Roe Davis has spent his last five years running, ever since his parents kicked him out for being gay. He has moved from ranch to ranch, but anytime people get close or he starts to get settled, he moves on. Roe’s latest stop is Nowhere Ranch in a remote part of Nebraska. He really enjoys the work, but he thinks it is all about to fall apart when he sees the ranch owner, Travis Loving, in a gay bar one night.
Roe has come for some anonymous sex, and, as it turns out, so has Travis. With slim pickings all around, the men slowly realize that the other man is exactly what he is looking for that evening. They enjoy a weekend of incredible sex that totally pushes all of Roe’s buttons, especially his need for some dominance and to feel a little dirty. But when they get back to the ranch, Roe is clear that they can’t take things any further.
The connection between the men is too strong, however, and eventually they give in to their attraction once again. Though both men claim to want nothing more than a sexual relationship, slowly things between them begin to build into more. But Roe is still haunted by his past, by a family that rejected him and continues to make him feel unworthy. There is part of him that wants nothing more than a real connection with Travis, to take what they are building and create a real home with the man he is growing to love. But there is that other part, the part that tells him that he must run before anyone gets too close. Now that the men have found each other, Roe must be brave enough to take a chance and claim real love and happiness with Travis.
So Nowhere Ranch was originally published in 2011, and I read it pretty much as soon as it was released. I had seen a excerpt from one of the early chapters and it was so crazy hot and intrigued me so much, I immediately went off to buy the book, only to find out it wasn’t being released for a few months. At that point I waited eagerly for my chance to read it, grabbed it as soon as it was out, and it has remained one of my favorite of Cullinan’s books. I read it before starting the blog, so I never reviewed it here, and when I saw Cullinan was republishing it, I couldn’t wait to share it with you all.
Nowhere Ranch combines so many of the things Cullinan just excels at: crazy hot and dirty sex scenes that really illuminate the characters, great characters who are really trying to find their way, and lots of heart. So let’s start with the juicy stuff, shall we? As I said, reading that excerpt was enough to sell me on this book from the start, and let me tell you, this is a hot one. Roe and Travis are sex on a stick, dirty and intense and so amazing together. I wouldn’t call this a BDSM book, but they play with some power elements and lots of kink. Roe likes feeling dirty and a bit slutty and Travis is really good at fulfilling that need. Not to mention he is obsessed with Roe’s ass. There are bits of exhibitionism (the aforementioned scene), some pony play, some light bondage, fisting, and other various kinks. What Cullinan does so well is really let us see inside these characters. It is not just hot sex scenes (though they are hot). But we really get to understand Roe and Travis, what they need individually and from each other. They are totally different in bed and out, and Roe in particular is really illuminated through his sexual connection with Travis.
I really love Travis, as he is sweet and kind and patient. He starts off not wanting a relationship either, but it is clear that he is the one leading things forward as the connection progresses between them. Travis is so solid, he is just what Roe needs to ground him and make him feel safe. And Roe is just fascinating. He has this painful past; facing his family’s rejection has messed him up quite a bit. But what is worse is that they won’t leave him alone. Their attempts to “save” him mean they are constantly reinserting themselves, forcing him to face their rejection time and again and proving to him that he is just as bad as they say he is. I love the way Travis’ support helps Roe accept that he deserves more, that it is ok to want love and happiness, and he doesn’t have to settle for less.
The other fabulous character here is Haley, the daughter of the ranch foreman. Haley is a force to be reckoned with. She is only 19, but she is a spitfire. She takes Roe under her wing (whether he wants it or not) and is determined to draw him out. At first Roe wants nothing to do with her, but as the book progresses, they become the best of friends and confidants. Haley is steadfast in her support for Roe and is willing to take on anyone who makes him feel unloved or unworthy. Interestingly, the first time I read this I found her a bit much, but this time I just adored her and loved her relationship with Roe.
So this continues to be a book I really love and I am so glad I got to share this new version with you. According to Cullinan, the changes are very slight from the first version. A general tightening up of things, but no major revisions. So if you have the old one, you will likely not find a whole lot different here. But some folks may still enjoy having the new version, especially with the gorgeous cover.
Nowhere Ranch is a favorite of mine and I know of many other people as well. It is sexy, romantic, sweet, and moving. If you haven’t read it, I definitely recommend it, especially if you are a fan of cowboys and kink. And if you already have a copy, maybe this will inspire you to pick it up and give it another read.