Review: Nowhere Ranch by Heidi Cullinan

Love will grow through the cracks you leave open.

Ranch hand Roe Davis absolutely never mixes business with pleasure—until he runs into his boss, Travis Loving, at the only gay bar within two hundred miles.

Getting involved with the ranch owner is a bad idea, but Roe’s and Travis’s bedroom kinks line up against one another like a pair of custom-cut rails. As long as they’re both clear this is sex on the side, no relationship, no interfering with the job, they could make it work.

Shut out by his family years ago, Roe survived by steadfastly refusing to settle into so much as a post office box. As his affair with Travis grows into more than just sex, Roe’s past catches up with him, threatening the thin ray of happiness he’s found, reminding him it’s well past time he went on his way.

But even a loner gets lonely, and at this point, there’s nowhere left to run. The shame and sorrow of what he’s lost will stay with Roe wherever he goes—until he’s ready to let love lead him home.

Y'know I still feel like my initial review is spot on. It's not exactly "professional" but it's from the heart. The second time around was just as touching and raunchy and delicious and full of feels as the first. I felt like I was coming home to ole Nowhere. Really, it's one of my all time favorite books and I cowboys aren't even my thing!

With that in mind, I questioned myself constantly this time around to get to the bottom of why I love this book so much and one thing kept rising to the top-I love Roe's voice. He strikes a chord in me, but I do love a damaged character. He comes across achingly authentic. He breaks my heart and makes me laugh. He has simple tastes but's far from simple. He uses the word 'fussy' and he loves to cook especially for people he cares about. I found myself wishing he were a real person because I'd like to be friends and I think we'd make a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner. That alone speaks to HC's level of talent to make me long for a fictional character.

"I want you to work for me and cook for me and talk with me. And then I want to fuck you, Roe. I want to fuck you so good I ruin you for anybody else. I want to make you mine. Mine. I want to brand you like the cattle. Not because I'm in love with you. Because I want you, and because I don't want anyone else to have you."

None of that means I loved Travis or Haley any less. The nuances of Travis I didn't completely recognize the first time especially how well Travis read Roe. He sort of snuck in the back door with him. Have you ever seen that movie The Horse Whisperer? Remember how Tom waited out Pilgrim? He was patient and kind but stern and forceful when it was called for. Travis is Roe's whisperer. And Haley is a force to be reckoned with, one that won't be denied no matter how much Roe may want to. Roe needs them both and the different ways they love and accept him. That's what holds Nowhere Ranch together-the building of a family that's not bound to you by blood. HC does this exceptionally well.

I wasn't sorry. I felt like that crazy sea inside me was settling into a calm. He had drawn it out of the bottle I kept it in, but when I looked up at him, it eased, because if my wild insides were a sea, his gray eyes were the world's biggest fucking bowl, and they held me. Caught and held me and bore me up.

I'm not great at memorizing books but I feel like the changes were mostly subtle e.g. fleshing out Roe's inner turmoil, his constant second guessing and pervasively low self-esteem, some of the descriptions of the landscapes, fine tuning sentences, things of that ilk; but, I do think the Grace plot point was strengthened. I've already prostrated myself on the HC alter (several times), so I'll refrain. In a nutshell, if you like HC, especially if you like kinky HC, Nowhere Ranch is a must read. Period.

As a parting comment, I'm pretty sure the kinky bits/raunchy language got a boost. *eyebrow waggle* That pony scene... I have no words but I do have a plethora of incoherent noises.

A review copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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1 comment:

  1. You've just reminded me how good this book is and I've got to do a reread ASAP.