Review: Turn and Burn by Lorelei James

Maybe it’s just me, but I think I mentally flew back from Wyoming and I’m still fuzzed up in this ridiculous cowboy / hot male haze. I don’t know what to do with myself. I’m a wreck. This book has exceeded all my possible expectations.

I usually say that with all Lorelei James’s books, but this time, it really, really hit a nerve.

Tanna and Fletch’s story revolves around a main topic that you may have read in other books but NEVER in such a heartfelt, realistic and down to earth way like Mrs. James has all of us accustomed to. This is a story of overcoming fears: fear of letting people down, fear of letting an injury crash your dreams, fear of finding love and abandoning yourself in it. I think more than a love story, this is a LIFE story which, of course, has a HEA; but also presents the downfall of a champion, her denial to try day after day to gain her strength again and compete for what she trained for all these years, and the workaholic veterinarian who left his life on standby to tend to those who can’t speak for themselves.

We met Tanna back in “Corralled’ as Lanie’s friend, and we kept track of her whereabouts through the next 3 stories until finally we get to see the real Tanna Barker in ‘Turn and Burn’; a woman who not only is broken after losing her mother, her ranch and her award winning barrel racing horse, but is also suffering from PTSD and cannot, as much as she tries, jump on a horse, much less race again like she once did. She’s scared, and her new phobia has a lot to do with everything that’s recently happened to her and the fact she has literally no place to go. In desperate search of some sort of refuge, she ends up in Muddy Gap, and although her initial intention is to regain her self confidence and heal completely from her injury, she ends up finding the one thing she had been reluctant to search for: love.

And love, sneaky little thing, appeared in the form of a magnificent specimen of a man named August Fletcher. He’s a dream come true. He’s also a successful veterinarian and a workaholic to the core. After landing in Tanna’s motel bed as “Mr. Right Now”, everything develops with such a natural and easy paced way it’s like you are literally there to breathe the Wyoming air. Life in rural Wyoming can’t get more hectic when you are one of the only four vets in a 300 mile radius and Fletch finds himself in a predicament when he finally comes to terms that he is in indeed completely in love with the somehow broken Tanna. He must do something about that but guess what? His life revolves around sick ranch animals and late night calls from clients who manage to drag him out of bed to tend to his four legged patients! He knows something must change in order to win Tanna’s heart. That is when his dad comes up with a sneaky, yet effective plan that he must follow if he wants to conquer her.

This story leaves a serious lesson indeed: EVERYBODY needs help. It is proven up to this day that no human being is self sufficient. Fletch and Tanna have to admit that sometimes asking for help though hard, is just simply the best way to OVERCOME obstacles.

My absolute favorite moment, in which I cried with no reserve, came from Fletch and a dying Newfoundland. If you passed this part and didn’t shed a tear, let me applaud your bravery and possible lack of sensitivity or non existent pet loving background. It is DEFINITELY one of the saddest and most heartbreaking scenes I’ve ever read in a book. I won’t spoil it for you, but beware that this BIG man, has an even bigger heart and sense of loyalty towards his friend more than anybody I’ve ever met in real life. It just made me love Fletch a little bit more. Just like Tanna does and she’s too scared to admit.

What a marvelous and joyful way of going back to cowboy territory through the pen of Mrs. James. I have to say that besides loving this book like crazy, I had an extra boost and happiness reading it since I held in my hands a signed copy that Mrs. James herself signed for me. Thank you. It may not be a big deal for many avid readers who constantly receive these jewels, but for me (and especially if it came from her) it is one of the greatest treasures I’m possibly ever going to receive. I owe her all my love for Cowboy culture. Believe me, I wouldn’t even know what a HEIFER was without her. 

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