Review: Bullheaded by Catt Ford Audiobook

Aging bull rider Cody Grainger needs bullfighter Johnny Arrow for more than just protection in the ring. Their bond of trust goes beyond the professional and into love, but while their relationship holds up to the need for discretion imposed by their sport and repeatedly having to watch each other put themselves in the way of dangerous animals, other barriers still tear them apart.

For one thing, Cody is ten years older than Johnny. But instead of contemplating retirement, he focuses on winning the championship, desperate to stay on top. Johnny is only beginning to find the professional recognition he craves. When frustration leads Johnny to walk away, Cody’s season slumps. While they’re apart, they both slowly realize they are meant to be together. But machismo abounds in the sport of bull riding, and their pride might be an obstacle too big for love to overcome.

Listening Length: 12 hours and 7 minutes
Narrator: Derrick McClain

Cody and Johnny have been together for a while. Cody is a bull rider, and Johnny is a bullfighter. There is an age-gap of ten years, and Cody is resisting retirement, while Johnny is just starting to make a name for himself in the sport.

Over the summer break, Cody starts to discuss his future with Johnny. He wants Johnny to settle down with him, and be his ranch hand, while he goes off and continues to ride, but Johnny has no intentions of giving up his job.

Stubborn as Cody is, he thinks Johnny is being unreasonable, when the reality is, it's Cody. Sick of Cody’s overbearing nature, Johnny leaves to find his way on his own, away from the judgment and pressure that Cody presents.

This story was a serious look at what happens when love isn’t enough. Cody and Johnny clearly love each other, but Cody’s life experience, and domineering nature creates a lot of tension. I found I agreed with Johnny, and wanted to shake Cody often. Cody just seemed so caught up in his own self, and had no ability to see things from someone else’s point of view. I was pleased when Johnny walked out. He could do better on his own.

I think this story was more Johnny’s journey than Cody’s. While both points of view were present, and we got to see the development of both men individually, I felt that Johnny grew more than Cody did. Cody just didn’t seem to get it, and unfortunately that made him less likeable to me. I didn’t feel bad for Cody at all, while he was trying to work through his broken heart. He deserved it, as far as I’m concerned.

I think Cody’s character went a bit too far in being an arse, and it was difficult to bring Cody back to someone I would want good things for. I wanted for Johnny. He was an awesome character, and I loved that he was true to himself through the entire book. He made rational decisions, and when he spoke, it was considered, not blurted. He was also willing to try new experiences. Cody was just an old dog. No new tricks for him. He also didn’t really know Johnny. Which I find really odd. I do understand that being closeted and in a job that creates separation often, can leave gaps in knowledge, but some of the most basic things about Johnny, like what his tattoo means, or how much he enjoys his job, would have been the first thing anyone would learn about the man they are sleeping with. This just proved how self-centred Cody was/is and I have no time for that kind of person.

The narration for this story was nice. I appreciated the voice. Unfortunately, the Aussie accent of one of the ranch hands was horrid. I know Aussie accents are difficult, so I’m just glad there were no main Aussie roles. A lot of practice would be required to get it to a point that it passed. But the rest of the character voices were good, and distinct enough to know who was speaking.

This didn’t excite me as much as other western stories I’ve read, but it was a nice solid read. Sort of comfort food for my brain and ears. It was memorable enough, and kept me engaged, except for when I was rolling my eyes at Cody, and even then, I was engaged enough to know to roll my eyes at Cody.

Recommended for those who enjoy MM Western erotic-romance.

A copy of this audiobook was provided for an honest review

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Dreampsinner Press



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