne
PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing
LENGTH: 138 pages
RELEASE DATE: November 16, 2009
Book fourteen in the Cattle Valley Series
Asa Montgomery is a hard man to figure out. He’s got millions of dollars in the bank, a host of men vying for his bed and he’s still miserable.
When a tragedy leaves him broken and battered, Asa quickly finds out who his real friends are. Left alone with only his household staff to nurse him back to health, Asa realizes he wants more than just a pretty man to adorn his bedroom.
Mario Benta was fooled by a rich man in the past. They may say you’re the only one for them, but what they really mean is, you’re the only one until something younger and sexier comes along.
Despite Mario’s growing attraction to Asa, he’ll be damned if he’ll allow himself to be another man’s arm candy.
When Asa sets out to change Mario’s mind, he’ll discover it takes more than money to gain the heart of the ex-Army Ranger.
After the disaster that happened during Cattle Valley Days, people are still healing, Asa Montgomery included. Badly injured, his time laid up has opened his eyes to some harsh truths about the people he surrounds himself with and with hope (and maybe a little desperation) he turns to his friend Mario for help with his rehabilitation. Mario has always distrusted men with money and despite his attempts to keep himself separate from Asa, he still can’t keep himself away. While some miscommunication and ill spoken words make things difficult between them in the beginning, things soon smooth out and as their relationship progresses both men find themselves changing for the better.
There were things I liked about this book and things I didn’t much care for, to be perfectly honest. I really liked the main characters; both men had been seen in previous books and I enjoyed both of them whenever they’ve showed up. Over the course of the story you get to see that neither man is really all they appear to be on the outside and I liked that a lot; Mario’s issues with rich men are addressed and (at least semi) dealt with while Asa is shown to be much less self confident in his personal life than he is in his professional one. I enjoyed seeing both men try and help the other with their various issues and there was real progress made by the end of the book, which was great.
On the other hand, the initial set up between Mario and Asa made me believe that I was going to see a slower progression to their relationship while Mario helped Asa with his therapy. Alas, that was so not the case; despite Mario’s declarations that he wanted to take things slow and not jump into sex right away, what happened? There was sex. Pretty much right away. Maybe not penetrative sex but sex all the same. So, that was a huge disappointment to me. The book didn’t really touch on Asa’s work towards regaining his mobility and you barely get to see the two men together without there being some sex involved so I really wasn’t a fan of that too much.
I liked the story in a general kind of way, more for the characters themselves than anything else, and I may read it again in the future but I couldn’t say when. If you’ve read the rest of the series, this would be a good read to continue the overall recovery from the Cattle Valley Days accident but I don’t think it added anything to the overall series plot.