Friday, 20 November 2009

Review: Cattle Valley Bk14 – Arm Candy © Carol Lynne

Title: arm Candy

Author: Carol Lynne

Publisher: Total E-bound

Main Characters: Asa Montgomery & Mario Benta

Book fourteen in the Cattle Valley Series
Asa Montgomery is a hard man to figure out. He's got millions of dollars in the bank, a host of men vying for his bed and he's still miserable.
When a tragedy leaves him broken and battered, Asa quickly finds out who his real friends are. Left alone with only his household staff to nurse him back to health, Asa realizes he wants more than just a pretty man to adorn his bedroom.
Mario Benta was fooled by a rich man in the past. They may say you're the only one for them, but what they really mean is, you're the only one until something younger and sexier comes along.

Despite Mario's growing attraction to Asa, he'll be damned if he'll allow himself to be another man's arm candy.
When Asa sets out to change Mario's mind, he'll discover it takes more than money to gain the heart of the ex-Army Ranger.


Mario grabbed the rag from his shoulder and tossed it into the laundry bin. Thinking about Asa in any way had the ability to both depress and piss him off. “Guess I’ll run to Deb’s and get a bite to eat.”

“K,” Rio answered as he refilled his juice glass.

Mario was almost out the door when the phone rang. He stopped and turned around as Rio answered.

“Hold on.” Rio grinned and held up the phone. “It’s Asa.”

Mario shook his head. “Tell him I’m out to lunch.”

Without waiting, Mario left The Gym and climbed into his beat-up pickup. He turned the key and prayed the damn thing would start. He knew it was time to trade the old girl in, but he’d been with Lola for going on thirteen years and he couldn’t bear to part with her.

After several attempts, Lola roared to life with a spew of black smoke. He chuckled and shook his head. It was a wonder the environmental activists weren’t camped out on his front lawn.

He pulled onto the road and headed for the diner. For over two weeks he’d been avoiding Asa’s calls. The first time he’d picked up his home phone and saw the man’s name on his caller ID, he’d almost jumped out of his skin.

Admittedly, he was excited at first, but that feeling soon turned into anger. For two days following the grandstand’s collapse, he’d waited at the hospital hoping Asa would call for him. Every time he inquired about seeing his friend, he was informed by one of Asa’s minions that he didn’t want any visitors.

The hurt and anger over the dismissal had Mario letting the call go to his answering machine. Afterward, he’d listened to the message and promptly deleted it. What the hell was wrong with that man? First he’d refused to see him at the hospital, and then he had the nerve to offer Mario a fucking salary to help in his rehabilitation. With all his money, Mario knew Asa could afford a full-time, live-in therapist if he wanted.

What hurt the most was Mario knew he’d have helped Asa for free if he’d just asked instead of treating him like a pest those few days following the tragedy. Now the man couldn’t pay him enough for forgiveness.

His cell phone started ringing as he parked in front of the diner. He grabbed it off the seat and looked at the display.

“Hey,” he answered.

“I don’t know what’s going on between you and Asa, but he told me to tell you he’d double it. What the hell’s that about?”

“Fucker.” Mario took a deep breath. “I’ll go over and give him my answer in person.”

“Don’t say anything you’ll regret. I know he hurt you, but he’s had a rough time of it,” Rio reasoned.

“Later.” Mario hung up and headed towards Asa’s monstrosity of a house.

How dare that sonofabitch try to sway his decision with more money. Mario pounded his fist against the steering wheel. The way he felt, Asa would be lucky if all Mario gave him was a good tongue lashing because what he really wanted, was to punch the jerk in the face.

He pulled up to the fancy-assed security gate and pushed the call button.

“Yes,” an unknown woman’s voice answered.

“Mario Benta here to see Asa,” Mario barked.

Arm Candy © Carol Lynne



Asa Montgomery has not been in contact with Ex Army Ranger Mario Benta since “the Accident” in Cattle Valley and Mario is pissed if truth be told. No matter how he acts as if he doesn’t care he is not pleased that his offer of friendship has been rebuffed time and time again.

