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review 2016-06-11 01:25
Karma (Cattle Valley Book 33) by Carol Lynne
Karma (Cattle Valley Book 33) - Carol Lynne

“You have to learn to love yourself before you can love someone else. Because it's only when we love ourselves that we feel worthy of someone else's love.” ~ Alyssa B. Sheinmel, 'Faceless'

When Guy wakes up in the hospital, the last person he expects to see at his bedside is Shane Rendell. He'd treated Shane badly after their short affair, then sent him packing. Although Guy's abrupt dismissal broke Shane's heart, he'd had a glimpse of the man beneath the mask of indifference and sarcasm. Shane sees the good in Guy and decides to help Guy see himself the way Shane does.

Putting up with Guy's rude demeanor, Shane stays by Guy through his convalescence, even paying for some of Guy's medical bills to ensure he has the best care. All the while, Guy is suspicious of Shane's motives, doubting his every suggestion or action, but he's unable to find any. Shane even buys half of Guy's ski lodge and manages it while Guy is serving a jail sentence for a DUI charge. Guy ran Riley off the road, seriously injuring him, but at least not causing his death. Among many other serious injuries, the accident caused Guy to lose his leg, ending his skiing days for good. When Guy gets out of jail, thanks to Shane, he has somewhere to go.

Shane has been working on building up business for the ski lodge, making arrangements with local vendors and businesses to promote exposure and provide the lodge with improved amenities. Shane sets Guy up in one of the cabins and makes sure that everything is handicapped accessible. Shane gives Guy room to think about how different his life can be if he can stop hating himself, ask forgiveness of the people he's wronged, and, most important, stay sober and let himself see the goodness in him that Shane sees. Shane has deep feelings for Guy and would love it if they could have a relationship, but if Guy can turn his life around, he will settle for just being good friends.

I definitely remember Guy from before and wondered why someone would act the way he did. I had a feeling there was a story behind what made him the way he was. When he finally confided in Shane, I did see him in a different light, but it would be a stretch to say he's redeemed himself in my eyes. I like Shane and wonder, especially coming from a background of having alcoholics in his family, why he would put himself in a similar situation, but on the other hand, he would also know what to expect and how to deal with the problems that come with the territory. He has the patience of a saint, maybe too much, especially for Guy after the way he treated Shane. I'd say that Guy doesn't deserve him, but that's not my judgement to make. Everyone deserves a second chance, even Guy.

At eighty-eight pages, 'Karma' is not a long story, but Carol managed to put a lot of emotion into it. Guy and Shane are interesting characters and it seems are now on the right track, but I would like to have had more resolution. However, I also realize there may be more of their story revealed in the future. If you aren't already a Cattle Valley fanatic, like me, who has read all thirty-three books, I don't know if there is enough background information to read it as a stand-alone. Thanks, Carol, for giving Guy and Shane a second chance.



Source: www.rainbowbookreviews.com/book-reviews/karma-cattle-valley-33-by-carol-lynne-at-pride-publishing
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review 2016-04-14 19:25
It wasn't Karma that killed the moment on this one...
Karma (Cattle Valley Book 33) - Carol Lynne

It was bad editing.


Karma is book #33 in Carol Lynne's series Cattle Valley and sadly it's not going down as one of the better books in this series for me. Admittedly it had a strike against it before I even started reading it, but putting that aside I was determined to give it a fair chance.


There are no spoilers here this is all part of the book description or info from previous books...


Going into this book my only issue was that it was about Guy 'freakin' Hoisington. He's shown up here and there in previous books. Exuding a sense of self importance that only added to his obnoxious nature and more often than not drunk as the proverbial skunk. So was I going to like Guy...probably not or at least I wasn't seeing it happen and predictably it did not.


Our other MC is Shane Rendell and we've seen him around a time or two. Shane, I at least liked. He's definitely one of the good guys. He's had a tough life and he's worked hard to make a better one for himself. Sadly he also seems to be hopelessly in love with Guy. Well they do say 'love is blind' and in Shane's case love is also lacking in self preservation.


Shane and Guy have a history. Apparently they dated for a short period of time during which Guy was relatively sober and Shane fell in love with him. Unfortunately Guy 'hastily cast him aside' in plain speak 'Guy kicked his ass to the curb' and from the sounds of it he was none to nice about it.


Ironically towards the end of a previous book in this series a very drunken Guy Hoisington caused an accident that put both him and an innocent victim in the hospital and leaving Guy in a coma, when he comes out of his coma he's left sober and having to face the consequences of his actions and the truth of who and what he's become. The only person at Guy's bedside during his hospital ordeal is none other than Shane. Shane unlike everyone else remembers the brief glimpse that he got of a different man one that no one else in Cattle Valley has had the privilege of seeing and he's determined to help guy find that man again.


