Saturday, 3 October 2009

Review: Cattle Valley BK 13 – Bent – Not Broken © Carol Lynne

Title: Bent – Not Broken

Author: Carol Lynne

Publisher: Total Ebound

Main Character:  Carol McGowan & George Manning & Trick Allen

After the tragedy at Cattle Valley Days, Carol McGowan woke in the hospital to find George Manning hovering over her. George confessed he’d fallen in love with her, but Carol is sceptical. She knows George is bi-sexual and has been in an ongoing secret affair for years. She’s been down that road before and ended up on the wrong side of lonely. Carol learned from her previous relationship and isn’t in any hurry to jump back into another ménage.
George Manning has spent the last nineteen years hiding his love for his closeted friend and country music legend, Trick Allen. After almost losing Carol, George decides to grab hold of the love in front of him, instead of the dream he’s always chased.
Trick Allen spent years building his career. With the reputation of being a typical love ’em and leave ’em superstar, Trick hid his love for George from the rest of the world. When presented with the choice of losing George forever, or stepping out of the glittered closet he’d become accustomed to, he is faced with the ultimate decision. Is a real life worth risking his career?
Three people, with very strong personalities, try to blend love and home amidst a national outcry of vehemence


Carol opened her eyes to the sight of George Manning’s gorgeous face asleep beside her. How many times had she dreamt of waking with George? The beeping of the heart monitor on the opposite side of the bed brought her back to reality.

She remembered waking several days earlier to see George’s face hovering over her bed, his hazel eyes filled with concern. What had prompted such emotion in the man? Although they’d spent a great deal of time together in the previous months, George hadn’t even made a pass at her, much to her disappointment.

She lifted her hand and ran her fingers through his short, dark brown hair. George’s eyes fluttered several times before opening.

“Hey,” Carol said. Even though it had been several days since her surgery, there was still a slight rasp to it.

“How’re you feeling?” George asked.

Despite being awake, George continued to allow Carol’s fingers to stroke and pet.

“Probably more rested than you. Why don’t you go home and get some sleep.”

George shook his head but not enough to dislodge Carol’s hand. “I’m okay. At least I’m in here with you. Mario slept in the lobby for two days.”

“Have you gone home at all?” she asked as she traced one of his eyebrows with a fingertip. Although Sheridan was only forty-five minutes from home, Carol knew the man hadn’t spent one night in his own bed since the accident.

“I’ve been running back to Cattle Valley every day to shower and change. I don’t know that they’d let me stay with you if I smell.”

Carol started to laugh and grabbed her stomach.

“Should I get the nurse?” George rose to his feet and offered her a drink of water

Carol shook her head and sipped at the water. “Just don’t make me laugh anymore.”

George took Carol’s hand in his and leant down to place a kiss on her forehead. “I’m sorry.”

Carol grinned. “Don’t be silly. You didn’t do anything on purpose.”

She stared into his eyes. There was so much she wanted to ask him. His actions since the collapse confused her. “Aren’t you supposed to be at the fire station?”

George’s Adam’s apple bobbed several times before he answered. “I don’t want to be anywhere but with you.”

Narrowing her eyes, she reached for George’s hand. “What’s going on?”

George resumed his seat and rested his cheek on their entwined hands. “I’m in love with you.”

Shocked, Carol gasped. “What? You can’t be.”

Bent – Not broken © Carol Lynne



I read this book as soon as it hit the digital shelves so to speech and to say I was speechless would be an understatement. If you didn’t know I am a huge fan of Carol Lynne work – and I have soldiered on with her through some questionable moments and scenario, but I have never given up the faith that I really respect this author and her style.

This thirteenth book to the Cattle Valley family of books is unlike anything I have ever read, Firstly this is Carol McGowan’s story – yeah for all you guy who have read the series, Carol - the mouthy, know it all, bossy boots of the mayors office – that Carol. New readers Carol is a part of the infrastructure of Cattle Valley, or that’s how I see her, no one comes to that little burb that doesn’t have some sort of run in with her be it good or bad. The things she does well, she excels at it, when she gets on her high horse however – watch out.

The story picks up immediately after the tragedy of the last book and we meet Carol in hospital with a hovering George Manning by her bedside. Straight away the moment was stilted. Carol, with not a ounce of romance in her body was all pragmatic and started pulling apart a ‘come let’s do the nasties’ proposition. I can’t fault her too much, because she has baggage and George Manning has Trick Allen.

George is the local fire chief and long time love interest of country music superstar Trick Allen, with Carol hurt some home truth come sliding home and he realise that Carol is just the ticket for him. Wanting and hoping does not make the road to love easy and Carol is about as uneasy as they come.

While these two are trying to find a groove, Trick turns up after a bit of soul searching and the three sets about creating a little blaze. Things aren’t easy to forgive and forget and George does his best to get Carol up to speed about what Trick is like. Trick in the mean time is on a path he has never taken before and it is taking some adjusting to. Carol on the other hand is literally having her cake and eating it too, but most times the things you like in life are the things that are so bad for you.

What can I say about this book without sound snarky – BENT, NOT BROKEN is a book I should have given a miss. I couldn’t however because it’s a Carol Lynne how could I resist.

Carol is not a likable character neither in her description or in her mannerism. She is brash and I shudder at how huhh (best word I could come up with) her language is. I have read every Cattle Valley book and I can honestly say I did not think Carol would ever get a story – she was just a part and parcel of the package that is Cattle Valley.

From the second book in the series we have all been getting little hints about George’s big secret, and how he’s a loner, but chips in when needed and his more or less good at his job. To now find out he had an almost twenty years dirty little secret did not sound not only unrealistic, but all the social commentary that came with his relationship with Trick was so far fetch I actually had to laugh….

Trick Allen – not much is known about him and in this book he was the only one that was actually decently developed as a character and I felt sorry for him more than anything else to be honest.

A few of the regular cast flutter through this book and as usual little sneak peak of future books are alluded to (or at least I hope they are future books), those little bits of snippet caught my interest more that the car crash that was happening as the head liner.

There were other issues that I had with this book, but I can only do so much snark at any one time. Personally – I had always hoped to hear George’s story, because I liked him, he had a gentle soul and any one who could wait around all that time living on hope is either an eternal optimist or the biggest looser there is – I will go with a sweet guy wanting what he wants; that said this was defiantly a missed chance by Lynne to pair a hot fire chief and a country music star – adding Carol’s did not help this book at all.

I am now eagerly awaiting the next book in the series, where I hope Lynne will get back to business as usual with some hot male loving

1 Speak To Me:

Blodeuedd on 5 October 2009 at 09:51 said...

Not sure about this book, if there were something amiss, but ;)