Three years undercover with one of the worst gangs in the country left FBI agent Joshua Chastain shattered. Battling nightmares and addiction, he leaves the concrete jungle for New Mexico horse country, hoping to start over on his uncle's ranch.
Foreman Eli Kelly spends his life rehabilitating abused animals, and Joshua is just another lost soul. But as Joshua slowly begins to put his life back together, Eli realizes that Joshua is a lot more than his newest project.
Joshua's plan seems to work - maybe a fresh start was just what he needed. Then, just when he has finally found a sense of peace, crime and hatred nearly destroy all his hard work forcing him to reevaluate what he wants out of his relationship with Eli and his own life.
©2013 Rowan Speedwell (P)2014 Dreamspinner Press
Excellent! The first word that comes to mind when I think about the story of Joshua and Eli and the cast of characters that help to make this tale so enthralling. Rowan Speedwell's story telling encapsulates the reader at the forefront and carries to the end. The narrator provided depth to the characters with his inflections and tone. The tale is filled with drama, pain, love, joy, violence, healing, laughter, tears, horses, and of course, cowboys! One of the best stories I have read in a long time...I highly recommend this audio book....
Goodreads reviewer and blogger... also dentist and wife/mom when I get the time!
I could listen to K.C. Kelly recite the phone book and I think I would be in heaven. DAMN he had a perfect voice for this book! I'm not sure if he is Hispanic or Native American but he had that soulful, deep, perfectly accented tone to his voice that fit this book like a glove.
I love Rowan Speedwell. She consistently and artfully produces stories that never fail to touch me. This one was no different. Admittedly, cowboys are not my thing and neither are guys in the closet. However, this one worked for me.
I enjoyed the slow burn relationship between the two MCs and the angst in this book. What? I love being emotionally shredded! However, I thought that Joshua was a bit too stubborn and pig-headed for me to fully relate to him. I wanted more from his character, more something. He went back and forth with his feelings so often that I got whiplash. And while I certainly felt the beginnings of love between him and Eli, I felt like the romance could have used more marinating.
I probably would have given this book 3.5 stars or maybe 3 stars for the content if it wasn't for the spot-on narration that elevated this book to a work of art. I'll be looking for this narrator in the future, you can be sure!
**Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
Yes, the audiobook is significantly better than the ebook/print version.
Josh dancing in the waterfall for Eli.
The absolutely perfect voice for cowboys. Sadly he mispronounced more than one very important word. For example, no self-respecting cowboy would ever pronounce rodeo as RO-DAY-OH. It's RO-DEE-OH, Mr. Kelly.
There were too many to cite. Mr. Kelly made these characters, all of them, seem so real and relatable. Speedwell's description of the ranch made me feel as though I was there.
As someone who spent decades around horses, ranches, farms, and an occasional rodeo, I picked up some incorrect terms used by Ms. Speedwell. But those are niggles. It's not a perfect story, but the audio version narrated by KC Kelly is just not to be missed. Listening to this story was more like watching a movie than listening to a book. Highly recommended.
I'm Married 25 years with 5 sons. I love romance anything to do with love, love and more love. I am officially a audible junkie :)
I do love cowboys. This is now one of my favorite audiobooks. It was so hot when K.c. Kelly talked in spanish :) Love, like water satisfied everything i love in a good book...two guys getting to know each other and falling in love, a little angst and pain and a happy ending.
Great character development, well performed and engaging. Well worth the credit - go ahead and buy it!
Unfortunately, it follows the classic m/f romance trope and the last third of the story is them separated by misunderstanding/misconception. Would have been much better without that.
K.C. Kelly is a great narrator and he brought the characters to life.
Tell us about yourself! Love to listen to jazz or classical and read erotic or a good paranormal sci-fi and good narration is everything
I found that I enjoyed this story it have everything you need for a good story drama, action, a lead character that's going through hell from the things he had to do to survive undercover work. Good writing Speedwell
I'm one of the reviewers at the Guilty Indulgence Review Site. I am always reading - I don't go anywhere without an ebook or audiobook!
This story is both heartbreaking and hopeful, a combination often difficult to balance but done well by Speedwell. There are a combustion of emotions between Eli and Josh... hurt, fear, lust, understanding, comfort, and love... and they are impossible to not be drawn into. The ranch is so vividly described, with each of it's occupants being strong secondary characters that add to the story. Tucker is a powerful influence on both men, as is Serafina who serves as a mother to them.
The narration had a good feel to it, an authentic western flavor. I was so absolutely caught up in this story at one point that I burnt dinner! I couldn't stop listening. With a huge grin, I listened to the last sentence of the epilogue and know without a doubt that I'll be watching for another book about the Tripe C Ranch.
ONE CAVEAT: The pronunciation of "Rodeo" was odd, as if saying "Rodeo Drive" in Hollywood rather than the "Rodeo" cowboys participate in. I don't know - maybe this is common dialect in this area of the country where the book is set but it did distract me a bit each time I heard it.
The narration. K.C. Kelly did an outstanding job with the southwest cowboy drawl.
That everyone, no matter how damaged, deserves love and happiness.
The admission, by Joshua, about the pregnant girl's death.
Rowan Speedwell has crafted a nuanced and beautiful story.
Yes. It's longer than the standard 6-8 hours for stories in this genre, which allows for more substance in the story.
Kindred Hearts, also by Rowan Speedwell. They both involve shattered characters who find healing through love.
Eli - the Spanish words which Eli occasionally uses add to his character, and give him a unique connection with Joshua.
Yes - in fact I stayed up until 2 am on a school night so I could listen to it all in one sitting...and I had class at 7:45 am.
"A bit of a drought!!"
I haven't read the print version, but after listening to the narration, I wish I had!
There were one or two moments that could be compared to 'My Roommates A Jock, Well Crap', but with the narration here being nowhere near as good
The narrator could have done much more to distinguish between the characters and at times I lost interest
With a different narrator, definitely
For me, the story was good but the narrator spoiled it and I certainly won't be listening to anymore books by the same reader!
"What's not to love"
Yes, the narrator's voice and the likeable characters.
They analogies comparing humans with horses used to describe human reactions to abuse helped one to really see and feel Joshua's emotions and body language.The dry humour.
No, but now I love him.
I didn't cry but had visceral pain at times. Smiled several times. Laughed at the ending.
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