Title: Country Strong
Author: Caitlin Ricci
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 112 Pages
Rating: 3 Stars
Blurb: With only three months left on a lease-to-own agreement on a quarter horse Wyatt’s worked hard to own, a thunderstorm spooks General and he throws Wyatt, changing both their lives forever. Luckily, Kellen, a friend of the stable owner, calls for emergency medical attention, and Wyatt comes out of the hospital with a broken wrist and a concussion.
When Wyatt returns to the stable, he finds the owner has sold General to Kellen for retraining. But Wyatt’s woes have just begun, and now he must drive an hour to see his horse. The perks help balance the hardships, however, and Wyatt finds himself falling for Kellen. His fortitude is soon tested again by the ultimate betrayal when he learns Kellen doesn’t intend to return General after he’s trained.
Review: I’m a pretty big fan of Caitlin Ricci, so when I saw that she had a cowboy book coming out, I thought for sure I was going to be in heaven. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite make it to heaven with Country Strong.
Wyatt has always dreamed of owning his own horse, and he is only months away from realizing that dream. When Wyatt takes General out for a ride he is thrown when the horse is spooked, and ends up in the hospital with a concussion and a broken wrist. The horse’s owner uses him as a training horse for kids, so he can’t keep the animal without getting him trained.
Enter Kellen, a horse trainer and friend of the owner. He purchases General so he can train him, and Wyatt believes that General will be back with him once the training is over. Not wanting to be separated from General, Wyatt visits Kellan’s ranch to see General, and he gets more than he bargained for. Turns out that Kellan is gay…and interested.
They begin a romance and Wyatt ends up spending every weekend he can with General and Kellan, until he finds out that Kellen hasn’t been honest with him. Wyatt calls everything off and takes his broken heart and runs. Wyatt ends up going back to the ranch to say goodbye to both Kellan and General, but Kellan isn’t quite ready to let go of the man, and he gives him some information that could very well change everything.
I loved the premise of this story, but I feel the follow through fell a little flat. I definitely got to know Wyatt well and the love for his horse came through well. On the other hand, Kellan remained a mystery to me in many ways. I feel like I didn’t get to know him near as well. The ending of the story felt a little rushed and convenient. I would have loved to have seen more to the story.
Like I said before, Ms. Ricci is one of my go to authors for a great read, but this one just missed the mark. That being said, though, I will definitely be reading more of her books in the future.
You can buy Country Strong here: