KNOTTED, Book #1 in the TRAILS OF SIN series
Genre: Dark Cowboy Romance
Series: HEAs with no cliffhangers. Each book is a different couple. Must be read in order.
I try to forget her.
Growing up together, Conor and I shared all our firsts.
First love, first kiss, first…
Not all our firsts.
We were sixteen the night she was violently assaulted while I helplessly watched.
I’ll never forget the sounds of her suffering.
Or my inconsolable agony when she left Oklahoma.
Years later, she returns to honor our teenage pact.
Except the boy she loved is gone, replaced by a ruthless cattle rancher knotted with secrets.
She doesn’t know my dark cravings or the trails of sin that lead to her.
I don’t deserve her, but one truth remains.
Growing up on the Julep Ranch in Oklahoma was a bucolic life for twins Jake and Jarrett, and siblings Connor and Lorne. The four were thick as thieves, but Jake and Connor had something special. Since they were knee-high to a grasshopper, they have been childhood sweethearts with big plans for their future. He would run the family cattle ranch, and she would fulfill her dream of being a veterinarian.
They had shared all of their first, except one. And they made plans for that too.
But the night that should have been filled with love turned into horror as Connor is violently raped while Jake, Jarrett, and Lorne are forced to watch. What follows is a hurricane of pain and questionable decisions that leave you wondering what is really going on with this family.
The first half of this book held me riveted. Jake and Connor’s love and pain were tangible things, and I was all in emotionally with Connor. She portrayed realistic emotions and behavior with what she was going through. And what she went through wrecked me.
The first half of this book is easily a five-star read for me.
While I liked Jake at the beginning of the book and wholeheartedly believed in his love for Connor, I had some trouble with him in the second half of the book. I found his “therapy” for Connor’s triggers/trauma, and how quickly and efficiently it worked, exceptionally naive and difficult for my suspension of disbelief to swallow. I also didn’t like that his solution for everything that was happening essentially took her choice away. Considering everything that happens over the course of the book, I would have loved to see her have more agency (especially over her “therapy”).
Overall, this is an emotional powerhouse of a story. Painful and gripping, Knotted is a tragic love story that you can’t look away from. If you like a dark read with a side of kinky cowboys, give this one a try. And with how this one ends, I can’t wait to see what Jarrett gets up to in book two.
*PLEASE NOTE: This book has significant triggers.