Monday, May 13, 2013

Book Review: Corralled [2010]

Two series of Lorelei James books were recommended as potential 50 Shades of Grey readalikes: Rough Riders and Blacktop Cowboys. Perhaps due to the raciness of the covers, the libraries in my system have only one of the former and most of the latter series, so I checked out Corralled, which is the first of the Blacktop Cowboys series (and yes, the entire series features shirtless cowboy covers).

The daughter of a famous bull rider who died tragically, Lainie Capshaw works as a sports therapist on two different rodeo circuits, and finds herself drawn to--and sleeping with--one man from each tour. When both bullfighter Hank and bull rider Kyle appear at the same bar at the same time, she knows the jig is up. What she doesn't expect is for Hank and Kyle to approach her with a proposition: she will travel with both of them for three weeks during "Cowboy Christmas." They propose to share her bed at the same time, launching the three of them on a voyage of erotic discovery.

The men are hoping that she'll be forced to choose between them, which she declares she won't do when she accepts their offer. But after several weeks on the road with both Hank and Kyle, she finds herself drawn to one of them more than the other . . .

Grade: A-

I wouldn't class this as a great readalike for the 50 Shades trilogy, but it was an excellent erotic romance. I would give it to someone who loves western romances and Jaci Burton fans. James has a skillful way of handling the dynamics of a three-person relationship in a hypermasculine world like rodeo, and uses plenty of detail to make the setting believable. The book is as much about rodeo politics and genuine friendships as it is about hot sex (of which there is plenty). As seems to be customary for these books, there is an attempted rape.

Corralled ended up being one of my favorite books read for this project, so much so that I just voluntarily read another book in the series, One Night Rodeo, to find out what happened to some of the characters in Corralled.

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