Title: Cowboys Don’t Ride Unicorns (Cowboys Don’t #2)
Author: Tara Lain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: 22nd Mar, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance, Cowboys
Reviewed by: PIU
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5
Cowboy Danny Boone—a name he made up one drunken night and has regretted ever since—harbors a big past and yearns for a small future. A short, bright career as a champion bull rider almost ended in his death when his homophobic father discovered Danny was gay. Now Danny longs for a plot of land he can build a ranch house on and enough money to make up for some of the education he missed.
Danny also hides a preference for beautiful femmes who like to top—a combo rarer than a unicorn. Then onto the guest ranch where Danny works drives San Francisco decorator Laurie Belmont, a young man so gorgeous he makes horses gasp, and so ballsy he almost kills Danny’s attacker.
Laurie’s trying to find his way out from under the thumb of a domineering mother, helpless father, and rich, privileged boyfriend.
But no matter the attraction, their lives are worlds apart, and cowboys don’t ride unicorns.
‘Cowboys Don’t Ride Unicorns’ is the second book in the ‘Cowboys Don’t’ series by Tara Lain. The main MC of this book is Danny Boone, a cowboy who works for Rand, one of the MC’s from the first book.
This story was a far better improvement on the first book in this series. The MCs here had quite sizzling chemistry while also being in a very complicated situation to actually work out. Well, what is a romance if it does not have a little angst and whole lotta anticipationwinks
Danny Boone is a ranch hand in Rand’s dude ranch in California. Danny also rides bulls on the side occasionally just to fatten his bank account a little bit to fulfill his dreams to get an education and owning a place of his own. He keeps away from professional bull riding circuits coz he has a past he badly wants to stay away from.
Danny is not upfront about his sexuality to everybody but he never actually hides it if asked. He has casual acquaintances for hooking up but they never come close to what he actually wants. You see, Danny has a very specific taste in men. He likes effeminate, flamboyant men who although being in short order in the land of cowboys are not rare but a twink who loves to top and dominate a brawny cowboy, is as rare as a unicorn. And therein lays Danny’s dilemma.
Until, Laurie Belmont enters his life as a guest in the ranch. Laurie is just too pretty for a guy and exactly what the doctor ordered for Danny. But Laurie comes attached with a very rich boyfriend so even though their attraction towards each other sizzles and burns everytime they are in each other’s vicinity; there is nothing they could do other than fantasize and exercise restraint in not crossing the line. It’s easier said than done.
“Why the hell does Laurie make me so crazy? Jesus, I’m around men all the time—every size, shape, and color. Okay, he’s a unique combination of twink-pretty with a dominant streak and a healthy dose of brains.
He barked a laugh.
Shit, I just described my dream come true and a combo as rare as a unicorn.”
Laurie’s life is no walk in the park as it seems. His family especially his mother is an insensitive, controlling and manipulative bitch who relies on Laurie’s relationship with his rich lawyer boyfriend to get what she wants. So Laurie is stretched between his love for his family and his desires to make choices on his own terms. On top of that, his asshole boss is making his job – in which he is absolutely brilliant at – more and more difficult. Laurie’s life is mostly a mess and bringing Danny in the equation like he wants will rock the already precarious boat he calls his life.
So, yeah you can guess that there are lots of roadblocks present in Danny and Laurie’s journey to their HEA. What I liked was that there was no cheating, coz it absolutely disgusts me. Laurie and Danny get together when things are already over between Laurie and his BF for which I am grateful to the author. They made an unusual pair with completely different backgrounds and expectations from life and it was hard to believe that they would actually work but after a lot of struggles and realizations, the couple made it work. There are compromises from both sides and I loved how it all culminates in a sweet and beautiful HEA for our cowboy and his precious unicorn.
The romance here falls under ‘insta love/lust’ category but the development is an absolute ‘slow-burn’ variety. It was a situation where you can watch and fantasize but can’t actually touch, both in the case of Danny and Laurie. The ball gets rolling as Laurie finally ditches his BF and stands up to his mother and breaks away from his asshole employer. I loved his strength and determination to make it on his own and stop letting other people rule his life. Danny and Laurie’s chemistry exploded after that. Their situation was still shifty but it all worked out finally.
Danny’s past was another major element in this story. His past as well as the violent act that led him to flee his previous life is hinted at from the start. As the story flows all our questions are answered. It painted quite a gruesome picture which made me rage and wanting to beat Danny’s evil dad black and blue. It was resolved a little quickly IMO but it gives closure to his past life as well as garnered him support from the bull riding community and from Danny’s pseudo family in the ranch.
This story works beautifully in breaking the stereotypical mold of twinks being only bottoms and alpha-cowboys being only tops. Danny and Laurie both find their perfect fit in each other and it was just glorious smut-wisewaggles eyebrows There is someone out there for everyone and this story is a prime example of that saying.
Overall, this is a nice read with life-like characters, minimum angst and a sweet romance. I am a sucker for cowboy romances and this book satisfied my craving pretty well with a pleasant ‘twist’