TURN AND BURN by Lorelei James
Series: Blacktop Cowboys #5
Format: eBook via Netgalley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 368 pages
Publisher: NAL (August 6, 2013)
Tanna Barker is a world champion barrel racer. But her personal life has been less of a success, and she’s feeling adrift. After her mother’s unexpected death, her father has remarried, and sold the Texas ranch she called home. Now a rodeo injury has left the restless spitfire holed up in Muddy Gap, unsure what her next move should be.
Until she meets her match in a wild, wild cowboy
Veterinarian August Fletcher has always put his job first. He’s never found a woman who could handle his on-the-road lifestyle. But when sassy, sexy Tanna blows into town, he finally finds the woman of his fantasies. And there’s something between them, but she claims she’s been burned by love ’em and leave ’em road dogs before. How can Fletch prove that he’s in it for the long haul, and that their sizzling relationship is better than winning any rodeo medal? It’ll take some sweet persuasion to convince Tanna that Muddy Gap is where she belongs.
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Lorelei James’ Blacktop Cowboys series is one of my personal favorites and one that doesn’t seem to get as much publicity as her more well-known Rough Riders series about the McKay family. It’s the residents of Muddy Gap, Wyoming, who are the real family in this series, and the stories are about the relationships they form with each other and with those lucky newcomers who happen to stumble onto this small but caring community. Turn and Burn is the fifth book in the series and the second to feature a couple that we already know from previous books.
Both Tanna Barker and August “Fletch” Fletcher are known and loved secondary characters to those familiar with the Blacktop Cowboys. Tanna is the wildly successful barrel racer from Texas who was a good friend and sounding board to Lainie and Celia earlier in the series. Fletch has lived in Muddy Gap all his life and is now the dedicated but severely overworked large animal veterinarian on whom the whole town depends for the care of their ranch animals.
These two have never met in person until the night when they hook up for some hot anonymous sex in a honky tonk just outside Muddy Gap. Tanna is having the worst year of her life after a tragic rodeo accident just after the loss of both her mother and her childhood home. Fletch is looking for some out-of-town female companionship before returning to his lonely home. When he sees Tanna at the bar, and hears the wild stories she’s telling each man who approaches, he knows this is no ordinary woman and that he must have her for as long as he can. Their amazing night together convinces Fletch that what they have goes beyond mere sex. Now if he could only convince Tanna.
I’m a huge fan of the Blacktop Cowboys series and returning to Muddy Gap is like coming home for me with each new book. I have great affection for all of the characters and was so happy to see Tanna and Fletch find each other and that part of their lives that was missing until then. After all the betrayals and disappointments she’s experienced over the past year, it takes everything she’s got for Tanna to trust in both Fletch and herself, as she finally faces what she needs to do to “get back on the horse”, both figuratively and literally. Fletch has to learn how to cope with his unfamiliar possessive feelings for Tanna and wanting to be the one who heals Tanna from her hurt when all that does is make her want to run from him. Throughout the story, we get to catch up with all the previous characters and see how all the people who have been helped by Tanna and Fletch in the past now get to return that favor with interest. Turn and Burn is a wonderful addition to the Blacktop Cowboys series and I’m looking forward to seeing who Lorelei James manages to pair off next in the tiny town of Muddy Gap, Wyoming.
“You’re awful bossy for the one who ain’t in charge.”
“Who says I’m not in charge?”