03 February 2015

Drawing the Devil by Jon Keys

 A heart can live a lifetime in eight seconds.

Ever since his father caught him with another boy and threw him out at the tender age of sixteen, Dustin Lewis has been fighting his way up the national bull-riding rankings. He’s on the brink of qualifying for the National Finals when he draws Diablo, a notoriously rank bull—and the ride goes bad.

When bullfighter Shane Rees frees Dustin from the rigging of the same bull that nearly destroyed his face, he comes dangerously close to dropping his guard. Shane knows the potential consequences of being gay in a sport loaded with testosterone-overdosed cowboys, and the resulting scars of mind and body have left him with little self-worth.

Their near-death-by-bull first meeting sparks an attraction that awakens every last one of their personal demons. Yet as the National Finals draws closer, so do they. But they’ll have to overcome emotional highs, near-tragic lows, and bone-crushing danger before love can bust out of the chute.

Warning: Contains man-on-man boot knocking, rawhide and raw emotions, badass cowboys and even badder-ass bulls. This ain’t your old man’s rodeo.
Something about gay cowboys just really does it for me and Drawing the Devil definitely delivered with two hot and sexy cowboys. I absolutely loved Shane and Dustin. While they both deal with the normal homophobic issues that are often featured in m/m romances that take place on the rodeo circuit, each man comes with his own additional baggage that just adds to the realism of their characters and keeps the storyline flowing.

Shane is a bullfighter who puts himself in harm’s way every time he steps into the arena because it’s his job to distract the bull long enough for the recently bucked rider to get out of the ring before the bull has a chance to attack him. Because he was scarred by the very bull that is responsible for him meeting Dustin, he has a major hang-up with how he looks as the scar runs across his face. So Shane finds it hard to believe Dustin’s claims that he is hot and doesn’t believe Dustin wants more than a one-night stand. Dustin. Sweet, sweet Dustin. I absolutely adored him. In addition to having to deal with being disowned by his family for being gay, he also has to deal with having ADD. His behaviors indicate that there’s definitely some hyperactivity in the mix too, and because of it, his history with guys hasn’t been that great. His nonstop chatter, sudden subject changes during conversations, and need to constantly be doing something has always been too much for his love interests to deal with for very long. While both men let their insecurities arise multiple times within the book, it was always appropriate to the scenes and never felt as though it was introduced simply to drive up the angst of the book. Rather, they added to the storyline and the believability of both Dustin and Shane. The resulting chemistry between the two men was palpable and the reader is treated to a myriad of sex scenes that range from playful, to tender, to balls-to-wall hot!

Almost as loveable as Shane and Dustin are their respective families. The easy acceptance of each man by the other’s family was heartwarming, especially after learning how Shane’s mother responded to him coming out. I should note, that Dustin’s family is the family that unofficially adopted him after his blood disowned him. His “mom’s” reaction to his coming out was priceless and had me laughing out loud. Despite the often heavy themes, I was actually laughing quite a bit during Drawing the Devil as Dustin’s character seemed driven to provide comic relief – intentionally and unintentionally – throughout the book. This was a great novel and I look forward to reading more of Mr. Keys’ work.
This is a story about Shane, a bullfighter and Dustin a rider. Shane has been working the Rodeo for a few years now and a couple of years ago was injured by a bull, now has a scare down the middle of his face.  Because of this he feels he is unworthily of respect and certainly love. So he just lets the other riders and fighters just use him for sex, feeling this is all he deserves.  Dustin was kicked out of his house at sixteen when he told his father he was gay. And if it wasn’t for his best friend and that family he’s not sure what would have happened to him. But because of this experience he has decided he will not tell anyone else. Then one night Dustin and Shane decide to share a ride to the next Rodeo and they both discover they have more in common then bulls.

I truly loved this story, the dynamic not only between the two main MC but Dustin and Todd and Shane and his family. I like how at first Shane just resigns himself to his fate, but with love and attention from Dustin start to believe. And Dustin also believes that maybe he’s not this hyper screw up after all? I enjoyed learning about the Rodeo, not knowing anything about it. My big issue was editing. For some reason the names of the characters kept getting swapped around, a lot. To the point that I started second guessing myself and had to re-read sentences.  If it wasn’t for that, a solid 4 and I will look this author up again.


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