My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Aging bull rider Cody Grainger needs bullfighter Johnny Arrow for more than just protection in the ring. Their bond of trust goes beyond the professional and into love, but while their relationship holds up to the need for discretion imposed by their sport and repeatedly having to watch each other put themselves in the way of dangerous animals, other barriers still tear them apart.
For one thing, Cody is ten years older than Johnny. But instead of contemplating retirement, he focuses on winning the championship, desperate to stay on top. Johnny is only beginning to find the professional recognition he craves. When frustration leads Johnny to walk away, Cody’s season slumps. While they’re apart, they both slowly realize they are meant to be together. But machismo abounds in the sport of bull riding, and their pride might be an obstacle too big for love to overcome.
What did I think?
This was a difficult book for me to rate as some parts I loved and other parts not so much.
The good….I quite liked the story itself. There was a level of realism in the journey that Cody and Johnny found themselves on. It was easy to understand the conflict they faced as they both found themselves at different stages in their lives and looked to find a common ground. The insight into the world of bull riders and bullfighters was interesting.
The not so good….there was perhaps too much explanation of the rides themselves. I wanted more of the story, not so much description of the bull riding event itself. I didn’t like the sexual encounters that both Johnny and Cody (Cody more so) had when they were apart. I am not sure how much it added to the story, and I found Cody’s actions particularly unappealing. Which brings me to my biggest issue – Cody.
I didn’t like the character of Cody. I found him selfish and egotistical. “Cody never thought of himself as manipulative. The word wasn’t even in his vocabulary. He just liked getting his way. And his way was good for him and for Johnny.” He believed this for most of the book. Yes, I wanted Johnny and Cody to have their happy ending, but found it difficult to believe the changes in Cody or to fully understand why he changed his ways.
I find it difficult to really love a book if I don’t love one of the lead characters, or at least like them by the end of the story. For this reason, and the slightly too many and too long descriptions of bull rides, I am only rating this book 3.5 stars but rounded up to 4! 🙂
To find out more about Catt Ford and her other books visit her Goodreads profile.