There is no doubt for this reviewer that author James Buchanan writes a mean and sexy sheriff/cowboy. Having enjoyed much of this author’s writing, I have found that Buchanan often wraps delicious kink into a compelling and well-developed story. When I picked up Impulsion, I was not surprised at all to see unusual kink (pony play) and hot cowboys thrown into the mix, but I was a bit startled by what appears to be a bit of a disjointed read and a lack of completeness to an otherwise tender love story.
Bishop is a supervisory probation officer at a camp for juvenile delinquents. He takes his job very seriously, hoping to be the difference for one boy, hoping to save him from a repeating life of crime. His vested interest becomes clearer as the story unfolds, as does his on again, off again relationship with Russ Stoltz, a retired deputy and current volunteer at the camp stables. Unlike his tenacity where it comes to serving the law and his boys, Bishop is gun shy of any type of lasting relationship and fears being hemmed in to one. So he tends to run and return to Russ and his dominance over and over until Russ finally stands up and puts a stop to it. What happens next is up to Bishop and may signal the end of everything he has come to depend on, despite his propensity for denying it and his feelings for Russ.
Impulsion was a mix of unusual kink and tender love. I found myself wanting to know so much more about both these men and the origins of the pony play they obviously indulged in. In fact, it became slowly apparent that Russ was a cowboy to more than just Bishop and I found myself wondering why Bishop was so worried about their relationship being exposed when it must have been hard to hide a stable of human ponies and kinky play from the town they lived in. That was a point that never really got explained and left me rather frustrated.
I did appreciate the painstaking level of description used to help me visualize what pony play comprised but, in the end, it also left the entire scene between the men rather clinical rather than sexy or intense. I really enjoyed the scenes where both were in the camp and the focus was on Bishop’s job. It made the story feel more complete in many ways. However, the slow reveal about Bishop’s own past and how he and Russ met was somewhat disjointed and I found it difficult to piece together Bishop’s back story, particularly the defining moment that was the catalyst for he and Russ meeting.
All in all, Impulsion had all the markings of another memorable James Buchanan novel but lacked the teeth and sinew to make it a fully fleshed out story one could sink their time into.