Asa is caught in his own downward cycle as well – with more money than he knows what to do with, he has lived the life that this sort of money comes with and thereby attracted the type of friends that goes with the life style. Now that he was hurt and out of action – lets just say all his so call friends have shown their true colours. One person that has always accepted him for who he is was Mario – but he has not been around since the accident – however, Asa needs his speciality now even if he has to pay him, because Asa has to pay for everything. Mario was not taking the bait and he is prepared to pay whatever it cost – but it looks as if Mario is not for sale.

Mario is mad at Asa’s offer and he makes it known the first chance he gets. What he find not only shocks him but surprises him and when one thing leads to the other Mario knows he must help Asa but only on his terms.

Both men begins a journey that see’s them opening up like that have never done before, sharing secrets that they have never told before and taking on each other’s baggage that pushes what's they are trying to build to the limit of how much they are willing to bear.

Carol Lynne is one of my guilty pleasure authors, no matter what she writes I am going to read it. I will honestly admit that I was cautious about this books for two reason – I have been tease by Asa and Mario’s story for about two books now and the last time that happened in this series – it was not as gratifying as I would have hoped, secondly the last book in the series was just not worth it so I was reading this one and thinking please let it be good – and it was really, it really was.

Some of it is definately stereotypical and of course the big misunderstanding was there – but real issues were dealt with in ARM CANDY. Issues that surprised me if truth be told and as much as this book was about Asa and Mario getting together it wasn’t the whole book – so a decent amount of time was spent on side stories and matters that had reached a boiling point in both men’s live.

The normal support cast of Cattle Valley were kept to a minimum and Ms. Lynne even stepped outside of the insulated area of Cattle Valley for apart the book which was the best bit for me.

Anyhow Asa and Mario are good together – I was pleased they didn’t muck about with the cold shoulder and the would have, could have mindset, they were clearly set on building something special and they were honest and up front on so much level that it was actually refreshing for one of Ms. Lynne’s book.

A whole new set of angst builds in the background of this book and it’s anyone guess who will have their day next in the Cattle Valley series.   

A surprisingly good addition to this series…


The Cattle Valley set of book is not a recommended set of books to be read on their own – They must be read as a part of the cattle Valley series.


10 Speak To Me:

Mandi on 20 November 2009 at 12:06 said...

Hmm...they do look like guilty pleasure books :) Not sure if I would read them, but maybe I should check out Carol Lynne one day...

Lily on 20 November 2009 at 18:30 said...

Great review, EH
I love Carol's books as well. I've only read the first 6 or 7 books in the series and have the rest on my TBR. I think when she announces the series over I'll read them all at once.

Blodeuedd on 20 November 2009 at 21:16 said...

Great review :)
I do have to read a book like this one day, I keep saying it and you keep bringing more

Erotic Horizon on 20 November 2009 at 23:38 said...


Lynne is one of those author you either love her or hate her work - but if you do take to her - you wont want to get away...

I love her stuff..


Erotic Horizon on 20 November 2009 at 23:39 said...


I swear you do that with every series...LOL. I await your thoughts on them when you do catch up...


Erotic Horizon on 20 November 2009 at 23:40 said...


You will break down one day - we are so pimping out these books to you...

| Can't wait until you give one a go...


Smokinhotbooks on 21 November 2009 at 01:22 said...

I'm such a sucker for cowboys. I've been dipping my toes into m/m romance so I'm always on the look out when my fellow bloggers review m/m :) Great review EH!

Marissa on 21 November 2009 at 10:34 said...

Great review, I like the sound of this one! I still have to read my first m/m romance, so I am still looking for a good one to start with!

Erotic Horizon on 21 November 2009 at 11:21 said...

Hey K.C...

These cowboys are fun and full of unexpected drama in Cattle Valley...

A cool series to get stuck into..


Erotic Horizon on 21 November 2009 at 11:22 said...

@ Marissa

There are a whole lot of you non reading M/M blogger and I know sooner or later we are going to break you down....

Just you wait... LOL