My rating: 4.5 STARS
When I choose to read Dani April‘s Raven’s Ranch, I did not know what to expect. I read the blurb and knew I would read another cowboy-ménage-bondage-romance. I was hoping this time, the author would choose to give us feisty female characters and some interesting males, avoiding some of the clichés we are so used to with this publisher such as the 20ish virgin in need of protection, big bad guys who play Doms, and a plot with a serial killer. Of course, all of this taking place in a very open-minded little city full of polygamous relationships. The story took me completely by surprise. I was captivated. Raven’s Ranch was original. The characters were true. Most of all, the ménage relationship was completely credible.
The heroine, Raven, is a cute woman–not drop dead gorgeous–just cute, a very refreshing change from all the top models in most of romances. The male characters are also very interesting: the widow, the ex-wrestler, the virgin, the best friend, and the bad boy Dom.
I always see a ménage like a puzzle. Each piece is there to complete the relationship for each character. Each individual has qualities and flaws. But if you have a couple of guys in the same relationship, then everything is mixed. Hopefully,the authors achieves a balance among the flawed characters by the story’s end. That is the way I see ménage emotionally. Now, of course, if you add the hot sex on top of that with, again, a different style of loving, then we have the perfect guy with all the males combined. Because, let’s be clear, ladies, who ever thought to bring a sweet-loving-best-friend-tender guy and a bad-boy-kinky dominant together? And this is exactly what Raven finds upon her arrival to the dying ranch with five ranch hands who did not get paid for over six months, yet stayed for the love of her grandfather.
And constantly, I kept thinking, Oh my. This story is so credible. If someone told me this happened in real life, I would have been surprised because open ménage relationships are extremely rare–with five men and one woman. More so, I would have understood Raven’s choice and her insecurities. The only tiny regret I had was that it was a one-way story. We have only the heroine’s version. We never hear the thoughts of any male. I understand that it’s a style that some authors favor. Personally, I much prefer to read the men’s thoughts as I grow to know them better and fully fall for them.
Nonetheless, Dani April will be on my list of authors to check on a regular basis for her new releases. I really look forward to reading her again!
This review was originally published at Risqué Review
You know how all the authors looooooooooove to talk about the little voices they have in their head right? Well… I have this little funny voice who is nagging me saying: na na na, you gave me a bad review but I write under another pen name and you’re are making a fool of yourself. The thing is with Siren Publishing, everything is possible since most authors do have a couple of different pen names! But who cares. One Person with multiple personalities can write a “must read” and a “lets forget it as quickly as possible”. Nobody is perfect right? right?
Indeed we find five men but where is the seven-foot- tall ex-wrestler among the five guys on the cover? All the men are supposed to be taller than the heroine. However, the cover shows men her height which tames a bit the description of the splendid tall cowboys in this story. Most especially, the seven-foot-tall ex-wrestler. I was upset that the publisher used up a ready-made cover with five cowboys and did not check the characters’ descriptions in the story.
It was, for me, a very bad and cheap collage of guys with cowboy hats posing in the same position.
Publisher’s description (Siren Publishing):
Word Count: 61,942
[Siren LoveXtreme Special Edition: Erotic Cowboy Menage Romance, M/F/M/M/M/M, bondage]
“If you stay, I’ll have sex with all of you guys.” Raven never thought she would hear those words come out of her mouth.
Raven White is a twenty-three-year-old college graduate with a degree in computer science. Unable to find a job because of the bad economy, she works as a waitress in a nightclub in Chicago. She has no boyfriend, few friends, and a dreary life. She longs for a change.
Then, one evening a handsome cowboy comes to her nightclub and tells her that her grandfather has died and left her the Lazy L cattle ranch in Montana. She is to be the new boss of the ranch and the five handsome cowboys who work there.
Raven finds a new world waiting for her in Montana, and she falls in love with all five of her ranch hands: Connor, Chip, Bran, Tyler, and Roy.