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Buckled (Trails of Sin Book 2) Kindle Edition
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Series: Trails of Sin
Author: Pam Godwin
Designation: Book 2 of Series, Full-Length,*Can Be Read Standalone(but books are interconnected), NO Cliffhanger, #dark #enemiesto lovers #contemporary #western #cowboys #familysaga
My Rating: Five Deliciously Heartwrenching, Kindle-Throwing Stars*****
*Although Buckled can be read as a standalone, this reviewer recommends reading the books of the series sequentially to avoid spoilers.
Wow - AGAIN! I loved, loved, loved Buckled! I read Knotted, the first release in the Trail of Sins Series a few days ago, which coincidentally was also my first time reading the work of Pam Godwin, and loved it so much that I raced back to purchase the second book Buckled, and it's official - I'm a fan for life! Pam Godwin is definitely no one-hit-wonder! This woman can write. In my almost 70 years on this earth, I've never had such a visceral reaction to a story and its characters as I did with both Knotted and Buckled. I was a total wreck after reading Knotted and still a total wreck after finishing Buckled, having experienced all the same emotions while reading both books - amusement, anger, confusion, apprehension, surprise, shock, anxiety, frustration, sadness, heartache - and that was through the entire book. Several times I almost threw my Kindle against the wall! I snickered, snorted, chuckled, sniffled, sobbed, and fumed through the entire story, and I loved every single second! I actually wanted to strangle Jarrett Holsten, the male protagonist of this compelling drama, and I'm not even a violent person. Unlike his twin brother Jake, 24-year-old Jarrett had never been in love nor had a serious relationship. He was more of a ladies man. You know, the 'hit it and quit it' type of guy, the kind who's always had women falling over themselves for a chance to catch his eye, but Jarrett used them for only one reason - sex. No strings, no promises, no sleepovers, and never, ever in his home or bed... Until Maybe Quinn. He never thought he'd find a woman who could hold his interest for more than a few hours, much less one he could love. That's a whole lot of nevers for one person, but you know what they say, never say never. So get ready, folks, Jarrett Holsten is about to meet his match, the one woman who will capture his attention along with his heart and bring this sexy, charming, loyal, and sinfully dominant cowboy to his knees. Now, that I've told you how much I enjoyed Buckled, let me tell you why.
Buckled is a riveting, fast-paced, easy to follow, exceptionally well crafted, full length, standalone, contemporary cowboy enemies to lovers trope filled to the brim with pulse-pounding danger, heart-wrenching drama, spine-tingling suspense, agonizing angst, steamy passion, and dreamy romance. The narrative is beautifully written in the first person with clearly defined his and her perspectives. The dialogue is smart, snappy, gritty, emotional, well executed, and flows effortlessly. But my favorite component of this moving tale is the cast of intriguing characters, many of whom were introduced in the first book of the series, and this is where Pam Godwin truly shines. Don't get me wrong, I love the interconnected world and conflict for this entire series. They're both not only compelling but also frighteningly realistic. I've been reading a long time and can usually tell before finishing the first chapter whether a book is plot or character driven, and normally it's one or the other, one component being the strongest driving force for the story, but not with Knotted or Buckled. Each element was well presented, skillfully developed, and equally strong in both books. After reading only the first few pages, it was immediately apparent that Godwin is not only a gifted storyteller and skilled wordslinger, but also a master of her trade who possesses the unique ability to make her words flow effortlessly with a relaxing, almost poetic quality. Her sultry, sensual prose was nothing short of mesmerizing, but it's her cast of instantly engaging, easily relatable characters that truly captured my heart. They literally exploded from the pages, ensnared my imagination, and held me prisoner from the first page till the last. I was immediately smitten with the male protagonist, cowboy/cattle rancher Jarrett Holsten. If you've read the first book and thought Jarrett's twin brother Jake Holsten was a badboy, then you ain't seen nothing yet! Truth be told, I fell in love with Jarrett when he was introduced in the first book. He actually seemed like the more mature, responsible brother, but Jarrett quickly eliminated all my preconceived assumptions in the first few chapters of Buckled. He was devilishly charming and toe-curlingly sexy, definitely a real heartbreaker with a fabulously filthy mouth and a deliciously dirty mind to match, but Jarrett had another side he never allowed anyone other than his family to see. His love, loyalty, and devotion to those he considered friends and family quickly won me over. It's an amazing