Okay, I knew this book was more about bull riding and less about the romance, but I am still disappointed. If I were to read the book intending to learn about the sport and only the sport, this book would have gotten a solid 5 star rating. Truly. I learned so much about bull riders and bull fighters, as well as the lifestyle, in a really original way. Definitely more interesting than looking it up on wikipedia!However, I was secretly hoping that the romance would not be completely overshadowed. It was. I read someone's review who said ( and I am paraphrasing here) this is not a story of a couple, but of two men and their lives separate from each other and how they grow as individuals. I completely agree.
First we have Cody. Cody is a top bull rider and a self-centered jerk, always claiming the spotlight (in and out of the arena), who really only cares about winning. He shows signs that he truly cares about Jonny, his lover of two years, and a promising bull fighter. But, he literally shows no regard for Jonny's ambition, personal goals, or needs. He is trying to plan out their lives according to his vision, leading Jonny to walk out on him for good. And this is an honest to God break-up. This is no misunderstanding that is solved after a couple of drunken phone calls and make-up sex. They stay apart for months and we see how each of them deals on their own, while trying to figure out what they want for themselves and from each other. The sex scenes were hot, but I never really felt a true emotional connection between the characters. The had sizzling sexual chemistry, but they never felt right for each other. I think maybe the author was going for the whole "we're wrong for each other right now, but then we mature, and come back together with a different mentality" and just never managed to completely pull it off. Sure the characters spoke about how they changed, we heard them say the right things, but it never felt right. And needless to say, the end left me more than unsatisfied. It kind of came out as a HFN, but even that did not do it for me. I really though this was a 4 star through and through, because the writing is truly very good and the topic very well researched. But especially after the ending, I have to cut off another half star.
This is a good story, so I recommend it. But it didn't excite me nor overwhelm me in any way.