To start the week off I'm bringing to you a new-to-me author with a clever take on the paranormal. Keep reading to get a taste of Bulled Over by Catalina Ferrer through my review, and by visiting the other blogs hosting this tour, and then be sure to add this to your bookshelf!
What happens when in a weird twist of fate--or karma--the bullfighter becomes the bull?
Conchita Peron, a bullfighter still trying to earn respect in a male-dominated profession, vows to kill Asesino, the bull that took her father's life. But what she doesn't know--and may not realize in time--is within the bull's body resides the soul of the man she once and still desires...that of the very handsome and very dead matador Antonio de le Vega.
Will she set aside her thirst for revenge in time to see the heart under the hide?
“Senorita, you really should be resting, not drinking. You need a clear head for tomorrow.” Mateo—once mozo de espada to Antonio, now Conchita’s—gave her what had to be the twentieth warning glance in the last hour.
It was becoming harder and harder to ignore him.
“A few shots of tequila never hurt anyone,” Conchita shot back and punctuated her statement by throwing her head back and downing another small glass of the scorching amber liquid.
“Ah. But a few shots of tequila and a pitcher of beer…” Her assistant wrinkled his nose and shook his head. “Liquid courage may help you now, but it will not help you tomorrow when you are in that arena facing the most feared bull in Mexico.”
Conchita hated that her friend and mozo could see right through her, and she hated even more that he was right. But she’d be damned if she let him know that.
“Just go. I’ll be leaving in a few minutes. The hotel is not far. I don’t need a chaperone.”
The man hesitated, his hands perched on the edge of the bar, his butt half off the seat. “Are you sure? You promise you are leaving soon? It is already ten p.m. You should get a full night’s rest—”
“God!” Conchita interrupted, slamming her empty shot glass on the bar. “Don’t mother me, Mateo. I’ll be fine. I’ve fought more bulls than I can even remember right now. What’s another one?”
“The streets this late at night—”
“Are fine,” Conchita stated with a warning note in her voice. “If I can fight bulls, I can fight men. They are nearly one and the same. Horny fuckers.”
Mateo blinked in surprise and his lips twitched at one corner, but he rose from his seat. “Till tomorrow morning then. Ten a.m.”
Conchita felt bad for being so harsh with him. In an industry that showed her very little respect, he had been good to her, had stood by her patiently for three years. She’d never regretted hiringhim after Antonio’s death and he didn’t deserve her attitude. She needed to get her head on straight and focus her bad attitude where it belonged: on the bull.
“Yep. Ten. I’m leaving soon. I promise,” she said, then added, “Goodnight, Mateo.”
“Buenas noches, Conchita.”
He doffed his baseball cap, nodded one last time, and was gone.
Conchita watched him go, vowed to finish the half mug of beer still in front of her, and then she would leave. She knew better than to overindulge the night before a fight, but she could hold her liquor as well as any man and her nerves were strung tight. No, liquid courage wouldn’t get her far tomorrow, but it would help her sleep tonight.
In the absence of her friend, she became more aware of her surroundings: the tinkle of glasses as the bartenders shuffled, grabbed, and washed them, giggles from women in the corner as they eyed the men playing pool, the sound of balls hitting balls, voices from the men at the other end of the bar.
“I bet you a hundred pesos she loses,” one man said.
“I don’t know. Revenge is a strong motive. He killed her papa and her lover.”
Conchita spewed beer all over the counter in front of her. Her lover? What tabloid had they been reading? Dios!
“Matadoras don’t have lovers. They are all lesbians. They want to be men!” a third man declared drunkenly.
It was a battle not to turn and look at the men having this discussion, but Conchita forced herself to be still. She caught the bartender’s eye as he approached her, a white rag in hand.
The conversation continued, but she feigned disinterest.
“I heard Asesino had to be pulled off a cow, tasered and roped and drugged. His amorousness knows no bounds,” man number two’s voice came again.
His amigos chuckled as though that was the funniest thing they’d ever heard.
Conchita gestured for another pitcher of beer, wanting an excuse to stay and listen to the men’s conversation.
“An amorous bull is a fierce bull!”
“His cock was this long!”
Conchita cast a sidelong glance at the men and her eyes widened at how far the speaker held his palms apart. Did he really think it was that long?
“But you see,” man number one said, leaning forward as though he had a secret, “he is full of testosterone and missing his cow bitches. Now that he’s had a taste of cow cooch, he’ll be dying to get back there, bursting with sexual frustration, and this will make him vicious. He will kill her right away!”
The bartender placed the pitcher in front of her and Conchita quickly poured herself a mug, downing it as quickly as she could as the man’s words roiled with the yeast in her belly.
“Jorge, you saw him today, didn’t you? Didn’t you see the bull?”
“Si! Si! I saw him arrive yesterday. He’s in the barn! Massive, fierce, angry! The poor matadora.Let’s hope she’s been practicing.”
Conchita gulped, swallowing more beer as she did so. And she continued to drink and listen, drink and listen, as she clutched the red sachet under her shirt.
“Two hundred pesos says she defeats him.”
Gracias a Dios! At least someone had faith in her.
“No, no,” another man protested. “One hundred pesos says his cock is this big!”
Conchita summoned the bartender for a shot of tequila.
BUY AT AMAZON here.
MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:
Conchita wants nothing more than to follow in her father's footsteps and become a bullfighter no matter how many people are against a female in the arena. She has the talent, and after witnessing her father's death, she has the incentive to take to the arena. If only the sexy but chauvinistic Antonio weren't in her way which leads to a war of words that results in the unexpected. On the eve of getting everything she thinks she wants, the power of forgiveness gives her what she truly wants in an immensely satisfying conclusion. Conchita is an admirable heroine who's strong-willed and works hard in a man's world that devalues her at every turn. She's had much heartache from an early age but continues to rise above it. Even at her darkest moment though she listens to her heart and commits an act that is indeed praiseworthy.
Antonio is extremely sexy yet slightly arrogant due to his notoriety. He lives for the crowd's adulation and seeing a powerful creature brought down. He lets revenge for his mentor's death get the better of him though and ends up seeing life from a different perspective. He's now that powerful creature at the whims of others for all his needs and it's a refreshing and thought-provoking vantage point. Being in the body of the bull Asesino shows the mundane existance of a farm animal along with the pain and degradation of being in the arena. These scenes are vividly depicted and it's easy to immerse yourself in his new life and feel sympathetic for the once overly-proud man. It's ultimately up to Conchita to save him and put right what's gone wrong if only a lifetime of beliefs can be changed.
Ms. Ferrer has created an exotic story with atmospheric visuals that draw you in to the proud but bloodthirsty culture of bullfighting. Through her vivid images you can practically feel the crowd's vibrations. Antonio's new life shows the dark side behind the glitz and glamour and allows for thought-provoking debate. Along with this message comes some super hot sexual tension and a sweat-inducing sexual encounter that shows a playful side of Antonio and a dominant Conchita. Whatever form Antonio is in the chemistry between these two is undeniable and their journey towards a HEA was immensely entertaining. Ms. Ferrer impressed me with her creativity and unique spin on the paranormal and I look forward to what she has planned next.
My rating for this is an A.
*I received this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.
Catalina Ferrer lives in an undisclosed location and prefers to remain mysterious. She loves readers, however, and invites them to like her Facebook page to stay up to date on further releases from her. She promises not to spam you to death.