Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Second Chances

Author: Carol Lynne
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL:
ISBN/BIN: 9781781841518
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Western Series
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Robert "Oggie" Ogden was a Chicago Police Officer until a shotgun blast took part of his arm. Now he owns a ranch outside Cattle Valley and he’s getting it ready to house GLBT teens. His new home is just as much a second chance for himself as it is the kids and with hard work, Oggie can make it work but he won’t take hand-outs or pity from anyone. That’s especially true of the one man he’s attracted to and who irritates him the most—Drake Smith.

Bullied as a kid, Drake’s grown a tough outer shell as an adult to keep from getting hurt again. He doesn’t make friends, so he’s surprised when his efforts to help Oggie angers him. But sometimes misunderstandings and anger is only a mask for other feelings and it’s not long before he and Oggie’s flawed emotions have turned to desire and passion. Can these two hurt and damaged men find happiness together?

Second Chances is the latest release in Carol Lynne’s Cattle Valley series. Since previous characters play minors roles, it’s possible to read this one as a standalone.

As a general rule, I enjoy the Cattle Valley books but I can’t say that about this newest release. I love the concept of setting up a home for kids in need on Oggie’s ranch. It’s a great idea with lots of potential and I hope to see more of it in the future. Oggie and Drake are unhappy individuals, deeply wounded by their pasts, and both have multiple issues and emotional problems to deal with. (I just couldn’t wrap my mind around them being a couple.) So on top of two angry guys trying to develop a believable relationship, there are multiple story lines trying to weave into the plot. Another one of my problems is so many of them seem to end up as dangling threads.  Without going into detail—Cullen is tortured but after getting to the ranch, it isn’t mentioned again. His aftermath of dealing with the trauma is dropped. I found this omission horribly disappointing.

For me the high point of the story is actually Cullen and Joseph and their secondary plot. I really want to know more about them and hope they get a book of their own in the near future.

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