Cattle Valley: Making the Grade – Carol Lynne

Cattle Valley: Making the Grade

Author: Carol Lynne
Publisher: Total-e-bound
Word Count: 30,923
Published: January 2011
Fictionwise: $6.13

Another installment of this fun Cattle Valley series: a former student Kenny finally has an opportunity to act on a crush he’s had for his former teacher for over ten years, Eli. The two have several obstacles to overcome including pride, very different upbringings that saddle both of them with some baggage, an age difference, and the perceived ethical dilemma of dating a former student/teacher.

As all of the other books in this series, it is a quick and fun read. The characters are well developed and you want to find out how their love story unfolds, particularly in the lovely gay-friendly town of Cattle Valley. For perhaps the first time in this series, the characters venture outside of their protected landscape and into the “real world” of Wyoming. The consequences are striking and provide an opportunity for the main characters to come together.

As in the other books in this series, the sex is spaced evenly throughout the story and is quite tame. This is a love story, more than hot rampant sex, but don’t expect the love scenes to further the character dialogue much.

Overall, this is a good read and well-liked characters. While the struggles at times feel contrived with several communication mishaps, the story is a one-sitting read and a great next installment of the series.

Out of four…
Overall Read: ♥♥♥
Sex Heat: ♥
Plot: ♥♥

Read this book (and this entire series), if you’re looking for more love than hot sex, and great characters to get to know.

The Name of the Game – Willa Okati

The Name of the Game

Author: Willa Okati
Publisher: Torquere Press
Word Count: 45,281
Published: 2007
Fictionwise: $5.95

by Willa Okati

One of my favorite new-found authors,  stumbled a bit with “The Name of the Game.” In this book, two roommates with completely different backgrounds, are forced to face their attraction to each other under false pretense.

One roommate is gay, the other is trying to get out of his suffocating relationship with a possessive woman and uses his friendship with his roommate to break things off in an unusual manner. One thing leads to another… and their friendship grows quickly into something more.

Overall, this was an easy read with one character exploring his sexuality. Unfortunately, it was a bit contrived at parts and quite predictable, but there was just enough turmoil, missed opportunities, and sex to keep it entertaining.

Out of four…
Overall Read: ♥♥♥
Sex Heat: ♥♥
Plot: ♥♥

Read this if you like… An enjoyable read with a predictable plot (and some tame sex thrown in!).

Other authors/books to try (and why you’ll like them):

Both of these authors and series have strong plots and are enjoyable to read. The sex is hot, but still “tame” and the main focus of each book, is on the relationship between the characters.