What a cute story! It has two somewhat weary cat shifters (each for his own reasons), who also happen to be fascinating characters, a lot of emotions,What a cute story! It has two somewhat weary cat shifters (each for his own reasons), who also happen to be fascinating characters, a lot of emotions, and some very hot action when the two men make it to the bedroom. The underlying message of needing trust before you can open up, and what happens if one partner is ahead of the other, gave this short story an additional level that really appealed to me.
Aleksy is a stripper, but what he really likes is to dance. When Rafe books him for a private encounter, Aleksy is tempted to want more, and that unsettles him deep down. He never mixes business with pleasure, and doesn’t date other shifters based on bad experiences in the past, but Rafe makes him want to break all his rules. This unsettles him enough to run when things become too intense for him and he thinks Rafe doesn’t feel the same way he does.
Rafe is a successful, powerful jaguar shifter, and very interested in Aleksy. Rafe goes after him all guns blazing, so to speak, and he usually gets what he wants. He can feel the other shifter’s need to submit, his longing to have more. But Rafe is unsure about being the Master Aleksy so clearly desires, so he pulls back. Something he soon regrets, and I liked the way he goes about trying to make amends.
If you like shifter stories where both partners are slightly hesitant to give in to their urges, if you enjoy reading a romance where the heat sparks off every word and action even before the men get to the “main event”, and if you’re looking for a hot read with quickly evolving emotions, then you will probably like this short story. ...more
There are a few shifter books I have read where the character’s animal side is quite brutal and either equal to or stronger than the human part. ThisThere are a few shifter books I have read where the character’s animal side is quite brutal and either equal to or stronger than the human part. This is one of those stories, only the dragon shifter’s secret is far worse than I expected. It put me in the same kind of dilemma as Matthew, the human waiter-hoping-to-be-a-student who falls for Drakon, the dragon shifter who is destined to be his mate. My problem is the conflict between understanding the concept of the food chain - meaning that some animals are meant to be eaten – and seeing the consequences applied to human beings. The whole thing seems entirely logical when I look at it from a distance, but at the same time I can’t help but be involved much more closely exactly because I am a human.
Matt is working as a waiter, intending to go to college once he has sown his wild oats. He likes to dance, is good at flirting, and is entirely unprepared for his life to change when he meets Drakon. After Drakon saves him from a beating, Matt is tempted to stay with him in the grand mansion he calls a home, and gradually gets lured in by Drakon’s spell. Don’t get me wrong: Matt is a willing participant in what they get up to – and they get up to a LOT of hot action. But Matt has no idea what the consequences will be if he stays – or that he never really had any choice but to stay.
As Drakon’s true nature slowly emerges, Matt has a tough time dealing with some of it. Yes, he feels loved and accepted, and is taken care of in every way. He loves Drakon deeply. But Matt also has to give up a lot – and that is much harder to accept. Making a choice is not really possible anyway, but it goes against the grain to have to accept things the way they are. The concept of free choice is something most humans believe in, and this story shows what it is like when that is taken away. Physically perfectly well off, Matthew’s emotional and mental state become his focus when trying to come to terms with his fate.
Even after considering what this story did to me, attempting to gain some distance and deciding whether I like it or not, I still don’t know what to think. I like the fact that Sean Michael wrote it this way: compelling, pulling me into accepting that Drakon is who he is, and not answering the question whether he is a good or a bad guy. I guess, like Matthew in the story, I have to just accept things the way they are. After all, “good” and “bad” are in the eye of the beholder. One thing is certain: this story is as scary as it is powerful!
If you like the tougher, more brutal side of shifters, if you’re ready to have your morality challenged, and if you’re looking for a read that will show you a very different world from what you assume is normal and right, yet make you think it might just be okay anyway then you will probably like this story. I still don’t know what to think – other than maybe “disturbing” - and that is an impressive result in its own right.
