Kyle MacDonald is 20 years old and is on the road with his father, a bull rider, and his brother. They treat him like an indentured servant, making him carry all their gear while they party with the guys and enjoy nights out with buckle bunnies (rodeo groupies). Kyle’s father also beats him, and Kyle feels like he’s got to tolerate it.
Duncan Hornsby is the current world champion and Kyle’s father’s biggest rival. Even though he’s quite a few years older, Duncan can’t get Kyle off his mind. One night, he meets up with Kyle as he is doing the one thing he can to defy his father…feeding and caring for the bulls. They talk and they flirt a bit, and Duncan realizes he really wants Kyle and he’s willing to do anything it takes to be with him.
Now, Duncan and Kyle have to decide whether their relationship is worth battling their age difference, Kyle’s abusive father, and the distance between their home towns.
I wanted to love Duncan’s World. It had two tropes I usually go crazy for, cowboys and May/December romance. Unfortunately, this story fell somewhat flat for me.
I didn’t connect with Kyle or Duncan. I couldn’t understand why Kyle tolerated such terrible treatment from his father and brother, even though he was 20 years old and didn’t have to be there in the first place. Duncan was a little better, but I still wasn’t really feeling it with him. He seemed to really like Kyle and wanted to get to know him better, but he did kiss Kyle and invited him back to his room (to rub some liniment on his back), and he didn’t discourage Kyle when he began clumsily trying to seduce him. They engaged in sexual activity the very night they met, and they never stopped.
There was a lot of sex in Duncan’s World. Normally, I don’t have a problem with that. However, this time I felt some story substance and character development was sacrificed for this. I’d have loved to have more scenes of Duncan and Kyle talking and getting to know each other more. Perhaps I’d have felt more kinship with the men if that had happened.
There are quite a few background characters here. Kyle’s father, brother, and mother, as well as two friends of Duncan’s, Abe and Mason. They each played important roles in the story. The father and brother were decent villains, and Kyle’s mother had an excuse for remaining married to his father. It was kind of convoluted, but it passed the test. Abe and Mason were supportive of Duncan and Kyle’s relationship, and were especially nice to Kyle when he needed friends.
The ending tied up neatly…predictably, but neatly. However, it felt like it was a little too quick. I was starting to settle into the book and finally starting to really like Duncan and Kyle, and it was over. I set the Kindle down and said, “That’s it?” Another 20 pages would have gone a long way to helping me be more satisfied with everything.
I’m going to cautiously recommend Duncan’s World to fans of cowboys and May/December romances. Also, if you’re really into sex scenes, this could be right up your alley.