Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “Ride me, cowgirl.”
Tanna Barker was at the top of the rodeo world with three world championships under her belt and an endless supply of willing cowboys to ride. That was until a rodeo injury sidelined her and she lost everything. With her family gone and her reputation in shreds, Tanna heads to Muddy Gap, Wyoming for a chance to lick her wounds and regroup. When her sexy one night stand shows up in the daylight looking for something more permanent, Tanna wonders if she can handle everything this sexy cowboy wants to give her.
August “Fletch” Fletcher is all about working hard and playing harder. As one of the only big stock veterinarians in the area, Fletch knows his job leaves a lot to be desired and finding a woman willing to put up with the long hours and constant emergencies is hard. He has had his share of one night stands and sees nothing wrong as long as everyone knows the score. That all changes when a sassy rodeo queen takes him on the ride of his life, only to sneak out before he was done. Fletch wants Tanna for more than a night, but Tanna has plans of her own. Plans that do not include staying in Muddy Gap and playing doctor with the local vet.
When a forced vacation has Fletch staying at the same resort where Tanna is working, the sparks fly and emotions go wild. Fletch and Tanna spend time getting to know one another and connecting in ways they never imagined. When an offer of a lifetime comes Tanna’s way, can she have the best of both worlds or will she have to choose between the love of her life and her lifelong dream?
Turn and Burn is the fifth installment in Lorelei James’s Blacktop Cowboy series. A wild and steamy erotic romance adventure that pits strong willed heroines against sexy alpha males in a fun often raunchy battle of the wills that leads them straight to bed. Well written with witty dialogue, strong characters, and emotionally stirring storylines. Plenty of humor and sex made this story a joy to read. Though the story centers strongly on our protagonists and their journey, we do see some small sub plots that intertwine and reveal slowly throughout, giving us clues to future books.
Tanna Barker is a delightful woman. The perfect blending of strength and vulnerability, she was a joy to get to know. Strong, intelligent, funny, and soft hearted, she’ll do anything for a friend but don’t expect her to roll over and expose her throat. She’s only submissive when she chooses to be. She learned the hard way that life as Queen of the Hill can be taken away in a single moment. Her accident and the death of her racing horse has left Tanna incapacitated around horses. Celia, her best friend and former Rodeo Queen herself, convinces Tanna to come to Muddy Gap and work with Eli, a renown horse whisperer. If he can help Tanna overcome her fear and the guilt over the accident, then Tanna plans to head back to Texas and barrel racing. One night with August Fletcher leaves Tanna confused and hungry for more. Tanna knows she isn’t in Muddy Gap for long and doesn’t want to start something she knows can’t last, but Fletch is charmingly demanding. He is infatuated with her smart mouth, crazy attitude, and zest for life. He knows she is leaving but he can’t let her go without seeing where their attraction can lead them.
“That is so not fair, “ she hissed.
“Looking at me with those sexy bedrooms eyes, stripping me naked like you’re deciding which part of me you want to devour first.”
Fletch is the perfect blend of arrogance and charm. A sexy delicious alpha who challenges and encourages Tanna without attempting to control her. He sees her strength and determination and it only increases his attraction for her. He’s a workaholic whose inability to delegate is the reason he hasn’t had a committed relationship in years. Meeting Tanna has him reflecting on his personal life and what he’s willing to give up to have her. His loneliness is felt and I couldn’t help but cheer for him as he slowly worked his way into Tanna’s heart. He has no serious baggage to overcome but he does have a problem with communicating his feelings. His fear of Tanna leaving has him unable to let her know how he really feels and this causes some problems.
Tanna and Fletch are good together. VERY good together. In and out of bed. Some characters just click and you can feel that in here. Heavy chemistry and tension gets your heart pumping as these two begin the age old of dance of love. They have a strong sexual connection that is apparent from page one. Fletch has an attractive dominant streak that comes out in the bedroom and that leads to some very smexy scenes with explicit detailing and a strong dose of fun and romance. I enjoyed the fact that neither of them played games or were ashamed of their sexual appetites. Both Tanna and Fletch had no problem telling each other what they wanted and getting down and dirty to get it.
“Ever been sucked off in your office?”
He shook his head.
“Seriously? A hot doctor like you never had a veterinary assistant follow you in here, lock the door and get on her knees?”
Watching Tanna learn to get back on her feet is heartwarming. Her journey is and emotional experience as she has to learn to grieve, let go of the past, and forgive herself. I can’t imagine fearing something that I loved all my life and that is the position Tanna is in right now. With the help of old and new friends, Tanna begins taking baby steps and finds her own way out of the darkness she’s placed herself in. Though the ending is predictable, the path to it is anything but. Ms. James doesn’t give her lovers an easy HEA and you find yourself crossing your fingers and toes as you watch these two stumble through some pitfalls.
I feel Turn and Burn is one of the strongest in this series to date. A sexy, erotic, funny, and engaging romantic contemporary that will have you laughing, sighing, and begging for more once the last page is read. I look forward to the next one in this series.