Sandy M's Reviews > UnRidden

UnRidden by Cat Johnson
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's review
Jul 27, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: contemporary, erotic, western
Read in July, 2009

Cat Johnson is an author I discovered a few months back, liked the sound of her books, so I’ve been wanting to see if I like what she has to offer. I admit that most of the time I’m not bowled over when I finally get to experience authors out of the blue like this, but sometimes you find a gem or two.

I’m happy to say that Ms. Johnson may be one of those gems. This is my first book by her and I’m already looking at her backlist to find others to try. I like her writing a lot. And her characters. Well, hell, they’re cowboys! How can you not love cowboys? Especially when they’re as sexy as Mustang and Slade. Ms. Johnson even got me to like an older woman/younger man (men) story. Those usually aren’t my thing, but this one is done in a way that just seamlessly flows and I found myself liking everything about it.

Jenna is a romance writer and her editor has just rejected her latest manuscript, her work needs something more and a review even called her sex scenes boring. Cowboys are the trend, so, her editor tells her, write about cowboys. Well, being a city-bred girl, Jenna doesn’t know a heck of a lot about things western. At a writers’ convention in Tulsa she begins to do some research and hits the jackpot when she learns that the Championship Bull Riding competition is in town for the week. She hightails it down to all the goings-on to get some firsthand experience.

Best friends Slade Bower and Mustang Jackson ride the circuit together and share their women a good portion of the time, but that part of his life has become tedious for Slade. A different woman every night, not knowing a woman’s name, even looking her in the eye when he’s going to town inside her just doesn’t have what is used to for him. He wants something more, though he has no idea what that is. Mustang, on the other hand, is still going strong, picking just the right women with his southern charm and killer smile. Trying to perk Slade up some, Mustang picks a woman that isn’t anywhere near their usual, and damned if that doesn’t put the spark by in Slade’s eyes when he checks out their fun for the night. He’s not sure, however, she’s going to be quite as eager to join in as Mustang thinks she will be.

Before they can make their move, Jenna has searched them out to ask her questions and do her research. There’s definitely some attraction on her part, but these two are just boys. Handsome, sexy, and built boys. She gets her information but graciously declines their further offers, which she regrets later when back in her hotel room alone. Determined to rectify that mistake, she goes back the next night and the resulting heaven, rapture, bliss in their arms and their bed is the best time of her life. They spend a lovemaking-filled week together, but all things must come to an end. Jenna tearfully goes home to New York, Mustang and Slade head for Texas. Will they ever see each other again?

Well, yeah, of course they do, but I’m not going there. That’s the really emotional part of the book and you have to get your own copy to find out about that. I had a great time with these characters. When Jenna makes her decision to be with both Mustang and Slade, she doesn’t pussyfoot around, vacillating yea or nay like you read in some books. Her decision made, she goes for it. She still has her vulnerabilities along the way, but she knows her mind and acts accordingly with little fuss. Mustang and Slade are real cowboys, flat out charming and sensitive when they find someone worthy. They have their moments from the hilarious to the unfamiliar emotional. There are some great secondary characters from Barb, Jenna’s author friend, to Chase, the even younger circuit rookie, who is a hoot all on his own.

So now I’m hooked and I want to read more of Ms. Johnson. She’s a gem that’s definitely turned bright and shiny for me.

See my complete review at

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