Series: Blacktop Cowboys #7.5, 1001 Dark Nights #46
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, Western Romance
Publisher: Evil Eye Concepts, Incorporated
Release Date: September 13th 2016
My Rating: 5 Cups
Source: InkSlinger PR
Blurb (from Goodreads):
From New York Times bestseller Lorelei James…
Rancher Creston Grant retreats from the world after he loses the love of his life... Can his former flame, rodeo cowboy Breck Christianson prove he's a changed man who can give Cres a second chance at love?
*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from InkSlinger PR and Evil Eye Concepts, Incorporated in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or opinion of this book in any way.
Strung Up is one of those books that will take you for a wild ride, make you love it and want more. Lorelei James managed to touch so many important themes in this novella, from dealing with the loss of a partner, to finding love, to the struggles of being a gay man in a work environment where everyone prides themselves with their heterosexuality, to family dynamics and so on. You have it all here, and it's one of the reasons why I love James' books so much.
As I haven't yet got to read her Blacktop Cowboys series, I was not familiar with Breck from the very beginning of the series, to see how he changed and how he became the man he was in this book. But I can tell that even before this novella he was a strong, confident man. Reading about what he went through after his ex announced it to everyone that Breck was gay, really made me respect him more, and also be incredibly sad for him. I get even sadder when I think that this is real. Even today, there are people who can lose everything just based on their sexuality, and that is infuriating to say the least. But I greatly respect Breck for finding the strength to move on, to try to make a bad situation into a good one.
I met Cres in the 1001 Dark Nights Bundle Six, and since then I've kept my fingers crossed that he would get his own story. I never imagined that his story would be so tragic, but I wanted his story told. I've hoped for an M/M story from Lorelei James since forever, and I was super happy when Cres got his story. As I said, he has a really sad story, but at the same time a very hopeful one. I also loved that his family was so cool with his sexuality, and that it wasn't something they focused on. Even in the previous novella, the one I was referring to earlier, it didn't feel like the Grant family defined Cres as his sexuality, which was honestly such a great thing.
I am super happy that I was able to read this book and I cannot wait to see what other stories will James write in the future.