I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Turn and Burn by Lorelei James
is a Contemporary Romance
This edition was published by Signet on August 6, 2013 and has 320 pages.
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Fifth in the Blacktop Cowboys romance series and revolving around a set of rancher and rodeo friends in Wyoming. The couple focus is on Tanna Barker and Dr. August Fletcher.
It starts off with a bang and a very knowing Tanna drumming up free drinks. It’s funny listening to her maneuver and manipulate all these wanna-be cowboys.
It’s such a guy thing to say, that it grabs your attention when Tanna tells the stud: “Let’s cut to the chase. I like sex. There isn’t a substitute for the way naked flesh feels sliding together in the heat of passion…”
It’s a sweet turn that the hot guy wakes up to an empty bed and fixates on his bed partner. Who she was, where she is, and how can he hook up again. In fact, it’s definitely the shoe, er, boot, on the other foot with a lovestruck Fletch up against the love-em-and-leave-em cowgirl.
“…I’ve spent most of my life broke. It ain’t all bad.
The upside is no one ever hits me up for a loan.”
It’s good fun with a slight bit of catch-up with characters from previous stories. There’s a lot of back-and-forth between Tanna and the various men, but Fletch definitely has her attention.
Oh, lol, for all the worldliness Harlow tries to pull off, the boys mess this girl up when it comes to tie-downs and tied-ups. Makes me wonder if there’s a book on Harlow comin’ up.
It’s a rough time for Tanna. The accident has her all messed up, it’s thrown her for one huge loop, and it’ll take friends and a lot of patience. It’s also a time for Tanna to look into herself and realize some unhappy truths.
The sex is fun, and so is the courtship as these two try to decide what they’re doing. My one niggle is, what is with that “sugar twang”?? “Thang” I could understand…
Needing a place to lick her wounds, Tanna Barker shows up in Rawlins, Wyoming, and gets lucky with a stud who happens to be good in bed. Once she gets to Celia’s, she finds out that the Split Rock has temporary staffing problems. It’ll prove a useful stopgap until Tanna finds herself.
It just so happens that Cora railroads Fletch into taking time off, time he intends to spend working on that breeding program. At Renner’s resort. Where Tanna is staying.
Jezebel was THE horse, but now Tanna Barker is a terrified two-time World Champion Barrel Racer, scared witless by horses. Garrett is her brother and just started a job as a security specialist in Denver. Her dad sounds like an absolute jerk. Rosalie was her mom’s best friend; Lucinda is her daughter and has her own questions. The family ranch came together through sweat and hard work when her grandfather and Great-Uncle Manuel slowly built it up.
Dr. August “Fletch” Fletcher is the local, very hot, veterinarian who mostly works on-site. Cora is his longtime office manager. Bruce Fletcher is his retired dad. Fletch’s mother, Darla Fast Dog, had been an absentee mother until she died. Ashley was one of Fletch’s assistants who didn’t work out. Might’a been those four-inch heels.
The pregnant-again Celia Lawson Gilchrist is her best friend and married to Kyle (One Night Rodeo, 4). Brianna and Jason are their kids, and Patches is their blue heeler while Flutterbee is Bri’s. Mickey is Celia’s barrel-racing horse. Sherry is Kyle’s momma, and she’s bought into Buckeye Joe’s. Lainie and Hank Lawson are friends as well.
Eli Whirling Cloud is a long time horse trainer, Fletch’s cousin, and good friend to Celia. He’s also a magical horse whisperer whom Celia believes can help Tanna. Summer Red Stone is his girlfriend? wife? Aggie is one of Eli’s horses; Gus is the Belgian draft horse. Andie is a young social worker who brings a group of at-risk Native American girls out to Eli’s.
The Mud Lilies include…
…Garnet, Vivien, Tilda who loves her dog Ripper, Maybelle Linburg who writes the society column for the Muddy Gap Gazette, Bernice, and Pearl, all shareholders in the Split Rock, and no man dares to say them nay, lol. Nor can they be out-drunk.
Ike is a fast-talkin’ cattle broker. Holt and Max are gettin’ friendly with Tanna. Harland and Kirk Ludlow are brothers running a sheep operation. Renee is Harland’s wife, and Betsy is Kirk’s. The kids include Harland Jr. and Ellie who has dibs on Fletch.
The Split Rock is…
…a multipurpose ranch. The more obvious aspect is its guest ranch side. Tierney Jackson is married to Renner, in charge of resort finances, and pregnant with her first baby. Tierney’s sister, Harlow Pratt, will be coming to help staff the resort. Seems Tierney’s example has made Daddy re-think his principles. And Renner won’t let her get away with anything, lol.
Janie is Celia’s sister-in-law (married to Abe in Wrangled and Tangled, 3) is in charge of sales and PR at the resort, but she’s just had her second baby.
Harper Turner is married to Bran (Saddled and Spurred, 2), and they have Tate. During the branding, she delivered another son, Jake. Wild West Clothiers is the clothing shop inside the resort and Harper’s other “baby”. Liberty and Bailey are Harper’s sisters, and both are in the military.
The less obvious aspects include the rodeo stock business, running heads of cattle, and now this potential breeding program.
Some of the employees live in trailers at the ranch: Hugh is the foreman for Renner’s stock contracting company; Tobin is the jack-of-all-trades who’ll run the commercial stock-breeding business; Dave and Yvette are the groundskeeper and head of housekeeping; and now, Tanna.
Devin McClain is a “smokin-hot country music sensation” and an old friend of Tanna’s. Ronna is a one of Lainie’s neighbors and organized the feast after the branding. Ralph Costas is the rep for Jezebel’s owners. Sutton Grant, a steer wrestling champion, is visiting Eli for some help on his own issues. Fife is an old family friend of Sutton’s who helped out earlier. Braxton is a metal artist. Wally and June Gansett have a cabin by the lake.
Dr. Arneson, Dr. Tasha Anderson, and Dr. Jet Eriksen conspire with Cora to force Fletch into a vacation.
Chuck and Berlin Gradsky own the Grade A Horse Farm and own Madera, a seven-year-old mare lookin’ for a rider. Natalie Finch rode until Natalie broke her legs. The bitchy Annabeth Edmunds is a cutting horse queen and too interested in Fletch. And the Edmunds are good paying customers.
Billy Bob’s Texas is the world’s largest honky-tonk.
The Cover and Title
The cover is that golden yellow hazing the Wyoming pastures, the lazy river, and its cloudy sky while a small herd of horses grazes in the distance. Close up, it’s a red barrel on its side and Fletch in white Stetson, a red and white plaid shirt with the sleeves rolled up and the shirt open, exposing that six-pack. Mmmm-hmmm…
The title refers to a maneuver in barrel racing: Turn and Burn, baby.