It might be a sham to his boss, but it's all too real to him.
Administrative assistant Jonah Hollis has nurtured a hopeless crush on his boss, millionaire cattle rancher Lincoln Courtwright, ever since he started working for him. But hope is kindled when Linc and beautiful rodeo star Melissa Cutler break up just weeks before the biggest event of the Dallas social season, the Cattle Baron's Ball, and Linc asks Jonah to accompany him in her place.
Is it all a ploy to make Melissa jealous? Can Jonah fit into Linc's world? It takes some encouragement from his roommates and his best friend, Caylee, for Jonah to agree. Before long, Jonah dares to believe Linc might just feel something for him, until interfering family and a series of misunderstandings threaten his fragile dream of happiness.
©2016 Nicki Bennett (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press
I received a free copy of this audiobook to listen to and review for Wicked Reads.
The Cattle Baron’s Bogus Boyfriend is a M/M take on the classic romance theme of the wealthy boss falling in love with his secretary, who has been secretly pining for him. It makes for a sweet romance, but is relatively angst free other than the vindictive ex and the predictable “he’s a gold digger” accusation thrown in by Lincoln’s stepmother about Jonah. Because the romance is between two men, it enables Bennett to add a twist to the story regarding Jonah’s best friend, Caylee, but even that scenario is ultimately low angst. Although it’s well written, had I only read the book instead of listening to the audiobook, I would have given it 3 stars because while it’s entertaining and I did enjoy it, it didn’t grab me enough that it made a lasting impression.
For me, the narration made The Cattle Baron’s Bogus Boyfriend truly enjoyable and is what earned the audiobook edition the extra star. With that said, Rusty Topsfield’s narrative talents were evident as he excelled at making it apparent when Jonah was speaking versus thinking to himself – which actually occurs a lot in the story. Initially I found Topsfield’s use of whispering to indicate Jonah’s internal monologue to be annoying, but as it became clear that Jonah internalized a lot – especially snarky comments – the whispering intonation became “my best friend” in the audibook as I would have been extremely lost as to when the young man was speaking versus thinking. Topsfield also does a great job of bringing the other characters to life and, as much as I disliked her, I thought he did a wonderful job of conveying the different sides to Eloise’s character, especially her change in attitude from her initial introduction to how she engaged with the other characters in the epilogue.
While I liked both Jonah and Lincoln, there were times that I found Jonah off-putting. Several times in the beginning of the book, prior to him learning that Lincoln was bisexual, he had to remind himself not to read anything into Lincoln’s praise and acts of kindness because his boss was straight so it couldn’t mean anything. Crushes are fine, it’s what provides fodder for our day dreams, but to need to remind yourself repeatedly that the object of your affection is straight and the guy is just being nice, well it just felt off to me, as though the author had forgotten she’d already given the reader that information. I’m not sure if it was Bennett’s way of laying the foundation for why Jonah reacted to Eloise’s vitriol as he did later in the book, but it felt overdone. Fortunately, the chemistry between Lincoln and Jonah was obvious and went a long way in combating Jonah’s insecurities. Overall, The Cattle Baron’s Bogus Boyfriend was an enjoyable book that was, for me, made more enjoyable by Rusty Topfield’s narration.
Love listening to great stories matched well to the right narrators.
Enjoyable but it's not for my friends .
More development with the main characters , they were very likable but not eanough substance and A bit more angst would have been perfect.
Very pleasent voice, it made me stay and listen to the whole audible .
The boss can take me out to dinner anytime .
Very pleasent narration good story
I love to read any genre and most topics. I like diversity and engaging characters. I write, garden, cook,craft and chill with my furbabies
It's no secret I love cowboys. Rich Cowboys, poor cowboys, western cowboys, city cowboys, put the man in jeans, boots a Stetson and a ranch and I am all in. I wasn't disappointed. Not only did I get a rich rancher, but also a small town farm boy, boss/ secretary and listening along I was all happy and gooey though I figured predictable then near the end...Wham! Bam! What a shocker! I am glad I was at home. I actually shouted out...'What? No Way! ' So yeah it was a magnificent book!
Rusty Topsfield did an excellent job on the narration. Though at times it felt like he was reading along most of the time he did a good job with the voices. There were some Texas tang and Oklahoma drawl, and the women were even acted out.
If you like a good secretary/boss relationship, a wealthy bi Rancher with a snotty ex, highland an even snottier step-mother, a bunch of cool best friends, and an excellent romance that has a few twists, I highly recommend this. Did I mention hot ranchers?
With the Dreamspun Desires I adjust my “reality meter” to “fantasy” and plug in. I know there isn’t likely to be a “believable plot device” but instead a more “fairy tale in modern times” like story. In this case, there are some “real elements” – Jonah moving away from a small town to a big city to escape the smothering effects of being the only gay boy in town. Linc’s desire to find someone who appreciates him for him and not his money. Jonah’s fabulous BFF and roomies helping him to believe in his own self worth.
On the other hand there is a lot of “fairy tale”. Linc is the perfect Boyfriend and Lover. The ball and dinner were soooo romantic and sweet and ooey gooey wonderful! Linc’s girlfriend and her reactions are pretty unrealistic as was Jonah’s friend’s “complication” and subsequent move to Dallas.
All in all – it was – as expected – a really nice fantasy – the good guy gets a good guy for ever and always – and all the bad people go away – forever!
Rusty Topsfield does a nice job with the Southern accents and does a surprisingly good job with the females in this story, too. I really enjoyed listening to this and think it’s a good way to experience this story. (There are some technical errors that I hadn’t experienced with this narrator before – but they were minor and didn’t detract much from the story.) I really liked the accent he chose for Linc – yummy!
I really can't say how much I disliked this story. The main character is so much more whiny than any heroine in the Harlequin romances I read as a teenager. Jonah is so immature and I can't feel any sympathy for him. He handled everything so badly. The way he dealt with the situation with his best friend was well intentioned, but quite high handed. His father was the only one with any sense. I will be returning this ASAP. This pushed all my buttons and not in a good way. I don't know who was worse for Linc - Jonah or his ex-fiancé. Personally, I think he would be better off alone.
This is a very predictable HEA story. No surprises and if that is the Way u would like to spend five hours Then it will be fine. Its just not one of the great ones - just an story along a million others like it. Narrator not my favorit but ok. If u like the resume and keep in mind it will not win Any prises, Then you will probably like it.
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