Author: Lorelei James
Reviewer: Jen Twimom
Creston “Cres”, the youngest Grant brother, and until recently, a closeted gay rancher, is still coping with the sudden death of the love of his life over two years ago. In an effort to get him out of his funk, Cres’s brothers and sisters-in-law take him out to a big party where he runs into Breck Christianson, a sexy hookup from Cres’s past.
Breck has spent the last two years of his life riding a crushing wave that ended his successful career and left him with few friends. Seeing Cres Grant serves to remind him of the “one that got away,” yet gives him hope for the future.
I have to admit, the opening prologue of Strung Up both surprised and crushed me. I am not one to read book blurbs before I dive into a story, so it came as quite a shock that Cres’s hero is Breck, and not someone else. For those who’ve read the previous two 1,001 Dark Nights/Blacktop Cowboys tales, I think the prologue will hit you equally as hard. However difficult and shocking the opener was, it effectively drew me into this wonderful story and created a deeply emotional connection to Cres. I immediately grew to care about him and his future.
Cres and Breck made for a wonderful pair. Right from their initial encounter, the couple shared an intense sexual attraction, something stemming from their brief history and made even stronger over time. I liked how the pair opened up to each other about the pain in his past, and how it impacted his life in the now. Yet no matter how honest they were with one another, each continued to hide his true feelings towards the other. This duality of honesty created delicious tension and drew out the romance just until the point where it could have become tedious. Ms. James created a perfect match with these two pained souls.
Overall, Strung Up is a sexy love story about second chances. I liked the emotional intensity of the tale. It never felt rushed because the characters have been around and have an established backstory. The couple had electric chemistry both in and out of the bedroom, adding to the heightened emotional content.
Rancher Creston Grant retreats from the world after he loses the love of his life… Can his former flame, rodeo cowboy Breck Christianson prove he’s a changed man who can give Cres a second chance at love?
Release Date: September 13, 2016
Publisher: Evil Eye Concepts
Series: Blacktop Cowboys #7.5, 1,001 Dark Nights #46
Genre: LGBTQ, Cowboy Romance, novella
Format(s): paperback (100 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: Publisher
A white catering van had been parked near the rear exit. It appeared I wasn’t the only one seeking an escape. A big guy, roughly the same size as Sutton, rested against the side of the van, one boot heel hooked to the running board. He wore dark jeans and a plain white button down shirt with a logo on the left pocket. He’d angled his head down, obscuring his face. But with that build and that posture, I knew I was looking at a rodeo cowboy.
Something seemed familiar about him.
That’s when I noticed the poker chip in his left hand. He passed it through his fingers over and over again. I recognized that nervous tic.
My gut tightened. I took a few more steps forward, alerting him to my presence.
He palmed the poker chip before he slowly raised his head and looked at me.
Then I was staring into that face. That handsome fucking smug face.
A face I used to dream of.
A face I hadn’t seen in four years, since Sutton and London’s wedding.
I waited for the dismissive sneer to distort that perfect mouth.
A mouth I’d dreamed of nearly as often as his perfect face.
But no sneer formed.
His compelling eyes met mine.
I saw his recognition in those arctic blue depths. Followed by wariness. But no hardness. Or the mean glint I’d unconsciously steeled myself against.
He didn’t move.
Neither did I.
I found my voice. “Breck?”
“What are you doin’ out here?”
“Same thing you’re doin’, I reckon. Avoiding the crowd.” He paused and dipped his chin to the empty space beside him. “There’s room if you wanna take a load off.”
I waited for the innuendo.
Everything inside me cautioned me to beat a fast retreat.
Not everything. My long-dormant libido urged me to stay.
We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Review & Excerpt Tour for Lorelei James’ STRUNG UP! STRUNG UP is a Blacktop Cowboys Series Novella brought to you by 1001 Dark Nights. Check out all the stops on this awesome tour and grab your copy today!
Lorelei James’ STRUNG UP – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:
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Redhot Romance – Review
Books, Coffee & Passion – Excerpt
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Lorelei James is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of contemporary erotic western romances set in the modern day Wild West and also contemporary erotic romances. Lorelei’s books have been nominated for and won the Romantic Times Reviewer’s choice Award, as well as the CAPA Award. Lorelei lives in western South Dakota with her family…and a whole closet full of cow girl boots.
From Lorelei: “Why do I have a particular fondness for all things western? Well, I’m a fourth generation South Dakotan, living in the Black Hills, which is chock-full of interesting characters, including cowboys, Indians, ranchers, and bikers. The geographical diversity of the surrounding area showcases mountains, plains, and badlands. Living in and writing about rural settings gives me a unique perspective, especially since I’m not writing historical westerns. Through my fictional world, I can show the ideals and the cowboy way of life are still very much alive.” Website | Facebook | Twitter