I actually liked the first part of this book more than I had anticipated being possible. Did I like Guy no, did I come to like Guy not really. But I did like the Shane and I have to admit I pretty much agreed with everyone else in the story that he deserved better than Guy, however, I admired his loyalty and his perseverance. There were things in Guys past that explained why he'd become the person he had. I'm not saying it made anything ok just that I at least understood what put him on the path he was on before the accident.


If the last part of the book had flowed better with the beginning and spent a bit more time making the relationship between Shane and Guy believable (there were things in Shane's past that made it hard for me to believe he would so willingly fall into a relationship with an alcoholic) I probably would have come out of it wanting to give this book at least 3 stars and I may have even liked Guy a bit more. Unfortunately for me the last part seemed to get rushed. I'm not really sure why at 88 pages I'm pretty sure that it could have been afforded a little more attention to detail to maintain the quality of the story, but maybe that's just me. This was the main reason that the story went from being at least a 3 star read to 2.5 stars. It just didn't stay solid enough and I started to not enjoy or find the relationship between the MCs as believable as I had towards the beginning  and now for the moment that Karma killed...


This goes to editing and maybe I'm being a bit picky here but for me authors are wordsmiths, if you will. Just as a blacksmith specializes in forging metals, an author specializes in taking words and crafting them into a story. So with that goes the ideal that one of the very most basic skills an author should have is an understanding of the language that they are working with, what a word means and how to use it to create images, express thoughts, move a story's plot along and the importance of ensuring that their story is presented in it's best possible form. Ok, so that's the basis of why this one little thing stuck in my brain and while it honestly had no impact on my rating of the book it did annoy the hell out of me.


At the end of this story Shane is having a moment where he's realizing that it's not Karma that guides a man through life, so here's where I'm going to use the exact quote because there is no better way to explain this and it really gives nothing away in regards to the story. So let's play a game, when I was in elementary school this was a thing that one of my English teachers would frequently do on test where they would give us the same sentence with only a word or sometimes two different and we had to select the one that was correct...


1. "Shane had given a lot of thought to karma, and he'd decided it wasn't fate that guided a man through life, it was strength, integrity and a willingness to become a better person in the face of adversary..."


2. "Shane had given a lot of thought to karma, and he'd decided it wasn't fate that guided a man through life, it was strength, integrity and a willingness to become a better person in the face of adversity..."


3. "Shane had given a lot of thought to karma, and he'd decided it wasn't fate that guided a man through life, it was strength, integrity and a willingness to become a better person in the face of adversarial..."


So if you want to know which one is correct and which one the author used just check the spoiler...

The correct one is #2, sadly the author used #1 which would have been correct had the sentence been written as...


"Shane had given a lot of thought to karma, and he'd decided it wasn't fate that guided a man through life, it was strength, integrity and a willingness to become a better person in the face of their  adversary..."

(spoiler show)


I have to admit sometimes I'm not sure why I keep reading this series and as near as I can surmise it's because at the heart of it I like the premise that the author has for the series and the optimist in me wants to keep believing that she can do it justice. Overall I think there's such potential for both the storyline and the collection of characters it contains. So yeah, I'll probably keep reading it and it'll remain one of my conflicting but guilty pleasures until it ends or something goes so horribly wrong that I just can't do it anymore. It's just one of those things that I hate to love but for some reason I love it anyways ;-)

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review 2015-03-10 17:58
This is the series that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend...
Journey to Lobster Cove - Carol Lynne

Seriously we're at book #32 and this is by no means a wrap. It is in fact the beginning of a whole lot more. The previous 31 books were set in Cattle Valley where we met a whole wealth of characters and now one of those men, Asa Montgomery, who happens to be rich beyond belief has bought himself a whole town. Some of the characters from Cattle Valley will be heading there with him and I like that. We'll have Asa and his partner Mario (sorry no Luigi, yet), Cullen who finally got his man in this story, Sully, who we've just barely met, other characters will I'm sure show up from time to time, Nate, Ryan & Rio are definitely on board to help as are Snake and Priest.


I don't think I could in all honesty say that this series is an epic or awesome or even amazingly good read. But in all fairness I've read every book so there's definitely something that just keeps me coming back for more. I had thought that maybe this would be the end of the trail for me but now that I've read this book I'm pretty sure I'll be sticking around to see what Lobster Cove holds for these men and the new ones who we have yet to meet or as with the new Sheriff in Lobster Cove, have barely met.


Lobster Cove is being created as a safe haven for the young men that Joseph Allenbrand has been rescuing over the years off the streets of Washington, things just aren't safe there for his group home anymore. Joseph as we discovered in a much earlier novel was the first love of Nate (partner to Ryan & Rio). So with all these men's lives so nicely interconnected Lobster Cove is going to be an interesting blend of the old and the new.


