Saturday, August 30, 2014

Book Review: Turn and Burn (Blacktop Cowboys, Book #5) by Lorelei James (ADULT)

Title: Turn and Burn
Book Series: Blacktop Cowboys, Book #5 (Facebook)
Author: Lorelei James 
(Twitter  |  Facebook)
Genres: Erotica, Western Romance
Format: Audiobook (Audible)
Narrator: Scarlet Chase
Length: 11 hrs and 1 min
Release Date: April 15, 2014

Tanna Barker is a world champion barrel racer. But her personal life has been less of a success, and she’s feeling adrift. After her mother’s unexpected death, her father has remarried, and sold the Texas ranch she called home. Now a rodeo injury has left the restless spitfire holed up in Muddy Gap, unsure what her next move should be.

Until she meets her match in a wild, wild cowboy

Veterinarian August Fletcher has always put his job first. He’s never found a woman who could handle his on-the-road lifestyle. But when sassy, sexy Tanna blows into town, he finally finds the woman of his fantasies. And there’s something between them, but she claims she’s been burned by love ’em and leave ’em road dogs before. How can Fletch prove that he’s in it for the long haul, and that their sizzling relationship is better than winning any rodeo medal? It’ll take some sweet persuasion to convince Tanna that Muddy Gap is where she belongs. 
My Ranking:

FIRST IMPRESSION:: My first impression of this book wasn't greatest. I don't think I was in the right frame of mind for romance, because I read about 25% and then put it down for a few months. But — my girl Lorelei has never let me down, so I picked it back up and started over from the beginning...

THE STORY:: It was said so many times throughout the book — August “Fletch” Fletcher was a good man. He had he perfect balance of masculinity and sweetness. He always treated Tanna with reverence and care, but still dominated her in the bedroom. Almost as if he was the male equivalent to “lady in the streets, freak in the sheets”, lol. He did, on occasion, slip into what I call “egotistical, aggressive male syndrome” — especially when it came to other men being around Tanna — but, he could turn it off by employing logic, which was impressive. And who doesn’t love a human being, let alone a man, who devotes their life to the care of animals. Another sweet thing was being the designated driver for the Mud Lillies, the wild n' crazy senior ladies who can drink everyone in town under the table — LOVE them. He was a selfless man — a quality I greatly admire.

When it came to Tanna, at first, I didn’t think I’d like her. Her overly sexual persona had always delighted me when she played a bit part in the earlier books in the series, but as a main character it felt like too much. But like all of James’s characters she had substance and once the bravado mask fell, a very real woman lie beneath. I don’t have a high track record of loving James’s female leads in any of her series, but I liked her. Like Fletch, the feisty wild child was well balanced with the sweet. 

I really enjoyed the pace of their relationship. It really felt like a natural progression, even with the short time frame of the story. They both had a very selfish way of living an thinking prior to meeting; however, and with every interaction they bettered each other and they were always willing to give the other the support that they needed. Also, they accepted each other for who they were. Neither tried to change the other; instead, they focused on proving that they were worthy of being loved. 

After four books of mostly focusing on rough n’ tumble cowboys and the ranching life, I loved learning about Tanna's barrel racing career. Although it was only a tiny glimpse, I still found it interesting. I also liked learning about Tanna's injury and the resulting PTSD. I think James’s takes such great care of her characters battling with their demons. It’s a little more apparent in her Rough Riders series (specifically with Colt and Cam McKay). She never makes them pitifully broken; with the love and support of their friends, family, community and love interests, they always find the inner strength to face their fears head on. 

FINAL THOUGHTS:: Second time around was the key... I loved and devoured this book. What I love most about this series is how much story is jams packed into each book. With a Blacktop Cowboys novel, you can always expect to learn about the western rodeoing & ranching lifestyle, connect with the local community of Muddy Gap, catch up with all the main characters from previous books that call it home, and still get a realistic romance with all the steamy interludes you can handle. It's an intoxicatingly wicked potion and I'm hooked!

The tiny speck of a town called Muddy Gap, Wyoming, has captured a special place in my heart. Another fantastic addition to the line up. 

RECOMMENDED FOR:: Those who love their cowboys, and their love stories sassy and sexy.

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.

“Nothin' will make me run from you, Tanna. Nothin'. You can punch me, scream at me. You're a little bitty thing. I'm a big guy. I can take whatever you dish out.”
― Fletch

““Turn and burn, baby.”
― Sutton

Fireborn (Souls of Fire #1)by Keri Arthur     |  Turn and Burn (Blacktop Cowboys, Book #5)

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