Author: Nicki Bennet
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press/Dreamspun Desires
Pages/Word Count: 216 Pages
At a Glance: This is another deliciously sweet treat from the Dreamspun Desires line that hits just the right trope buttons.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: It might be a sham to his boss, but it’s all too real to him.
Administrative assistant Jonah Hollis has nurtured a hopeless crush on his boss, millionaire cattle rancher Lincoln Courtwright, ever since he started working for him. But hope is kindled when Linc and beautiful rodeo star Melissa Cutler break up just weeks before the biggest event of the Dallas social season, the Cattle Baron’s Ball, and Linc asks Jonah to accompany him in her place.
Is it all a ploy to make Melissa jealous? Can Jonah fit into Linc’s world? It takes some encouragement from his roommates and his best friend, Caylee, for Jonah to agree. Before long, Jonah dares to believe Linc might just feel something for him… until interfering family and a series of misunderstandings threaten his fragile dream of happiness.
Review: Yea! I’m loving these Dreamspun Desires books so far, and The Cattle Baron’s Bogus Boyfriend is no exception. This book is a classic boss/secretary-with-a-crush trope, with all the cowboy goodness thrown in as well.
Hot as hell millionaire boss? Check. “Country” boy leaving town for the big city? Check. Best friend dating a douche? Check. Harpy and narcissistic girlfriend? Check! Manipulative step-mother? Check. Crush on the boss? Check. Big misunderstanding/miscommunication? Check. Reconciliation that makes everything right with the world? Check.
But then we bring in the new twists. Jonah is Linc’s Admin. He’s going to college in the evenings and working in Dallas after leaving his family farm in his teeny tiny home town in Oklahoma—where they are not so supportive of the gay. He’s left his BF Caylee behind, largely to alleviate problems that surfaced with her homophobic boyfriend. He’s been lucky enough to find some great roommates (Wes, Aidan and Sammy) and get a great job through a temp agency, which brings him to Linc.
Linc Courtwright is a millionaire cattle rancher and also has a gas and oil leasing business on the side. He also has a demanding rodeo rider girlfriend, Melissa, who isn’t very nice to Jonah. Let this be a lesson—if your SO treats your AA like crap, RUN!!! Finally, Linc has had enough and a confrontation leads to a breakup, and Melissa pretty much promises to get revenge.
Jonah and Linc are both embarrassed, but they work well together, and Linc really appreciates Jonah’s hard work and wants to reward him. Jonah always goes above and beyond, and he and Linc begin spending more and more time together. Jonah gets a raise, and Linc invites him out to the ranch to see the operations that he’s always working on at the office in Dallas. This visit is the catalyst for a number of things—some serious and some comical. Wes is the best comic relief in this story, and he deserves his own book for sure (hint, hint, Ms. Bennett).
It turns out that Linc is not as straight as Jonah thought. When Jonah finds out that Linc is bi, he begins to hope that the relationship they are forging might be more than friends. When Linc invites him to the Cattle Baron’s Ball, Jonah is reluctant to accept. He’s truly not sure of Linc’s motives. There are some other required social engagements that Jonah is to attend as well, and despite Heloise, Linc’s stepmother, doing her best to belittle Jonah, he still manages to have a good time.
Then things begin to go south—waaaaay south. There are some manipulations, some avoidance and some complications that threaten Linc and Jonah’s fledgling romance. Luckily, this is a Dreamspun Desires book, so all’s well that ends well.
This was such an enjoyable read. Even though I pretty much knew what was going to happen, the ride was so fun! That is the great thing about these tropes: while there are so many required elements, it’s the twists and turns between them that keep us reading. Jonah is, of course, adorable. His roommates are helpful and nosy. His boss is a “dreamboat” and a nice guy. His BFF, Caylee, is a sweetheart who is down on her luck. Linc’s stepmother is judgmental and a little bit mean, while Jonah’s folks haven’t kicked him out or anything—they just don’t understand. Melissa is a bit of a shrew, which is why we root against her. But each character gets to have moments in this story, and that’s what brings it all together to be so satisfying. Welcome back, Nicki Bennett! I hope we get more fun stories from you. And I really, really want Wes’s story in another book, please. He’s an awesome character with the best t-shirt collection I’ve ever read.
You can buy The Cattle Baron’s Bogus Boyfriend here: