Title: Crushing on the Cowboy
Author: Sarah M. Anderson
Series: Rodeo Dreamers #3
Genre: M/M Contemporary
As The Heartbreak Kid, Mitch Jenner is known as the biggest womanizer of all the rodeo cowboys—but it’s just an act to keep himself safe. In fact, Mitch is so afraid of coming out that he’s opted to stay single—and a virgin. He’s fine with being alone…until he meets the mysterious Paulo.
Paulo Bernardes is here to learn the American style of bull riding well enough to teach it back home in Brazil. A namorado—a boyfriend—will distract him from his goal, but he’s captivated by Mitch, who understands him even when they don’t speak the same language. In return, Paulo wants Mitch to accept himself—and their relationship.
In private, Mitch yields to his attraction to Paulo and is rewarded with a heat and tenderness he comes to crave. But he still fears exposing their relationship. And as they grow closer, Paulo wonders how he’ll live without Mitch once their time together is up—how he’ll pick up the pieces of his heart when it’s time to say goodbye.
Source: ARC from Carina Press via NetGalley
I enjoyed this short cowboy romance, combining a language barrier and a closeted gay man with a hint of rodeo. However, there is a lot of angst and despite a fairly decent build up to them first getting together, everything from then on gets kind of rushed. I haven’t read anything else in this series – where I believe these two are minor characters – and as a newcomer I found the long gap to the epilogue kind of annoying.
What I did like, though, were the characters themselves. Mitch is young and closeted, for various good reasons. He’s never done anything more than kiss a woman, even though he knows he’s gay, and he does spend a lot of the book worrying about everything. I quite liked his nervousness at times, and I loved how he slowly drew Paulo out of his shell.
I liked Paulo too, and I enjoyed the language barrier between them and how it didn’t magically vanish all at once. It is kind of convenient that Mitch’s more is a retired ESL teacher, but this book is short so there had to be some quick steps somewhere.
The chemistry between the two of them is scorching and it’s a very quick leap from lust to love, but I liked how they communicated despite the barrier and how Paulo learnt to be patient with Mitch’s fears. Because of the hidden nature of their relationship, things are heavily slanted towards sex rather than emotional development, but I still found it an enjoyable read. The ending was too rushed, though, and the four year gap to the epilogue made me feel like I missed out on all the really important parts of their relationship.
Overall, I enjoyed this. It’s high on the heat factor, but has sweet moments too. I’d definitely read more from this series, if only to go back and find out what really happened to these two during those missing four years.
Crushing on the Cowboy is Out Now!
Visit Sarah M. Anderson for more details.