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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bucked by Cat Johnson

Bucked by Cat Johnson
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (141 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Ménage, Voyeurism
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

This cowboy is looking for more than just an eight-second ride.

Studs in Spurs, Book 2

Mustang Jackson does two things well—ride bulls and love women. So the injury that takes him out of the arena leaves him only one way to make a living. Unfortunately, getting paid to be a stud in front of the camera isn’t as fun as private conquests. When he catches sight of little Sage Beckett, minus the glasses, braces and pigtails he remembers, doing time in his hometown suddenly gets a lot more interesting.

Sage had a crush on Michael long before he started using that ridiculous nickname “Mustang”. Though from what she’s overheard about his string of buckle bunnies, the man more than lives up to it. In the past he always looked right through her. Now that he’s home again, she’s determined to capture and tame this wild stallion, no matter what it takes.

She intends to satisfy her curiosity and move on, but with every touch she’s less sure she’ll ever purge him from her system. Once corralled in her arms, Mustang finds himself thinking that domestication may not be so bad after all.

Except, once she finds out about his side job, she may not stick for the next go-round.
Hot diggity dog, do I love me some cowboys, and no one writes about em’ better than Cat Johnson. After reading her first in the Studs and Spurs series, Unridden, I couldn’t wait to get my fingers on the follow up, Bucked. Slade might have been the guy who got the girl in the first installment, but it’s the too hot to handle bad boy Mustang I wanted to learn more about. You know he’s a ladies’ man that get’s around, but are also aware that deep down, he’s got an enormous heart. Who doesn’t want a sexy cowboy to love?

The beginning of the story lunges at you like a bull out of the chute, with Mustang preparing to tackle the ever deadly bull Ballbreaker. Although he lasts the eight seconds, he breaks his arm in the process, and that means it’s back home to Huntsville, Texas to heal and recoup. When he arrives, he discovers the wisp of a girl who used to lend him an ear waiting to welcome him home. Only now, she’s all woman, and the feelings she inspires are anything but platonic. Sage isn’t the bottle-glasses wearing nerd Mustang remembers, and in an unexpected turn of events, she’s ready to show Mustang a bit of the attention she’s been dying to for years. It’s a forbidden attraction that Mustang vows not to partake in, especially when he begins to take jobs in the adult film industry to pay the bills. But desire cannot be denied, and soon, he’s fallen into the arms of a woman he could easily love.

While I did enjoy Bucked, there were portions of the story that could have been made stronger. A majority of the attention is on Mustang, his jobs in the sex business, and his unstable relationship with his father. I understood the need for this, as Mustang is the primary focus and Bucked is a continuation of Unridden. Unfortunately, in the process, Sage becomes a secondary–if not supporting–character. Granted, she is very young at twenty-years old, but her approach to many of the revelations that have kept Mustang distant is rather immediate and unbelievable. I’m not necessarily referring to the jobs on the side he wishes to keep secret, but rather her ready willingness to go along with almost anything to have him. The question becomes – why does she want him so badly? What more is there beyond a physical attraction created by a childhood infatuation?

On a more positive note, this is Mustang’s story, and you get to know a lot more about him. It’s both humorous and humbling to watch this confident man who kills the ladies getting his due from a Dominatrix. No longer is he in control of his life, his body, or his decisions. Sex in this story takes on a whole new meaning, and for someone like Mustang, that makes a lasting impression. Another point of notice is that you also get to spend time with Slade, Jenna, and Chase, which is something I always look forward to. Catching up with beloved characters is like reuniting with old friends – a win, win situation.

Fans of Ms. Johnson’s previous stories will enjoy Bucked, especially if they have a yen for Mustang like I do. The material flows nicely, the continuation is something new and unexpected, and the journey is one worth taking.

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