Growing up is not easy at the best of times, and the main character of this book, David, faces a few extra hurdles. He has to move to a new place andGrowing up is not easy at the best of times, and the main character of this book, David, faces a few extra hurdles. He has to move to a new place and go to a new school because his mothers have a great assignment abroad and don’t want to drag him with them. David will suddenly live with his biological father, a man he likes well enough but has only seen for the occasional family event so far. Not to mention that David is gay and has not yet told anyone. The resulting story is full of teenage angst and a few initial tantrums, new discoveries David makes about himself and what he wants out of life, and a new and different relationship with not just his father, but his father’s future husband as well.
David is a typical teenager. There are things he takes in stride and is very grown up about, like the fact that he doesn’t want to stand in his mothers’ way when their chance for a great career move comes. But there are things he is not so okay with and gets pretty bratty about, like his father’s initial hesitance to become a fully present parent. But David isn’t stupid, and he is excellent at taking a step back and thinking about things once they have happened. It’s all a learning process, and David learns a lot about assuming responsibility for his actions.
As David begins to get to know some of the people in his school and makes new friends, and as he finds out that he likes Kevin, the captain of the track team David joins, he begins to build his social circle from scratch and surprises himself with how well that goes. Coming out to his father is not an issue, but some of the guys David and Kevin meet during inter-high school competitions are far less understanding. While nothing outright brutal happens, the encounter they have with a few bigoted bullies is enough to shake up David and Kevin – if in somewhat different ways. The relationship with Kevin progresses slowly, but I thought it was just the right pace, considering it is David’s first time dating someone.
If you like young adult romances that focus on the inner growth of the main character, if you want to see a slightly lost teenager grow into a self-confident young man who knows what direction he wants his life to take, and if you’re looking for a young adult read that is realistic as well as encouraging, then you will probably like this novel.
In what looks to be the final volume of the ‘Wild Lands’ series, about forty-five years have passed since Colin Abbey moved into the cabin in the woodIn what looks to be the final volume of the ‘Wild Lands’ series, about forty-five years have passed since Colin Abbey moved into the cabin in the woods to be with his wolfshifter partner, Thoma, and it is now the early twenty-first century. Much has changed for the wolves, and even the withdrawn Pike Peak pack has begun the unavoidable integration of its members into human society. So much so that one of them, Ricky, has moved to Maine to go to school and college – though he did join another pack with his father. Zack has remained on the ranch, but all of his family died over the years and he is incredibly lonely.
Ricky is looking forward to a fun summer break, finally returning to his birth pack in Colorado for the first time in fourteen years. But what he finds shocks him to the core. All the members of the Abbey family, who own the land and the ranch have died – except Zack. The ranch is run down, the well almost dry, and Zack has a boyfriend who is aggressive and abusive. Ricky is determined to do something about the entire mess.
Zack has been incredibly lonely, his self-esteem is almost nonexistent, and he has accepted a man as his boyfriend who has nothing but disdain for him. But because Zack is so desperate for company and isn’t sure that what he feels is valid, he has accepted the idiot into his life. When Ricky returns, Zack is reminded of a happier part of his life, but he knows Ricky will leave again, so what is the point? He still feels he has to sell the ranch and moving in with the boyfriend is his best option.
Ricky sure has his work cut out for him with Zack resisting most of his ideas. But he is tenacious, and bit by bit, he finds out what’s been going on at the ranch. Winning back Zack’s trust is his first goal, then he wants to work on a way to keep Wild Lands intact and available to the wolves as well as Zack, who is the last of the Abbey line. What follows is a great final adventure in this series!
If you want to find out what happens to the Wild Lands Ranch in this century, if an up-to-date wolfshifter and a lonely human sound like an unusual pairing, and if you’re looking for a read that is full of suspense, discoveries, and a beautiful love story, then you will probably like this novella.