I'm already more than a little curious about Zander, one of the boys currently living in the group home. He's a sweetie and life had not been kind to him, but with a little help from Cullen and Kit (from Hawk's Landing CV #23) hopefully things will get better. Then there's Nick another member of the group home who seems to have a strong interest in Zander the question is, is it personal or is it because he wants to keep the group home low key and off of everyone's radar so the residents will have a safe haven? as he claims, I'm sure with time we'll find out. There's also Pip, yet another resident of the group home.

Pip is currently in the hospital recovering from a serious beating that was meant as a warning to Joseph to shut down his group home

(spoiler show)


There's a quaint little diner in Lobster Cove run by a sweet elderly couple who will be staying around because 'as long as they pay for their food and take their hat off when they're in the diner' they don't care who eats at their establishment and don't they have a nephew named Bishop. Bishop is gay and he's a chef...mmm...I wonder who's future we'll see Bishop in? Now I'm not 100% sure about this but I vaguely remember in one of her other books that I read Ms Lynne had a character named Bishop. So of course I'm curious to see where this might go will there be a tie-in with yet another series or maybe he's a minor character from an earlier Cattle Valley story, I'm just not sure?


There you have it just the tip of the iceberg as to why I don't see me quitting this series for a while. There's just way too much going on for me not to want to know? I mean really? It's small town life and I'm a small town girl and you know what they say? If you live in a small town and you don't remember what you did yesterday...just ask your neighbour and they'll be able to tell you.

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review 2014-07-28 22:59
It's more of my favourite Cowboy soap opera and so far it's the best...
Snake Charmer - Carol Lynne

I recently read the first 30 books in this series and while they are not epic stories and will probably not go down in history as any kind of literary masterpieces. I've quite enjoyed my little foray into the town of Cattle Valley and it's residents. 


I believe one of my previous reviews compared the series to a soap opera. Well that hasn't changed but this last episode pulled at a few more of my heartstrings than I had been prepared for and I thoroughly enjoyed it, tissue in hand.


Snake is our big bad ex-mercenary, who just happens to believe that men like him just aren't loveable especially to someone like sweet geekie accounting department employees like Riley.


These two men are both so filled with issues and each has things from their past that haunt them or in Riley's case stalks him.


Whatever the reason these two guys just clicked for me. Everything about them had me gushing like a star-struck school girl. I wanted them to find their happily ever after, to be together and lovin' on each other like no one else could. 


But one should always be careful what they wish for because what these two men went through to get there broke my heart and this was where the tissue came in handy. Still all in all it was by far my favourite story in this series so far and I have a sneaky suspicion that no matter what else may come Riley and Snake will always be at the top of my list for Cattle Valley residents I adore.

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review 2014-06-28 18:09
Time to saddle up and move on...
Cattle Valley Box Set 6 - Carol Lynne

And thus ends my adventures in Cattle Valley. This is not a review of a book but the entire series. That would in fact be 30 books, mind you very few of them exceeded even 150 pages. Carol Lynne's Cattle Valley series reads like a soap opera a tale of who's zooming who, if you will. More graphic in detail definitely, absolutely filled with some interesting characters and food fetishes. I will never view corn on the cob and cotton candy the same again after this and might I just say I don't care who tries to tell me differently Chili and cinnamon buns are not a delicious combination they are in fact a guaranteed recipe for heartburn, acid reflux and major indigestion.

I loved the fact that the characters floated from story to story and for the most part no one really disappeared. Some of these stories could probably be read as a stand alone, however, because of the way they overlap I would strongly recommend against it.

The author has written these stories over the course of about 6 years from what I understand and while I've checked the series out from time to time I kept putting off reading them and normally 30 books into a series I would just take a pass on reading it. But given the brevity of the stories and a purchase inducing code from Kobo I decided to go for it.

For the most part I liked the characters and the variety of personalities Ms Lynne introduced. There were couples (m/m), there were menages (m/m/m & m/m/f) and there were relationships that didn't work. The characters were real and flawed and made mistakes and had issues to deal with. People died, got married, had children and yet there was the unreality of Cattle Valley a wish if you will for a place where people can live and be true to who they are and not fear for their safety,honestly this was one of my favourite things about this series because it's a wish that I think many of us share for this world so it was nice to slip away and spend time in Ms Lynne's version of that wish.

Cattle Valley is not classic or epic literature so if that's what you are looking for, honestly you'll probably want to move on. If you like soap operas and sex doesn't bother you and yes there is sex, lots and lots of sex than check it out, you may enjoy this, I know I did. It had it's moments when I rolled my eyes and my brain screamed "Really? WTF? Why am I reading this?" but then I'd keep going and I'd laugh or find myself attached to a character that I needed to find out more about. There were parts that were probably only worthy of 1 star but other parts I would have probably given closer to 4. So while this review shows a 3 star rating that is my overall rating for the series and not for any one book in particular.

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