Unbridled: Lonestar Lovers Series, Book 1 (Lone Star Lovers)

Unbridled  - Delilah Devlin Feeling lazy, so I'm just gonna copy part of the blurb:"Dani Standifer arrives home at her West Texas family ranch a day early, ready to pick up where she left off with Rowe Ayers, her high school sweetheart. However, when she opens the door to their line-shack trysting place, it’s clear she waited a day too long. Rowe’s with someone else—another man.And not just any other man—Justin Cruz, the bad boy with whom she shared one wild encounter, years ago."This novella is a lethal combination of dreadful sex writing, shallow characterization and unbelievable plot. The loving stalker and the "we're not gay, we just love each other" m/m are two of my least favorite tropes, and they're present in full force.To start off, a stint in Justin's POV informs us that he watched Dani for years from afar, keeping his hands off her for years because she was too young. This watching included her trysts with Rowe in the line-shack. I gather Devlin intended this to show Justin's attraction to Dani and how it differed from his fleeting attractions to other women, but it came off as predatory and stalkeriffic. That's a steep hill to climb to regain my respect to be a believable hero, and the novella isn't anywhere near long enough for that.The sex scenes are truly dreadful. They contain such gems as "The sight of her pale blonde ruff and the deep pink, inner lips framing her entrance, took his breath away." and "The slick, wet sounds they made as they came together were just nasty enough to thrill her, and the familiar musky scent and feel of the man working above her smoothed away the edges from her earlier unrest." The language was on par with free erotic shorts and the imagery anywhere from puzzling ("working?" really?) to gross, but never erotic. It lacked the subtlety, the tension building and feeling necessary to convey attraction or arousal. Ostensibly these are people who love each other, yet, beyond saying the words to each other, they do nothing to show me love exists here. Dani's brother is portrayed as an impediment to their desire to be a threesome, but his character is woefully undeveloped. As quickly as he appears as an opposing force he disappears, dropping his dissent in a two line conversation. Why bother creating his character in the first place.Altogether, Unbridled is an underwhelming effort from Devlin, who is capable of much better work.