Monday, March 10, 2014

The Manic Monday Review - The Ranch Foreman by Rob Colton

Hey everyone, and welcome to Manic Mondays on my blog! I'm starting something new. This is going to be a day dedicated to authors. I may post book reviews on some Mondays, it might be author interviews on others. It could be new releases, or just my thoughts in general. I'm hoping it'll be lots of fun, whatever or whoever shows up for Monday lol.

Now, a quick note on the book reviews. If I post it on here, then just know I liked the book. I will not be posting a review that's not at least a 3 rating. I'm not going to bash what is basically others who are in my peer group. No nasty reviews happening here. :) And the reviews I'm posting are already on my GR shelf too.

So, let's get this Manic Monday started lol!

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The Ranch Foreman by Rob Colton
Rating: 5 stars 

Rob Colton is a software developer by day, and avid reader of romance novels at night. A romantic at heart, he loves stories that feature big, burly men who find true love and happy endings. 
Rob grew up in northern Michigan and currently lives in the Atlanta area with his very supportive husband and their very spoiled miniature schnauzer.

When Madison “Matty” Ward finds himself out of work and without a place to live, his cousin comes through with a job on the Gates cattle ranch. Despite not knowing anything about herding cattle or taking care of horses, Matty does his best to impress the older hunky foreman, Baxter Hollingsworth. Baxter is drawn to the new young hand, but he’s deeply closeted, and after an openly gay veterinarian shows he’s interested in Matty, Baxter’s repressed feelings lead to an explosive encounter. Baxter then withdraws—leaving Matty feeling angry and used—until an accident forces him to confront his fears.

The Manic Monday REVIEW:

First off, let me say I am a huge fan of Rob’s. I read his stuff years ago on Literotica and have been hooked ever since. And I want to mention Rob has a new release with DsP called An American Lamb in London, which I was one of the beta readers for! Do you really have to ask if I liked it, lol???
Meet Baxter Hollingsworth, the ranch foreman. He’s a devastatingly handsome and rugged cowboy that fits the three B’s: big, brawny, and bearded, who’s in his early forties. He’s also far, far in the closet. Now meet Madison (Matty) Ward, age twenty-seven, with boyish good looks. His mother died when he was young and he lived with his cousin, Brian Ward, and his mother, who now also is dying from cancer.
Matty is her caregiver, but the time comes when Matty has to move her into an assisted living facility. To pay for the twenty-four-hour care, her house is sold. This leaves Matty homeless. His cousin, Brian, helps Matty hire on at his place of employment—a cattle ranch.
The story revolves around Baxter and his constant running—running from his feelings, from being gay… from Matty. He *is* in the closet, but can’t stay away from Matty. In one way, I really feel for him. He has a lot to lose if he comes out. He’s a foreman, working a macho job. A cowboy. How will his men react to his being gay? Will they still take orders from him? Of course there will be some that turn against him. That’s human nature, unfortunately. But on the other hand, what he’s doing to Matty sucks too. I had to wonder if Baxter was even able to form a connection with Matty.
I have to say, Rob did an excellent job describing the ranch. The stalls, and the smells, were well illustrated. My son works at a farm here in town that has horses and other animals. My school used to take our kids there. I *know* the smell described, lol. It’s… strong. I did feel sorry for Matt at the end of his first day. The exhaustion was accurate… from what I hear from a certain older Kiddo, lol.
And oh my goodness, I loved Miss Ethel. She’s one of the owners, and man, she’s a card.
There is no doubt about the attraction Baxter and Matty feel… or the fighting of said attraction by Baxter. There are times he really treats Matty bad while he deals with his own fears. I also didn’t care for Clyde. He was so oily and egotistical. What he did, well, it fit his character.
This cracked me up: “When doesn’t he look pissed?” Matty asked, but Brian had already scrambled out of the barn’s back door. He's talking about Baxter lol and it's so true!
It’s a good read with an easy flow about an older man/younger man. I rated the book 5 stars back on August 7, 2013 on GR. There were a few little niggles, but I rated the book for how it was written, not how I wanted it to be written. I do wish it had been longer. And I *really* do wish Baxter’s POV had been shown.

I understand he’s conflicted—and this is where I say I’m female and straight. I have no idea what a gay man goes through. But… I do wish we’d heard Baxter’s side of the story. It would’ve helped form a connection for the character.