As long as it all happens in fiction, I do like the occasional alien invasion with unexpected consequences. And while this story has a few elements thAs long as it all happens in fiction, I do like the occasional alien invasion with unexpected consequences. And while this story has a few elements that can be found in many of this subgenre – such as physically overpowering aliens, their desire to take humans as sex slaves, and a disdain for the much weaker and “emotionally challenged” humans – there are also some very intriguing differences. Some of them are only hinted at, but it looks as though they will become fundamental for the series’ development. That makes this first book not just entertaining and intriguing in its own right, but a very promising first volume, with hopefully many more to come.
Chris is a human, and he has had a very hard time of it ever since the aliens invaded Earth, flattened all resistance, and seem to be capturing humans for some nefarious purposes that Chris would rather not think about. He is trying to protect his mother and two younger sisters, as well as his cousin, Morgan, but all is in vain when the two of them get captured while on a supply run. Much to Chris’s shock, the two aliens who end up rescuing him from a slave master are nothing like what he expected.
Nary and Lasar are a soul-matched warrior pair in perfect sub/Dom balance, until Nary brings home Chris and everything changes. Chris is nothing like what they were told humans are like (aggressive and incapable of compassion), and they feel pulled toward him in ways that shock all three of them. Nary is usually the perfect sub, but with Chris he suddenly wants to dominate. Lasar feels bad because he wants to protect Chris as much as Nary – and that is just not supposed to happen since he and Nary are soul-matched.
As the three men get to know each other, it becomes apparent that something more is going on. Lasar discovers information about the invasion that shocks him to his core, but he can’t let anyone in on his secret without endangering his, Nary, and Chris’s lives. What a ride!
If you like your science fiction with a healthy dose of overpowering aliens, if significant mystery and slowly unraveling secrets are your thing, and if you’re looking for a read that is entertaining, suspenseful, intriguing, and scalding hot, then you will probably like this novel as much as I do. I am sure much more is yet to come, and am looking forward to the next installment.
This story was as much fun to read as the first time. The two men, Greg and Keith, each have their own personal rationale for not wanting to fall in lThis story was as much fun to read as the first time. The two men, Greg and Keith, each have their own personal rationale for not wanting to fall in love - ever, and especially not with their roommate. Their reasons are very different but both men have a valid position. I thought the battle they fight against themselves, their preconceived ideas, and their pasts were valiant, if totally misplaced. Thank God love is stronger than all that, or nobody would ever find a partner.
Greg has done it all and lost the plot in terms of sex, alcohol, and drugs. Determined to turn a new leaf, he will NOT be swayed by his sexy roommate. The guy is out every weekend anyway, and probably not interested in a boring guy like Greg. Except Keith is too sexy for words, and when he starts being nice as well – how is Greg supposed to fight that? He does his best, but…
Keith is the quintessential party boy, and believes sex is best when it’s casual. Relationships are for when he’s older. He fell in love once when he was a teenager and couldn’t deal with the pain when the other boy’s family moved away, so he decided not to make that mistake again. Except – there is something about Greg that speaks to him. He decides to start a “campaign” to lure Greg into his bed, but as he gets to know him better and realizes that Greg is a really nice guy, Keith is no longer sure his plan is fair… to Greg or to himself.
Not all the issues get solved by the end of the story. There are some real problems remaining, mainly for Greg, who is scared of returning to old habits. But I liked the way they decide to face whatever comes their way together –that is the whole point about a relationship. If you’re looking for a story about real guys with real issues, if you like them to have a past that influences current behavior, and if a slowly growing sexual and emotional tension that grips you and doesn’t let you go are your thing, then you will probably like this novella.
Philadelphia’s 77th Precinct, in this world where paranormal abilities can be defective – a mixture of not controllable, entirely useless, or just plaPhiladelphia’s 77th Precinct, in this world where paranormal abilities can be defective – a mixture of not controllable, entirely useless, or just plain strange – is the setting for a second hilarious action/adventure in the lives of police officers Kyle and Kash. Both of them are cops, partners in fact, and between Kyle’s uncontrollable talent for absorbing anyone’s ability if they get too close to him and Kash’s problem of making bad things happen when he gets angry, they are a pretty capable team. Except when the newest threat turns out to go from a confrontation with a stick-throwing tumbleweed to bizarre consequences involving pill bugs, statues, and time travel.
