19 Sep '11
Cowboy Review – Hooked (Studs in Spurs #4) by Cat Johnson
Annie has reported on the pro-rider tours for years. Her familiarity with the riders has directly led to her lofty status as one of the best tour reporters around. She prides herself on her professionalism with the riders, vowing never to get involved with them on a personal level. No one has tempted her to break those Golden Rules like Luke Carpenter. Luke is a rider in the Twilight years of his career. His easy smile and tight butt have tempted her for a while, but it isn’t until the meddlesome Mustang gets involved that she realises Luke’s newly single status leaves the door wide open for her to take a chance. When it turns out the handsome Cowboy is just as distracted by her, the two embark on what could be a beautiful relationship. However, when his ex-girlfriends brother turns up with terrible news from home, it looks like the brakes are about to be put their fledgling relationship before it gets started. When it looks like his career may be over for a while, he has a tough choice to make. Does he try to make it work from afar? Or, does he put all his concentration into helping out his family?
Luke is just plain lovely. He is the Cowboy you’d love to take home to your mum; with good manners, blushing charm and an easy smile, he is the loveliest hero I’ve met in a while. When he and Annie finally get in bed, I was astounded; I didn’t expect such smexiness from such a nice boy, although all that stamina definitely paid off! He really liked to please his lady.J I really liked Annie too; I like a character with a moral standpoint, and she has definite rules about sleeping with the people she works with. She struggles, before making a move on Luke, with jeopardising the respect that she has built within the pro-riding circles by sleeping with a rider. It takes some Mustang shaped meddling before she realises that respect doesn’t keep you warm at night. I think the long and short of this is that both of these characters are such genuinely nice people that you want them to get together..
My only complaint about this book was the limited time that the couple spent together. The bad news from home comes at around thirty percent of the way through the book, which means that Luke leaves quite quickly to head on back to the ranch. When he decides to take on the job full time, they spend a lot of time apart. Luke literally starts falling apart, trying to deal with the loss of his career along with the rest of his bad news. I hated to see this lovely man in so much pain. He started the book as this happy go lucky hero with a fantastic career, a sex life that was going places and a network of friends that he could depend on like brothers. This one sudden event changes all of this; he ends up at a ranch miles from the circuit in a job he hates, avoiding his ex like the plague. It was horrible to see him so lost. The toxic ex Lily is going to get a mention here; there are no words to describe this leech and I’m not sure I want to meet her again. Meanwhile, Annie is facing her own problems when the network starts to edge in the younger Chelsea (for some reason that name just implanted an image of an airhead in my brain! Made me hate her more) She deals with the issue with dignity and I continued to gain respect for her throughout this tale. With all the problems that she has to deal with, you would think she would have no time to miss Luke, but she does. I willed for them to get together, but they have a multitude of obstacles that they need to overcome. The ending does come a little too soon for me. I always struggle with this issue as I wonder if it’s really a complaint to want to see more of the characters. It doesn’t bother me too much because I know there is every chance that we will see these two again in future books. I do love that Cat Johnson keeps us abreast of all her characters throughout series.
This book is the fourth in the series but I will say that, although there are recurrent characters, you probably could get away with reading this as a stand-alone. It was nice to see Mustang and Slade again; Mustang is just as much the little cupid as I remember from the first book J I liked Chris; a hard working, funny, sexy Cowboy…I hope he gets a book J
A sexy little book about two genuinely likeable characters that, in the twilight of their careers, fall in love at the Rodeo. With a charming Cowboy and a heroine I genuinely warmed to, this book left me wishing for a happy ending from page one. Smoking sex scenes, lots of Cowboy angst and some hot side characters made this one of my favourite in the series.