Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Cattle Baron's Bogus Boyfriend by Nicki Bennett Audiobook Review

It might be a sham to his boss, but it's all too real to him.

Administrative assistant Jonah Hollis has nurtured a hopeless crush on his boss, millionaire cattle rancher Lincoln Courtwright, ever since he started working for him. But hope is kindled when Linc and beautiful rodeo star Melissa Cutler break up just weeks before the biggest event of the Dallas social season, the Cattle Baron’s Ball, and Linc asks Jonah to accompany him in her place.

Is it all a ploy to make Melissa jealous? Can Jonah fit into Linc’s world? It takes some encouragement from his roommates and his best friend, Caylee, for Jonah to agree. Before long, Jonah dares to believe Linc might just feel something for him… until interfering family and a series of misunderstandings threaten his fragile dream of happiness.

Length: 5 hrs, 15 mins
Narrator: Rusty Topsfield

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Amazon Audiobook  ~  Audible  ~  Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

The Cattle Baron’s Bogus Boyfriend is a M/M take on the classic romance theme of the wealthy boss falling in love with his secretary, who has been secretly pining for him. It makes for a sweet romance, but is relatively angst free other than the vindictive ex and the predictable “he’s a gold digger” accusation thrown in by Lincoln’s stepmother about Jonah. Because the romance is between two men, it enables Bennett to add a twist to the story regarding Jonah’s best friend, Caylee, but even that scenario is ultimately low angst. Although it’s well written, had I only read the book instead of listening to the audiobook, I would have given it 3 stars because while it’s entertaining and I did enjoy it, it didn’t grab me enough that it made a lasting impression.

For me, the narration made The Cattle Baron’s Bogus Boyfriend truly enjoyable and is what earned the audiobook edition the extra star. With that said, Rusty Topsfield’s narrative talents were evident as he excelled at making it apparent when Jonah was speaking versus thinking to himself – which actually occurs a lot in the story. Initially I found Topsfield’s use of whispering to indicate Jonah’s internal monologue to be annoying, but as it became clear that Jonah internalized a lot – especially snarky comments – the whispering intonation became “my best friend” in the audibook as I would have been extremely lost as to when the young man was speaking versus thinking. Topsfield also does a great job of bringing the other characters to life and, as much as I disliked her, I thought he did a wonderful job of conveying the different sides to Eloise’s character, especially her change in attitude from her initial introduction to how she engaged with the other characters in the epilogue.

While I liked both Jonah and Lincoln, there were times that I found Jonah off-putting. Several times in the beginning of the book, prior to him learning that Lincoln was bisexual, he had to remind himself not to read anything into Lincoln’s praise and acts of kindness because his boss was straight so it couldn’t mean anything. Crushes are fine, it’s what provides fodder for our day dreams, but to need to remind yourself repeatedly that the object of your affection is straight and the guy is just being nice, well it just felt off to me, as though the author had forgotten she’d already given the reader that information. I’m not sure if it was Bennett’s way of laying the foundation for why Jonah reacted to Eloise’s vitriol as he did later in the book, but it felt overdone. Fortunately, the chemistry between Lincoln and Jonah was obvious and went a long way in combating Jonah’s insecurities. Overall, The Cattle Baron’s Bogus Boyfriend was an enjoyable book that was, for me, made more enjoyable by Rusty Topfield’s narration.

Growing up in Chicago, Nicki Bennett spent every Saturday at the central library, losing herself in the world of books. A voracious reader, she eventually found it difficult to find enough of the kind of stories she liked to read and decided to start writing them herself.

Connect with Nicki

Facebook  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Cattle Baron's Bogus Boyfriend by Nicki Bennett, Narrated by Rusty Topsfield to listen to and review.

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