Dustin Marston, wannabe professional bull rider, cannot stay on a bull for the required eight seconds. Suffering from sinister flashes of suppressed memories from his childhood, Dusty has a panic attack during a hazardous sexual encounter that lands him in serious legal trouble.
When he proves to be uncooperative, his health counselor, Diana, turns to a colleague for assistance—only for the to learn that Joe was once the boy Dusty loved when they were kids, and who was lost to him twenty years ago. Then Joe proposes a highly unorthodox treatment to save Dusty, a treatment that wakes old nightmares and threatens any chance they have of a future.
Eight Seconds would have been absolutely perfect if the author had stayed with the main plot and not throw in so many dramatic events. It felt like the author was striving to add more and more situations to keep the reader on the edge of their seat, when really it muddied the water so much my enjoyment faded as I continued on with the book.
Dusty was the sexy cowboy that could have carried his way through this story with just the primary issue he had, a horrible childhood, women tried to capture his attention yet wondered if he was gay and couldn’t compete at bull riding as he wished, all causing his anger issue he already had even more off the charts. His past is beyond traumatic and all through his life he has left collateral damage in his wake because he didn’t know how to deal with any of it.
When he is forced to go to therapy per a mandated court order, he gives his therapist Diane a run for her money. When it is clear she isn’t the one to help him she calls in Joe to help take this case and give Dusty a chance to have a happy life. What no one, not even Joe realized is Dusty, his new client is the boy that disappeared from Joe’s life many years ago.
While unorthodox in method, Joe has to come up with a therapy style that will get through to Dusty and hopefully give them a second chance at their relationship but he realizes Dusty has been damaged, maybe to the point of no recovery.
As I stated, this would have been enough to get me invested and cheering them on, but the author threw in so many other issues, which I won’t go into here that I was left exhausted and wondering at times if I even cared any more. There is a point where excess drama drains the reader, not add to the experience. The writing style was smooth, the characters were well developed and the scenes were written to the point you could feel you were there with them in the story. I would recommend this book but only to those who enjoy juggling multiple issues at the same time.
When trouble finds Dusty he avoids the cure as long as he can. With blackouts and missing blocks of time in his memory he is afraid.
This story hits a lot of hard subjects and is not a story for anyone who is sensitive to abuse.
As Dusty works through his psychological mind field, many things come to the forefront and must be talked through. This is a very difficult story to read, but it is a well written and I really loved it.
I absolutely love Dusty, the amount of strength he has is amazing. He is not perfect but he never gave up, and that is something to be admired.