I loved this book. One warning, it is a fairly direct continuation of the story and characters in the first book in the series, Spurs, and in my opinion, you should read them in order. I reviewed Spurs when it first came out, and honestly I read too much, so I couldn’t remember the backstory. Poor me…I had to go back and re-read that one first. It was very onerous. Not. I loved that one as well, so it was a great re-read. In this new installment, Chaps, we are again back in that idyllic little town of Valentine, Nebraska, a town as I mentioned in my review of the first book that reminds me of the fictional town of Big Eden, in the movie of the same name. The people in town are just so darned accepting of everyone…well except for the local vet and his wife, but I can read the writing on the wall…they have theirs coming…I hope in another installment at some point! After all, their son Matt needs his own story! This time we shift focus over to a cousin of the first book’s MC Grayson. The cousin’s name is Tennessee Reed and we met Tenn and his brother Dakota in the first book. I was hoping we would see more of Tenn down the road. Well, we have! Tenn is a fairly huge young man, who has been drafted by the Denver Broncos. Only problem? He didn’t want to be, and his brother Dakota did. The Broncos took Tenn instead because he is gay and they wanted the rainbow diversity card. Tenn is home for his and Dakota’s father’s funeral. The father dropped dead suddenly, at a very young age and the whole town is having a tough time dealing with it. Nate O’Neill is new in town. He arrives with his best friend Rik, who it turns out has a connection to Valentine, which solves one unanswered question from book one. Once in town, Nate is kind of thrown together with Tenn. Nate doesn’t intend to stick around. Tenn is member of the Denver Broncos and due back for training in a couple weeks. But the best laid plans don’t always work out… I really enjoyed this one. It was a perfect length, what some might call long, and it had great character and storyline building. I really enjoyed it, and highly recommend it. Like I said, do yourself a favor and read Spurs first. Don’t be surprised if you are like me and don’t even pause between the two books. Great job Ms. Dixon
Cherry County Cowboys, 2
Rising rodeo star Nate O’Neill never expected to be living in a small Nebraska ranching town waiting for his rodeo brother to recover from a vicious ride. His unplanned stop steers him into the arms and bed of local celebrity, Tennessee Reed. Soon he questions what thrills him more—the rodeo or Tenn. Forced to face his reckless past, he’s reminded that relationships can cause damage far worse than any bull ride … and maybe he’s headed for the same suffering again.
Professional football draft-pick Tennessee Reed returns home emotionally shattered by the unexpected passing of his father who left Tenn with a hereditary secret buried in his chest. He might be dying inside, but when Nate walks into his life all Tenn’s troubles seem to disappear into those hazel eyes and he’s never felt more alive. Will Tenn follow the cowboy wherever life leads? Or will he protect his heart and watch those fringed leather chaps ride away?
Be Warned: m/m sex
My gaze slid up from his boots. His chaps elongated his muscular legs and emphasized his compact waist. The leather vest, worn over a black, checkered long sleeved shirt, defined his firm chest, and then I skimmed my eyes up to his face. Our eyes connected, and I absorbed an intensity of attraction I’d never experienced. Disturbing and unyielding, and yet, satisfying. His eyes searched my face, his eyebrows bent in and his eyes landed on my lips, but he didn’t move. He was hurt from both my behavior this morning and his overindulgence at the bar, but he still gave me his strength through his desire-pooled hazel eyes.
“I’m sorry about last night … this morning.” I choked out the words. “If you’re willing to give me a second chance, I’d like to have you over to my place. Tonight for dinner and a movie. No expectations. Just you and me getting to know each other better.” I rambled the short phrases while my heart banged against my chest. My brain tangled with all the words. The hangover affected me, but asking him on a date spun my head like one of those questionable carnival rides that came through town for the Cherry County Fair and Rodeo in August every year.
Tilt-o-Whirl or Octopus or whatever it is called, this is both worse and better.
He lifted our hands and showed me how his fingers had turned a ghostly white. I loosened my grip.
He stretched his pinking fingers. “You’re sure? I’ve never done the boyfriend thing. And I’m getting a pretty clear message that maybe you’re in the same wagon, but unless you’re givin’ this a real go—and not just to get in my Levi’s—I’m not in, Tenn.”
I dropped his hand, and he tried to shuffle back. Sliding my fingers into the fringe of his chaps, I guided him in between my legs. My heart ticked slower, with more purpose. “You’re right. I don’t have a lot of experience with the bona fide relationship thing with a guy. A few have been repeats in my bed, but not one has made a repeat performance across from me at a meal and none have ever gotten inside my head or heart.” I dragged him closer. “But since last night, I can’t get you out of my head. I’m one hundred percent in. Let’s take whatever this is between us for a long ride.”
He dropped his lips to mine. The kiss that I’d been craving since I watched him drive away early this morning. I slipped my tongue into his mouth and dug my nails deep into the pockets of his jeans.
Moments like this existed for a reason, so we felt alive.
“What time tonight?” He breathed fast when we finally broke.
“I’ll pick you up at five.”
Nate swallowed and stared down at my chest. “It’s a real date-date?”
I moved a hand to embrace his jaw and traced his lips with my thumb. “Again, all in from me. I’m not going to propose to you tonight, but you asked for more, and I’m not going to back off, cowboy.”
Tenn had suffered so much in his life then Nate arrives and the struggles they faced together was all worth it, please read this series it it absolutely brilliant looking forward to the next instalment. Thank You Jules.
Great second book in the series. Each book is a standalone but it's nice to see characters you met in the first book make an appearance. Such a great book. Nate and Tenn are perfect together. Yes there are some hot scenes, but the underlying story of family and love is the most important part of all of it. Super great chemistry. The story flows so well. Cannot wait for the next book!!
I preordered this book and stayed up Thursday night until it released, thinking I would read a chapter or two to get started on a great reading weekend. It’s now Friday morning, I haven’t slept at all, but I couldn’t stop reading about Nate and Tenn until I finished Chaps – it’s that addictive! I immediately connected with Tenn because I know guys like him (or I *want* to know guys like him :) ). He’s not just going through the motions. He really wants to make something out of his life, and I was cheering him on all the way. Nate’s distance (which is really his self-protection mode) is beautifully written and offers a real understanding of what it’s like to struggle with emotions. The fact that he’s a father struggling to understand his emotions (and omg Kenzie is such an adorable little troublemaker!) truly gives the reader a full picture of who he is as a man. So the love story between Tenn and Nate had me completely hooked, but Chaps also includes cameos by Grayson and Izaac (which made me squeal out loud) and several other potential future couples (Matt & Zeke? Kae & Rik? Yes, please please please!!!) – I feel like I am part of the community and know these people. I’m really hoping the next book in the series releases SOON!