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.
This is a tough book for me to review. I’ll start with the narrator – because he was awesome.
He does an amazing job with all the MANY characters in this story and he gave Johnny in particular the perfect voice. I really loved his interpretation of the characters and thought this was absolutely the best way to enjoy this story.
(5 of 5 stars for the narration)
Now for the story. On the one hand it is well written, gives an AMAZING look at life as a bull rider/bull fighter and life on the rodeon circuit on the down low.
Catt Ford has given us many fully developed characters with real flaws and given us a set of MCs who are very REAL.
I was really loving the story up until the point where the MCs broke up. Then the story really disappointed me – and I know it’s just my own silly biases – but there you have it.
I didn’t like the “exploration” Johnny did while he and Cody were on a “break” – even though I totally see why the author did that. I also did not like how the story ended because it still felt so tenuous. I really wanted Cody and Johnny to realize that their lives were more than their careers and I didn’t get that from this. So – to me – I was disappointed. I’m sure it’s a realistic take on things – but that’s not why I read stories – so I was disappointed. (Others may not be at all.)
So… since I’d give the writing and the character development 5 of 5 points, but the plot a 3 of 5 I’ll average it to a 4 of 5 stars.
Coupled with the narration – 4.5 of 5 stars – because it really does have a lot going for it.
Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review