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 10 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.
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I am still pretty new to AudioBooks, and the different genres are defo what is giving me the most satisfaction in reviewing.
I was intrigued by the plot line to this book. Bull Fighting and a relationship breakup. 12 hours was a long time to be entertained for, so I had some trepidation on how the author would do just that.
I will admit, there was a little more sex than I've been used to, maybe it is because this is only the second M/M audiobook I've had the pleasure of listening to, and I've only ever read it before. The difference in the acting and hearing it is a lot. And yet, it's still really hot sex. haha.
There were so many good things about this book, that I'll struggle to list them, all but here are some of my favourite moments and not in any particular order.
- I've never been to a bull fight, nor seen a lot of it on TV, so the whole backstory around this sport, was very interesting and enlightening into something I think I might enjoy now, thanks to the great writing and narration.
- Speaking of the narration, Derrick gave both Jonny and Cody a distinctive and wonderful persona, and to be fair I even enjoyed Val, Davis, and everyone else. Great, soothing voice, and wonderful injection of passion and tension when needed.
- I have never been in a breakup, so, I don't really know what I would go out and do, and I can't really judge Cody and Jonny over their actions, I guess at least that Jonny kept himself from actually having physical sex with strangers, and that said a lot about him as a character as much as he still went out and enjoyed himself and met a fair wide variety of people in the summer, he still kept that for Cody.
I think the best part of his encounters has to be with March, because of the hotness and also because March is the one who talks Jonny into giving Cody a second chance and this talking really does make Jonny realise why he's miserable now and what Cody really meant to him.
Of course, the biggest Character Arc does come from Cody in the fact that he actually really comes to terms with everything that happened, that life is not all give to you on a plate and that things worth having are worth fighting for, and I'm not just on about his Bull riding. Cody actually starts to listen to Jonny and see him as a person, not just his person. This was a very moving part to the story and I felt for every moment he was in pain over Jonny. Miserable but in a very relatable way, these two Mc's are so very real that you could never mistake them for fictional.
As I said, I did wonder how I was going to be entertained for the full length of this book, but the action never really let up either. There was constant, worry and strife for both these MC's and towards the ending, where two of the moments I enjoyed the most. Where Dub, talks Cody down in the locker room. And where Cody give Jonny the pendant :)
The bull riding never lets up and neither does Cody's buck off streak into the finals and off his first ride. The fact was with this story I just never knew if Cody was actually going to win the Championship, and of course I was glad he did. It was amazing to listen to and be there for the both of them. Worrying over his knee injury and how he would dismount. Fab job on both story and narration as the tension just never lets up.
Towards the end, I was a little concerned that the story didn't end with the bull ride. But pleasantly surprised that it continued into the bittersweet resignation of Cody and revelation of the pendant, and his sheer love for Jonny in the fact that they would get married (if it were legal) so heartbreaking. I really did want both these characters to realise that there would still be love for them after their careers are over, and they kinda said this, more so Jonny when he ays he'd love to still have a ranch together. I just think it was swept under the carpet a little too much at the end, and it should have been more realise.
But, overalI really enjoyed this, and I will be looking out for more novels by Catt Ford and narration by Derrick.
Thanks to both of you, for a wonderful glimpse into Bull Riding and Bull Fighting and for whisking me into the world of these fab characters this week.