Beckett couldn’t have regretted his decision to go radio silent on his bull-riding husband more than when the call came in that Sky had sustained a life-threatening injury doing what he loved best. It had been so easy not to apologize—not to take back the hasty words that ended up throwing out the only man he had ever loved, but who seemed to love chasing the bulls more than Beck.
Sky was a two-time champion and while he thought about retiring, especially on those lonely nights in the off-season, he knew that he had no other marketable skillset than riding, so he kept on and locked away any thoughts of reconciling with his husband. Two stubborn men are about to be handed a second chance at getting their relationship right. One will have to bend and ask for forgiveness and help heal the man he loves, even if it means he may leave him again. The other will have to decide between a life in the arena and retiring to be with his husband and facing his fears that he’s got no work skills but bucking the bulls.
B.A. Tortuga and Jodi Payne have teamed up to create a classic cowboy story in Wrecked. Tortuga, in particular, is known for writing romance stories that feature rough, yet softhearted, cowboys and this team of authors certainly knows their way around a sexy standoff between two gorgeous men. This novel not only offered a second chance at love, but also an in depth view of how to remake a marriage that both participants wanted, but didn’t seem to know how to keep alive. Life gets in the way in a very messy way for Sky and Beck. Sky’s obstinate belief that his career is essentially over and with it any way to have a job that brings in a living salary is the crux of his reasoning for remaining apart from Beck who he loves dearly. Sky has truly convinced himself he has no other talents than bull riding and can’t face a life ahead without some sort of purpose. But his injury may preclude him from ever stepping into a bull riding arena again and Beck understands just how devastating a thought this is for his husband.
While the hurt/comfort trope made this a memorable romance between two mature men, there were a few problems that kept coming round making this story feel a bit long and a bit incomplete at the same time. For instance, it felt like Sky recovered so quickly from his injuries and, in particular, the facial damage that was mentioned seemed to heal without any visible scars or reconstructive surgery at all. Since Sky’s physical damage was so integral to the plot, it felt as though perhaps a bit more time should have been devoted to it. There were definitely some solid references to rehab and recovery, but still this guy just got better a bit too quickly to be believable.
Then, for me, I think the constant self-doubt on both men’s parts and the unceasing questioning if they were enough for each other seemed to drag on and on. It felt like I was reading the same internal conflicts over and over again. In between that was the constant reassuring that they loved each other and were there for the long haul, so why keep having Beck reflect on the idea that Sky was going to choose bull riding over their love again? I wonder if a bit of editing might have helped this story move forward more rapidly and feel less laborious when it came to both men settling down into looking toward their future.
Still, the chemistry between Beck and Sky was undeniable and the way in which Beck took care of Sky was incredibly sweet and romantic. If you are a cowboy fan, I think you may find Wrecked to be a solid hit. Despite any reservations about this novel, I certainly know that I will be looking forward to the collaboration of these two talented authors in the future.