Kash is the focus of this story, and it was interesting to spend so much time in his head. His need to stay calm at all times is understandable, since he wants to avoid bad luck following him around every time he can’t control his temper. But it does make him a bit of an enigma. As it turns out, he is severely repressed, scared of coming out as bi because nobody in his past has ever understood or accepted it, and even though he has fallen in love with Kyle, he can’t seem to say it out loud. Or even behave in such a way that Kyle doesn’t have to keep wondering if he isn’t good enough for Kash.
The threat from the newest bizarre creatures they uncover brings quite a few things into perspective for Kash. It takes some hair-raising trips into various time periods not his own and a major scare when Kyle almost dies for him to discover what’s critical. Not that he has time to fix things with Kyle for a while yet – the paranormal weirdness just keeps coming.
If you like the paranormal world of the 77th Precinct, if you want to know how Kyle and Kash deal with their attraction and relationship issues, and if you’re looking for a mystery that bends the rules of linear time and is as hilarious as it is entertaining, then you will probably like this novella.
‘Buchanan House’, a fictional B&B/guest house on the Oregon coast set up for the LGTBQ+ crowd, is a great place and I always look forward to every‘Buchanan House’, a fictional B&B/guest house on the Oregon coast set up for the LGTBQ+ crowd, is a great place and I always look forward to every story set there. Best friends Eric, a former line cook, and his best friend Nathan, a very talented host, set it all up, and both men have found happiness in previous books. Eric is in love with Tim, a local handyman, and Nathan finally managed to get together with his lifelong best friend, Paulie. What I found especially fascinating about this fourth book is that two of the secondary characters from previous volumes now move into the limelight, not least because Paulie has decided to set them up, hoping they will finally see sense and get together already. Of course that is not as easy as it looks, and the trials and errors as they struggle through their various issues had me sighing in exasperation more than once.
Kyle has a very strict Japanese father, and even though he has more than one artistic talent, he ended up as an engineer – just to please his dad. He has already had one change of career and is currently a chef, which makes him much happier. But it is a stressful job, there are issues with his boss, and he has no time to find “that special someone” he has been looking for to settle down with. So far he has had no luck with any of the men he has dated, and even though he trusts his friends at Buchanan House, when he finds out they set him up with a cop, no matter how darned attractive Brandon is, Kyle is not happy. Kyle has issues with cops to start with, and Brandon’s initial behavior is less than ideal.
Brandon is a great guy, but he has more than one issue himself. He always wanted to be a teacher, but being a cop was easier, and he is good at his job. When he has to get tested for cancer, he fears the worst, but when the doctor declares him free of all issues he decides to celebrate life by getting as much “action” as he possibly can – just in case the next test will be different. So no matter how attracted he is to Kyle, Brandon will not let himself explore the possibilities and runs.
Since both Kyle and Brandon have friends at Buchanan House, they keep running into each other. Each encounter only confirms they should give it a go, but there is a lot of back and forth before they get their act together. Theirs is not an easy relationship at all. Even once they begin to see and admit the truth their situation is not as straightforward as it might be, but at least they stand a chance. And with Paulie and the rest of the crew at Buchanan House determined to help them as much as they can, I was soon hoping for the best.
If you like stories about men who are at cross-purposes for much longer than they should be, if you want to see how facing the truth about what you want in life can set you free, and if you’re looking for a read that is full of complicated characters, denial followed by gradual personal growth, and touching moments, then you will probably like this novel. Its initial despair is more than made up for by the ultimate warmth of Kyle and Brandon’s romance, and all the charming details along the way made it a journey well worth taking for me.
