Book Review: Nowhere Ranch by Heidi Cullinan

Nowhere Ranch by Heidi CullinanTitle: Nowhere Ranch
Author: Heidi Cullinan
Genre: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: bought
Published: February 15, 2011 by Loose Id

Roe Davis is a man who works hard, keeps to himself, and never mixes business with pleasure — until he takes a weekend away from his new job at Nowhere Ranch and runs into the owner at the only gay bar for two hundred miles. Getting involved with the boss is a bad idea, but Travis Loving is hard to say no to, especially when it turns out their kinks line up like a pair of custom-cut rails. As Loving points out, so long as this is sex on the side, no interfering with the job, they could make it work.

The truth is, there’s good reason Roe never settles down and always spends his birthdays and holidays celebrating alone. Shut out in the cold by his family years ago, Roe survived by declaring he didn’t need a home. As his affair with Loving grows into more than just sex, Roe finds out what happens when he stays put a little bit too long: the past always catches up with you. Eventually, even a loner gets lonely, and home will grow up through whatever cracks you leave open for it — even in a place called Nowhere.

Reviewed By: J9

In a Nutshell: The sex was way beyond my comfort level but the relationship and character develop, along with a stellar narrator, made this a compelling read.

The Set Up: Ro’s family exiled him when they found his gay porn and he’s wandered pointlessly since. He ends up at the Nowhere Ranch working for Travis Loving. Ro leaves the ranch for a night of sex only to find his boss in the same bar looking for rough sex as well. Ro doesn’t want a relationship but he’s not above taking sex where he can get it. But what happens when people like Travis start caring for Ro and he them, in spite of his best intentions?

Why I Read this Book: Cardeno C., an author I’ve been reading, recommended this book to me so I thought I’d try it.

What I Liked: I love a good narrator in a first person book and Ro is certainly that. He’s brutally honest, humorous, sarcastic and vulnerable. I loved his style of narration that fit extremely well with his stellar character growth. Ro at novel’s beginning is aimlessly living with no attachments to people or places. I loved listening to his confusion when he starts to have more than just sex with Travis. I giggled so hard when Ro writes an essay to Travis about fuc#ing. Ro’s character growth is also seen when he builds a friendship with the ranch foreman’s family, especially the feisty daughter Haley.

What I Also Liked: This isn’t a big mystery or suspense plot but one about how people form bonds between them and I loved this. Yes, Ro and Travis relationship building is obviously the most prominent but so is Ro and Haley relationship. The absence of Ro’s family is the specter that hangs over Ro and it was so heartbreaking to see his reaction to their letters. This lovely novel is about human connections and growth and I loved it. Ro gets people like Travis and Haley who value him for who he is and that is the best part of this book.

What I Didn’t Like: Ro and Travis’s sex life was so far outside my comfort zone. These men take ass play to a-whole-‘nuther-level! For readers who enjoy fetish play and BDSM this novel will be an erotic playground but for me it wasn’t at all, not the acts or the language involved. Having said that, I could understand why these two characters related this way and why they were perfect for each other. I could see Ro’s struggle to keep their rough sexual play as just that and how Travis slowly and methodically challenges it. The sex was extremely well integrated into the relationship development and I admired the novel for that, even while cringing a bit.

IMO: Even though the sex was beyond my understanding, Nowhere Ranch is a compelling read for its character growth and believable romantic tension. The ending nearly had me in sniffles and was exactly the right ending for these two characters.

J9’s Rating:
3 1/2 Frogs

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About J9: Vegan. Avid runner. Android addict. Never without a book in hand. Currently devouring MM romance but reads historial romance and paranormal romance as well. Follow J9 on Twitter.


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