experience to witness a character's transformation when he or she finds their soulmate, and that's exactly what 26-year-old Maybelline Quinn, aka Maybe, turned out to be for Jarrett Holsten. Godwin did a remarkable job of showing the growth of these two characters over the progression of the story, both personally and as a couple. And what do I even say about the beautiful, brave, determined, feisty, and often quite smart-mouthed Maybe Quinn, currently a freelance journalist and, as it turns out, not a half bad cowgirl? Maybe was intelligent, playful, spunky, fiercely independent, and strong with a backbone of steel. But she was also a young woman who had unwisely given her trust to the wrong people in the past and as a result lost everything, including her self-esteem. Unfortunately, as we all know, love is blind, but Maybe was determined to never repeat her past mistakes, even if that meant never allowing herself to love again. These two characters started out as adversaries, both with dangerous secrets, but the spark between them was glaringly obvious in their first meeting and believe me, sparks did fly. Each encounter became more intense and more sexually charged, until this unlikely relationship between two potential enemies exploded into a fiery blaze of undeniable passion and sensuality which came as more of a shock to Jarrett and Maybe than the people around them. This new unexpected depth of emotion was new to both Jarrett and Maybe. At first, neither seemed to know what to do about their undeniable attraction and combustible chemistry, and it was so much fun watching them try to run from the inevitable. I couldn't wait to see who would blink first. Lol... But their fate was written in the stars and so was their love. We all know the heart wants what the heart wants, and when Jarrett Holsten realized he wanted Maybe Quinn forever, nothing would stop him from having her. Maybe was his! And I'm quoting Jarrett! Sigh... So dreamy! Godwin literally ripped my heart out - again - with Jarrett and Maybe's difficult journey to find happiness and kept me on the edge of my seat, wondering and waiting to see what the future would hold for them. Through the entire book, I kept thinking Jarrett and Maybe could never overcome the horrible secrets and obstacles in their path and certain Godwin would never be able to give this couple the happy ending they deserved, but she did and did it exceptionally well. An unexpected plot twist here, a shocking revelation there, a few painful secrets confessed, long overdue truths revealed, and voila! And it was all done perfectly! No spoilers from me but I will say this... A beautiful down on her luck young journalist determined to uncover the truth, no matter what it takes- check! A hardworking cowboy who has all the answers but would do anything to guard his family's dark secrets and protect the people he loves, including a beautiful journalist with the power to destroy him - check! An adorable pet calf named Chicken - check! A old enemy with a hidden agenda - check! Danger, drama, lies, deceit, heartache, suspense, and a few unexpected plot twists - check! Heated attraction, steamy passion, and a love that refuses to be denied - you bet! That and a whole lot more!
So, did I like this book? I think you already know the answer but just for clarification, I loved it! Would I recommend it? You bet, and I am but only for adult readers. Buckled does contain explicit language, sex, and violence. It's also a dark romance with a violent theme and not for the meek of heart. But what lies at the heart of Buckled is a heartachingly beautiful story, heralding a love so strong, it conquers all. Sigh... So dreamy! Buckled is the second release in the Trails of Sin Series. It's my understanding that each book will be a standalone (but interconnected) and will feature one couple finding their happy ending. Although this book can be read as a standalone, this reviewer recommends reading the books sequentially to avoid spoilers. Will I read this author again? Absolutely! Just as soon as she releases her next book. I think the best compliment I can give an author, as well as the best testament to their work, is to read more of their books, and I was so impressed with Knotted and Buckled, I raced back to preorder Booted, the third book of the series featuring Conor's older brother Loren Cassidy, which is due to release September 18, 2018. And finally, was I entertained? Completely! Once I started reading, I could not stop. I was on the edge of my seat, white knuckling my ereader, my heart fluttering wildly in my chest as the pages flew as quickly as the time! Fabulous entertainment and an awesome read!
Pam Godwin is the Will Smith of authors. She always puts out blockbusters in the summer! This series is amazing! Jarrett is delicious and all alpha! Maybe is the perfect balance of strong and submissive. The connection was undeniable. Their banter was funny and natural. Their sex was playful and HOT at the same time. I love that Maybe was able to jump in and be helpful on the ranch even as a vegetarian. Another great summer series from Pam Godwin. So excited for Booted.