Saturday, November 2, 2013

Book Review: Corralled by Lorelei James

Book Series: Blacktop Cowboys, Book #1
Author: Lorelei James
Genres:  Western, Erotica, Contemporary Romance
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Scarlet Chase
Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins

My Ranking:

In the rodeo arena, all you have to worry about is surviving. But in the arena of love and ecstasy, things get much more complicated.

Lainie Capshaw has been servicing injured cowboys long enough to know that a charming Western drawl combined with a fine physical form doesn't mean you should fall for a man. As a sports therapist, she travels the rodeo circuits patching up riders - and fending off their sweet-talking, swaggering advances.

So no one is more surprised than Lainie when she finds herself involved with not one, but two different men on different circuits. Hank Lawson, a bullfighter, and Kyle Gilchrist, a bull rider trying to stage a comeback. Lainie feels guilty about her two-timing, but it doesn't keep her from doubling her fun -until Hank catches her with Kyle.

She's shocked that Hank isn't mad. She's more shocked to learn Hank and Kyle are hometown buddies. But when the men offer to share her - she knows that both of them are going to try to win her, body and soul. Now it's up to Lainie to choose the one man who can give her the ride of her life.(less)

This was the very first book in the Erotica genre I read. For most of my early adult life, I avoided the genre under the naive assumption that all "erotica" books were those that featured Fabio-like characters with long flowing mane and had sex scenes that spoke of "quivering bosoms". Translation, ick. Also, I've never read a Western-themed book. Wide open plains, cattle raising and rodeos never struck me as something I'd ever be into. But, I gave this book a chance and was I was wrong on both of the aforementioned accounts.

James's sexy world of rodeos and cowboys caught me off completely by surprise. I was not prepared how damn sexy this book was going to be. James is extremely proficient in writing scorching hot sex scenes. I was not prepared for that and I was so captivated, I finished this audiobook in about a day.

What's more is that while the sex scenes are definitely amazing, the story behind it all was real. The quick gist is that there's a woman Melanie "Lainie" Capshaw who was having a relationship with two different men, Hank Lawson and Kyle Gilchrist. A chance encounter at a bar exposes everything and the two men discover the secret. To make it even more awkward, not only to Hank and Kyle know each other and are friends, they both have there stubborn hearts set on being with Lainie. They both were also planning to make there move before it all went to hell. So what do they do. They take a risk and ménage it up, while both men are determined and secretly plot to win her over.

Sound like typical, petty drama? That's what I assumed. But James' surprised me with all the characters genuine emotions and motivations. She introduces you to all of the characters and gave them had distinct personalities and backgrounds.

When it was all said and done, I had discovered her secret. This wasn't a book about sex. It was a book about relationships, the Western lifestyle and most of all, about love. It was detailed story with some hot, hot sex scenes to keep it interesting and enticing. What a superb formula - I loved every minute of it!

My only critique is that there was more sex than story, and that the actual story was told more toward the end of the book. For that reason, I could only give this book a 3-star rating because I loved the characters, so much I could have lost a sex scene or two for more plot.

The tiny speck of a town called Muddy Gap, Wyoming, has captured a special place in my heart. By the time the narrator had announced the story was at it's end, I'd come to love the town and everyone in it, the rodeo lifestyle and the rich descriptions of the Wyoming/Midwestern landscape. And, of course, I especially loved all the charmingly sexy cowboys...

Scarlet Chase is fantastic. She's got a great drawl but still speaks clear. She also is excellent at capturing the masculinity of these charming cowboys. Her performance enhanced my enjoyment of the story so much that I decided to stay "audiobook-loyal" to this series and will not read the printed version.

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