Evan Taylor decides every year around his birthday that he is going to change his ways. He’s terrified of winding up like his father and, while he’s successful on the rodeo circuit, he often wakes up with a different woman and it leaves him feeling lonely. When Evan sees Spencer Quinn again, his thoughts run to how his best friend’s brother has grown up and he certainly takes notice. But Spencer, he fears, is way out of his league.
Spencer has just returned home from school where he has earned two degrees. His family name is important to him and he’s working to take over when his father retires from their stock contracting business. He’s always been attracted to men and, while his family approves, he tries to keep a low profile on the circuit while working twice as hard. When Evan decides he’s going after Spencer, all Spencer remembers is that Evan has never dated men and everyone knows that Evan is the ultimate player. Spencer is going to have to change everything he knows about Evan to give this relationship a chance.
Early on, this book went off the track for me and it never did recover. Evan wakes up from another one night stand and feels awful. His father was a womanizer that cheated on his mother and he hasn’t been able to outrun his father’s name on the rodeo circuit. He doesn’t want to be like his father and decides every year he is going to change his ways and this year is no different. Evan sees Spencer and decides he’s exactly what he needs to change. Evan has never been with a man as he says he has never found one that held his attention before Spencer. To make his point, all of a sudden, after not having seen Spencer for years, Evan forces a kiss on him completely out of nowhere out in the open. He gives no thought to Spencer or that Spencer tries to keep a low profile in front of the other men. It’s all about Evan.
When Evan decides he’s going after Spencer, this is his thought process: “Evan had known once he’d made a self-proclamation to better himself…it’d be a long war. Spencer was just part of the plan. Not because he was a man. Evan knew flipping to the opposite sex was the fix.” Evan says he has an epiphany, but it was impossible to determine if Evan was really into Spencer or was just simply trying to break his old patterns and it was difficult to want to continue on after that line. Deciding to date a man on the rodeo circuit shouldn’t have been the easiest task as the climate is described as being hostile from the older generation, but when Evan and Spencer are in plain sight, there is then zero pushback.
There were several contradictions in the book. We learn in the beginning that Spencer was adopted. The story touches on his birth parents and then his adoptive mother and it didn’t all sync well to the rest of the story. He then talks about working hard to build the business up and states, “It was the Quinn blood pumping through him…” Only it wasn’t. Then later when he talks about his bond with his family he states that, “Love was thicker than anything, blood didn’t always matter.” There were several other areas and details where there were noticeable contradictions as well.
The authors at no time made me believe in this relationship. There was minimal character development and no emotion. The men admit they don’t really know each other and, after spending only minimal time together, are completely in love. Evan having never been with a man is barely addressed. When they get into their first argument, they have no idea how to talk to each other and it involves a lot of stomping around followed by the silent treatment. There were tense shifts within the same sentence and head hopping within the same paragraph that made some of the conversation muddled. The ending introduced a new female character as well as a horse that didn’t serve much purpose in this book but introduced the lead for the next book in the series.
Perhaps the typo in the blurb should have been a sign of things to come. This book took several themes and unsuccessfully tried to link them together. There are much better rodeo books, much better relationship building books, much better romance books, and overall, much better books out there.