With the combination of rock bands and the mention of vampires in the description and classification tags of this book, my curiosity was piqued. AfterWith the combination of rock bands and the mention of vampires in the description and classification tags of this book, my curiosity was piqued. After all, rock band stars are often bad boys and how could vampires be anything else? And with band names like Firestarter and Scored Gods, Jason’s search for a new musical home was bound to be an interesting and exciting adventure, right? I am happy to report that ‘Iconoclast’ was all I expected –with a few extra twists thrown in for good measure.
Jason and Julian have been lovers for a while, so when they move back to the US together and Jason wants to find a new band to sing for, Julian is supportive. Actually, once it becomes clear what sort of a band Jason is considering and how different its members are, Julian becomes very interested in getting to know them. Specifically Saul, the bass player, who is about as hot as they come. Since Jason and Julian are both equally curious, they soon reach an agreement – and the heat in this novella increases noticeably
On top of Jason auditioning and joining the band, there is a darker side to the story as well. As it turns out, in this world there are different types of vampire and they don’t all like each other very much. Intrigue, various machinations, and power grabs follow, with Julian, Jason, and Saul right at the center of it all.
If you like bad boys and rock stars, if vampires fighting for power are your thing, and if you’re looking for a read with lots of suspense, considerable heat, and an interesting paranormal world with possibilities for further stories, then you will probably like this short story.
Amazing is the only way I can describe this novel in one word. It’s a very intense, suspense- and action-filled coming-of-age story that is a characteAmazing is the only way I can describe this novel in one word. It’s a very intense, suspense- and action-filled coming-of-age story that is a character study as well as a thriller. It’s told in first person by seventeen-year-old Isaiah, and if you’re expecting a high school drama or similar, you’ll not find that between the pages of this book. Instead there is an incredible tale of a youthful error leading to kidnapping, cruelty, and international conflict. But it is also the story of Isaiah changing and growing from a somewhat sullen and stubborn teenager into a thoughtful young man who begins to realize that his actions have consequences and not all decisions made by his parents and other adults are as easy as they look.
Isaiah is in deep trouble after he decided to protect a friend by pretending the gun he was caught with belonged to him. Sure, he had his reasons, but in typical teenage fashion he did not think things through, and lack of life experience means he didn’t look at all the angles. As a consequence, and to avoid a prison sentence that could easily ruin the rest of his life, Isaiah’s mother argues the authorities into sending Isaiah to stay with his “do-gooder” father in Africa as a sort of severe version of community service. All Isaiah sees is the hardship of having to spend time with a man who seems to have forgotten him. A man he hasn’t spoken to or heard from in ten years, ever since Isaiah and his mother returned to the US.
Nothing is as expected when Isaiah arrives in Cameroon. His father doesn’t even bother to pick him up from the airport, sending one of his assistants, eighteen-year-old Henry, instead. Since Henry idolizes Isaiah’s father (for good reasons, as I found out later), Isaiah initially dislikes Henry on principle and they do not get off to a good start. But that changes when they are kidnapped by a group of armed men who demand they hand over “the canisters”. Isaiah and Henry have no idea what is going on and end up depending on each other for survival. And that is much harder than it sounds because Isaiah is diabetic and the mercenaries refuse to hand over his insulin.
What follows is a hair-raising story of hidden agendas, revelations, and a fight for survival that nobody should have to face – and especially not two teenagers. Isaiah goes through hell – physically, mentally, and emotionally - as he struggles to figure out what is going on and how to save himself. Henry becomes a lot more important to him as the story develops, but nothing comes easy to these two young men.
If you like emotionally intense stories with twists and turns that might shock you, if you prefer your romances to be slow-burn and well-meshed with action and adventure suspenseful enough for a Jason Bourne movie, and if you’re looking for a read that puts a struggling teenager through the wringer to have him come out the other side a young man, then you will probably like this novel as much as I do. It’s as wild as it is edgy and an excellent example of young adult fiction that tells it as it is.
