Champion by Cat Johnson

CHAMPION
Champion by Cat Johnson
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (128 Pages)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

Sometimes you have to lose everything to make room for what really matters.

Ten years ago, Cooper Holbrook was a player when it came to women, and he knew it. Well enough that he took one look at the hero worship in Hannah Anderson’s eyes, and nipped it in the bud. She was no buckle bunny, and he wasn’t the man for her or her young son.

The years have caught up with the former champion bull rider. At forty, he’s got nothing left but a broken-down ranch to go with the friendless, near penniless, broken man he’s become.

Hannah has carried a flame for Cooper since the moment the stubborn cowboy took her son on as a bull riding student. Way back then, she saw the good man beneath the bad- boy exterior. Now she’s finally going to do something about her feelings. Cooper might think his life is over, but Hannah sees more for him—for them, together. And she’s not giving up until he sees it too.

Warning: Contains a decade’s worth of pent-up sexual tension charging out of the chute!

Champion is one red hot cowboy romance!

This was a great love story that pulled me in right away. It had a great plot and compelling characters that reached out to me. Cooper and Hannah were a more mature couple who had been around the block and had plenty of scars to prove it. Their story was perfectly layered with a seamless segue from past to present. They connected ten years ago but Cooper pushed Hannah away thinking that he was no good for her. Now it’s ten years later and he is more than a little broken. That’s when Hannah finally gets her chance at the cowboy she never got over.

This story was less intense than the usual Cat Johnson romance. It’s what I’d call slow and easy. This is a powerful story about a man who hits rock bottom and a stubborn woman who won’t give up on him. Cooper knows how bad he messed up, and he worked hard to make things right and to be worthy of Hannah’s love. It didn’t come easy. Johnson did a good job in showing that, so I’d say everything was well developed. There was some conflict here and there, some drama going on that somehow made the story more interesting to me.

Despite how Hannah had to take that first step in the relationship, I think Cooper was more than happy to let her in the door but he realized that he needed to take responsibility for his mistakes. He did and it made him a more worthy hero in my book.

Now, for the juicy part which is the love scenes. Yes, they were sexy and hot, but they did not dominate the story at all. Instead I felt they were touching and more believable. I found that the earlier scenes with the buckle bunnies were a bit off for me, but that’s mostly because I was impatiently waiting for Cooper to get with Hannah. It was all a part of the story though, another reason why he was afraid to reach for the woman he truly wanted.

All in all, this was a great book. I enjoyed it from beginning to end. It’s one that I’d recommend to my friends and reading pals, and I’m looking forward to the next Studs in Spurs book.

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