- Review by Cindi
5 out of 5 stars
What he wanted, no, needed, was a hard, down-and-dirty fuck. And he knew just where to get it.
He ends up at a local bar and there he meets Ryan Abbott. Ryan is out with his best friend Jacky and catches Dante's attention within minutes of walking into the bar. Ryan and Jacky had just watched Dante at the rodeo but they don't recognize him until much later. A game of pool and a lot of flirting later, Dante and Ryan go back to Ryan's hotel room. After a night of hot sex that gets both men thinking things neither should be thinking about, Dante tries to sneak out in the middle of the night but is caught by Ryan. A quick goodbye and Dante makes his exit vowing to never see Ryan again. Dante is a tough bull rider. He is always the one in control and that is the image he portrays to the public. But only a few minutes with Ryan Abbott and he is willing to allow Ryan to simply take him... take him as well as every ounce of control he possesses. He loves it. A lot. This scares Dante so he tries to make a quick exit before Ryan discovers the emotions that are written all over his face.
But neither man can forget that one night.
Ryan had a bad experience in college when he and his boyfriend were experimenting with BDSM. Ryan, a natural Dom, swore after that incident that he would never allow himself to take charge like that again with a man. He has kept his sexual exploits vanilla until he meets Dante. Somehow he knows that Dante, the strong, assertive bull rider, really just wants, needs, to give up complete control if only for a little while. When Dante rushes out in the middle of the night he is not the only one scared. Ryan is terrified because the feelings he long suppressed are suddenly coming back in full force. The incident in college almost destroyed him and the thought of hurting another man terrifies him. But he can not deny what happened with Dante and he's unable to forget the feelings, the longings, that Dante brought out in him.
How many times had he told himself he wouldn't do this anymore? He'd lost count, but it had to be nearly a million, and here he was right back where he'd said he wasn't going to go. He knew he should stop, but he couldn't. He could see what Dante needed and he could give it to him. Dante needed it, he needed it too, and heaven help him, Ryan wanted it. He denied this part of himself for so long he simply couldn't do it any longer.
"Hasn't anyone seen what's inside you before? What you really need?" God, Dante practically screamed to Ryan loud and clear, and his eyes begged for it even if he wasn't willing to admit it out loud.
"This isn't about your being my submissive or me being your Dom. I hate labels, and they don't mean shit. This is about you surrendering the control you're so desperately clinging to for a little while. So while we're here, I'm in control, and all you're supposed to do is listen to my voice and feel. Let go of everything."
Dante is unable to forget the utter joy of being able to relax and allow another man to take charge. Thankfully, the men will never see each other again. Right? Wrong.
Ryan is a stockbroker who handles financial matters with his business partner, Marie. He receives a call in regards to meeting up with a new client, an elderly man named Hyram Murphy. A quick visit an hour outside of town and Ryan comes face-to-face once again with Dante, who happens to be Hy's grandson. After a bit of back and forth between the two men over time they come to an understanding. Ryan will give Dante what he needs in the bedroom (or barn) and Ryan will get what he needs in the process. Only later do real feelings come into play and each man must deal with those while trying to maintain a light D/s relationship. The BDSM play is mild. Extremely mild. There is no humiliation or bondage or anything along those lines. It is all about taking and giving up control. This was written perfectly. Even those completely opposed to BDSM in books should have no problem with the way it is written in A Wild Ride.
With the relationship comes other problems. Dante is a year away from retiring from the rodeo circuit and he's close to losing his major sponsor because of rumors of him being gay. He depends on that sponsorship to care for his grandfather who has ALS and whose health will continue to get worse over time. Hy is convinced that he knows what is best for Dante in regards to his health which is why Ryan was hired in the first place. Also, Dante hopes to finally get that much-sought-after championship under his belt before he officially retires from the circuit. There is a little drama when certain things come to light in regards to Hy and his plans for the future but this drama is thankfully resolved quickly. There is a violent incident much later when Ryan is caught up in something that is meant for Dante. This opens the door for Dante to take control and to take care of Ryan but in a different way from how he himself has been taken care of up to this point. It is at this moment that I absolutely fell in love with Dante. I had loved his character throughout (starting with watching him sign autographs at the beginning of the book for children) but this cemented it.
As much as I loved Dante and Ryan, the true star of this book is Hy. I fell in love with him instantly and that love continued to grow the more I read. All he cares about is not being a burden to his only grandson and while he doesn't go about things necessarily in the right way, his heart is in the right place. Watching him as his illness took hold broke my heart but it never broke Hy's spirit. You can't help but love him.
"I know you were prob'ly trying to protect me and wanted me to be happy, but there's nothing you need to hide." Gramps shifted and looked down the drive. "And there's nothing you need to be ashamed of. You're my grandson and I love you, and it don't make any difference to me if you like bulls or cows. I just want you to be happy."
He really hadn't expected rejection from his grandfather, but acceptance and Gramps's obvious peace with it were more than he could ever have hoped.
I am a southern girl but I admit to not being a fan of bull riding or anything pertaining to the rodeo, though I do so love seeing a man in chaps (I'm not blind nor am I stupid). However, Andrew Grey took a subject that I tend to avoid and made it very interesting. I cheered for Dante when he won and I was saddened for him when he didn't.
Overall, an outstanding book. Definitely one of my new favorites by Andrew Grey. I highly recommend this for those looking for a nice love story between two very stubborn men. Throw in Hy and a couple of the other secondary characters and you really can't lose with this one.
Check out that cover. Beautiful.
This book was provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange for a fair and honest review.