Texas Longhorn Surprise by Charlie Richards

SURPRISE
Texas Longhorn Surprise by Charlie Richards
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (121 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

On the Road: To combine two lives, first one must understand the components of each.

When Ryan Carpenter realizes the scientists he works for are torturing sentient beings, he feels the need for penance in the form of helping the shifters free their comrades. To that end, Ryan heads to Oregon to offer aide in shutting down one of the scientist’s training facilities and freeing any captive shifters. He’s unprepared for one of the men, Sam Abbott, a Texas longhorn bull shifter, to express an attraction to him. Unfortunately, Ryan has secrets of his own, and knows if he becomes involved with Sam, a shifter, his own transgressions against Sam’s kind would eventually come out, destroying anything they might have built. Walking away—especially for the good of everyone—should be easy, right?

When one man is desperate to redeem his past actions and the other is hell-bent on claiming his mate, what will happen when the two collide? You’re about to find out as Ryan Carpenter and Sam Abbott come face to face in an effort to save a group of tortured shifters.

When Ryan Carpenter discovers that shifters aren’t crazed animals but are indeed sentient beings, he realizes he’s been horribly mislead. His discovery and decision to help free the imprisoned shifters shows you that he’s the kind of man who can take responsibility for his actions and do whatever he can to make his mistakes right. I liked Ryan a lot, but he had a tendency to overreact at times, which can get a bit annoying.

Sam Abbott isn’t your usual shifter – he’s a longhorn bull! I found that to be both amusing and unique as I have a long-standing love of bovines. Let me also say, it’s the perfect animal for him because he’s about as stubborn as one too. Sadly, Sam is a severely damaged man who has trouble with intimacy. I was intrigued to see how this would play out when he discovered Ryan was his mate. Would love conquer all or would Sam be too wounded by his past to make it work?

Truly, Ryan and Sam make a good pair. Where Ryan’s repentant and eager to make a change, Sam is protective and stubborn. Their differences fit together well and work with the other’s quirks. However, there were a couple things that bothered me. Ryan had an immediate knee-jerk reaction to Sam’s confession that they were mates. Although it took the majority of the novel for the two to become intimate, Ryan’s change from ‘no way’ to ‘oh yes’ was a bit too abrupt for me to find believable. There wasn’t enough transition for my tastes. The other thing was the way Sam’s intimacy issues were handled. He had something extremely traumatic happen to him and it felt to me like he was pushed into an uncomfortable situation just to get him past it all. All that aside, Ryan and Sam were given a chance to get to know one another before they landed in bed together and that always makes me happy. I honestly believe that they will have a long and happy life together.

Texas Longhorn Surprise was an enjoyable and sexy story that broke out of the usual shifter storyline. I love damaged characters because they have the longest road to redemption and this short novel had two very damaged characters that have a long road ahead of them. But together, I have no doubt they’ll make it.

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