Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bucked by Cat Johnson

Oh, the lure of the ride, the passion of the rodeo, the lifestyle of the cowboy -- Cat Johnson captures it all in this second book in her series, Studs in Spurs.

Continuing the story of Mustang Jackson, lately winner of the "Rookie of the Year" award and free-wheeling participant in the "love em and leave em" club that is the rodeo circuit, Johnson has written a fast-paced and very readable novel. Mustang's real name is Michael, and after suffering a serious injury riding one of hell's own bulls, he returns home where he again encounters a girl from his past, the sister of one of his early conquests. Sage has grown up and is now in possession of a body and personality that gets attention wherever she goes. But Mustang is a lost soul at this point, wondering if his rodeo career is over, chafing under the burden of a father with impossible expectations and who thinks being a rodeo cowboy is a trash life, and needing money badly.

Mustang's former partner and best friend Slade along with Jenna Block, a novelist from New York, again make a significant appearance in this book. Of course they are Mustang's connection to his lifestyle and are formerly his partners in a hot and sexy threesome.

Cat Johnson again writes with a deft hand as she looks into the thoughts of a young man who needs to grow up, who needs to begin to see himself as a person of worth in his own right, and who wants more than anything to be seen as worthy of the girl he has now come to love. In many respects this is a tender and heart-wrenching tale, bringing two people together who want one another in the depths of their hearts, but must bridge the gap between culture, age, experience, and trust.

In some respects I think this is a better book than Unridden, Cat Johnson's first in this series. It is a study in the rodeo lifestyle that may have gotten lost to the hot threesome in the first book, but which now emerges as a way of living that must be chosen in spite of the conflicts that are a part of this transcient lifestyle and work environment. Again, like the first book, this is not a heavy read. But it is a thoughtful book and I think it will be a good one for true romance fans. I give this book a 4.25 rating out of 5.


Tracy said...

How long are these books? Are they novella's?

Dr J said...

Tracy: These Cat Johnson books are about 250 print pages -- not excessively long but not novellas either. Just long enough to be a good story. Novellas and short stories require a great deal of skill in order to develop a plot and characters in such a short number of pages.

Tracy said...

Good to know, thanks!

Ok - my verification word is mange. Eewwww!

Lea said...

Thank you for the thoughtful concise review. I've heard of Ms. Johnson's work before but haven't had the opportunity to partake yet.

Thanks again for the recommendation.