Story Rating: 4.5 stars
Audio Rating: 4.5 stars
Narrator: Dorian Bane
Length: 4 hours and 54 minutes
Marty Fairgrave is the only out cowboy on the circuit and is in love with bull rider Tripp Colby, who is deep in the closet. Tripp being a closet case doesn’t stop him from having sex with Marty, but it does keep him from being the man that Marty needs in his life. The rodeo is tough on the cowboys in the ring, and when Marty is badly injured saving Tripp, it gets even tougher for the two men as Tripp keeps his distance from Marty in his time of need.
Marty decides to cut his losses and dumps Tripp, supported by his friends, who now include Eric, the paramedic who brought Marty to the hospital. Eric is more than happy that Tripp is out of the picture, leaving Marty single since Eric is interested in the hot pickup man. Marty’s family sees things differently, encouraging Marty to keep an open mind, and heart for the many he loves.
Tripp knows that he can’t lose Marty. He loves Marty, but coming out is not an option. He can’t risk losing his sponsors and his livelihood, can he? Tripp struggles to reconcile his dark past with his secretive present in the hopes of finding a compromise that will convince Marty to take him back.
As many of you know, I am not normally one to comment on covers, but this is one exception that I am sure you will agree with – holy hotness! Now the cover model may be great looking, but the entire cover perfectly suits the story and for that, I say great job!
The story itself was engaging, Tripp’s journey of self-discovery being the key component, especially since it is the thread that ties the various plot elements together. Even though Tripp could be considered cowardly and misguided, the truth that comes out in the course of the story brought clarity to his situation, and showed that he was a much stronger man than we gave him credit for at first.
Marty’s reaction to Tripp’s betrayal and his eventual capitulation felt right to me. The various secondary characters had some depth and supported the storyline, as well as the conflict, helping to maintain the balance of tension that dominated the bulk of the story.
The moment Bane began his narration, I felt a sense of rightness. Bane brought an authentic country drawl to the story and, as the narration progressed, he demonstrated many characteristics of a good narrator that I look for in an audiobook. The character voices were well differentiated, and for the most part, consistent through the story. I will admit that Bane’s deep voice also had a downside, at times, it would almost lull me to sleep, it was that mellow.