Strung Up; A Blacktop Cowboys’ Novella (1001 Dark Nights)
This review is from: September 19,2016 By Kayreader (Kindle Edition)
by Lorelei James (Author)
Strung Up is the 10th book within the Blacktop Cowboys’ series and this is the third book for the Grant family within that series. Unlike Lorelei’s Rough Rider series that centered around the McKay family, the Blacktop series typically touches on the cowboy that either hits the blacktop by way of the rodeo, stockman, or sales. What has been great with this series is that no matter what is eating up the blacktop under the cowboy’s wheels, they eventually find their way home to a common berth.
Cres Grant is the youngest of his brothers, whom you get to know better in the previous novella’s Roped In and Stripped Down. However, what I love most about Lorelei’s writing is her knack to incorporate prior characters into the story so flawlessly that it is an integral part of the story and not just a quick update like a band-aid that needs to quickly be pulled off so she can move on to the main story line. Even though you might have met Cres before this is the first real glimpse into his private life. Lorelei doesn’t pull any punches when the story first begins. You are pulled immediately into Cres Grant’s world where he has just lost his long time lover in an accident. Years go by and Cres is still just living day to day. Thanks to some intervention by his family he finally is drug, pretty much kicking and blustering, out of the house. He finally concedes to a night out, but Cres never expected to run into an old flame.
Meet Breck Christianson and BAM! WHACK! What is Lorelei trying to do to me? So I have to admit I didn’t remember Breck, but from what I’d been reading even before the book came out, several readers mentioned that they weren’t happy that Cres would be paired up with Breck. Those comments intrigued me since I seriously couldn’t remember Breck, so instead of going back and rereading the books to see if Breck really was a total dick I went into the story blind and I was blown away with how much Breck’s story moved me. Breck’s fall to the very pit of life is heartbreaking to read. Actually his life goes beyond falling into a pit, it goes to hell, but it says a lot about a man in how he picks himself back up after he falls so far and comes out on the other side. I hope anyone who felt he wasn’t good enough for Cres can now agree that Breck is an amazing man.
Strung Up is a beautiful story of redemption. Two broken men who both needed a big do over. A complete reset. A chance to heal.
The love scenes are hot, but I expected nothing less from Ms. James. Aside from the steamy hotness, the story itself is just a beautifully crafted story. It will make you believe not only in love, but also in second chances.
Strung Up is the first all M/M romance for Lorelei James.
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