There are very few children’s books that challenge gender stereotypes, but this one is a perfect example of what such books could look like. It’s evenThere are very few children’s books that challenge gender stereotypes, but this one is a perfect example of what such books could look like. It’s even better that this cute story reads much like a fairy tale – because the reality of having to face bullies of all kinds for any child not falling with “the norms” is too sad to put in a book for young children. In this version of events, much like in traditional fairy tales, the hero gets to be who he wants. Then he becomes both an example and a beautiful vision for what might happen if people were more accepting of children trying out different ways of looking at the world we live in. The author has written Danny’s story based on what happened to her son, and he is a very lucky boy!
The story line is basic and easy to follow for a young child; the recommended age range is four to seven. Danny wants to be a princess in the school parade, wearing a purple dress, and his mother takes him shopping for a costume. They find various types of purple garments, but none of them is quite right. Almost ready to give up, Danny has a brilliant idea: if they buy all the pieces, they can make the perfect dress by combining them.
The message that “being different is okay” is evident on more than one level of this story: Danny wants to be a “boy princess” as the other children end up calling it, and none of the ready-made costumes are right for him. He is special enough to have a completely tailored dress. The book is also bilingual English / Spanish, which adds an extra level of inclusion and, as unusual as it is, I think it works well.
I also want to mention the beautiful illustrations. They are well drawn, the colors are not overwhelming or look artificial, and the pictures show the story clearly enough to stand on their own. Stunning!
If you have a child, either your own or someone in your wider family or circle of friends, who is just slightly different from the norm and if you’re looking for a book to encourage them, ‘One of a Kind, Like Me’ could be one way to help them visualize a positive environment. It is also a great book to use for teachers as a basis for discussion, or to answer questions children in a classroom environment may have. And, based on my experience, it’s a very enjoyable short book to read even as an adult!
It’s been a while since the ‘Pushing the Envelope’ stories were published as a series of short stories, and I was jubilant to see that Kim Dare isn’tIt’s been a while since the ‘Pushing the Envelope’ stories were published as a series of short stories, and I was jubilant to see that Kim Dare isn’t only self-publishing them as a single book, but that she has added two whole new stories! I never got enough of Scott and Joe the first time around – and, truth be told, I’m still not bored with them - and this rerelease has given me a great “excuse” to go back and read about their pretty unique way of getting together and exploring their kinky side. You see, Scott is a very shy young man (to the point that he stutters when he is flustered or excited), and he can’t get himself to walk up to Joe, the Dom he is interested in, and ask for what he wants – which is to submit. So instead, he sends a letter.
And that is the way these stories are linked together: each installment begins with one of the two men, in alternating order, sending the other a letter. For Scott these missives are an opportunity to express what he fantasizes about and what he is interested in. For Joe, they are ways to test Scott’s determination and obedience. The gradual way they find out how well they fit together is delightful, and it gives them plenty of time to change and grow in their BDSM play, as well as allowing for a budding romance that gets hotter and hotter with each installment.
Interestingly, the story starts from Joe’s point of view. I liked the fact that I got to register his surprise and delight at Scott offering himself up. Joe decides to be careful, always good when you don’t know your partner, and spends time figuring out what Scott wants and what he is ready for. At the same time as all this relatively rational reasoning is going on, the underlying sensuality is clearly making an impression on Joe. With Scott, I got to see the opposite side of the coin. Sensuality, desire, and lust are very much on the surface for him, with the occasional rational thought - or the attempt at rational thought - trying to break through. Scott may be the one who initiated the whole exchange, but he does not stay in control. Exactly as he intended, he is a sub, after all, and exactly as Joe wants.
Each step in this back-and-forth dance is well developed and brings its own challenges. As much fun as the first few tentative episodes are, and as hot as the scenes get by the middle of the book, the final two parts are still my favorites in many ways. By that point, both men have recognized and admitted that there is a lot more than lust between them. But Scott, unbelievable as that may be to the objective observer, still has some doubts as to his importance for Joe. They may be deep down, but they are still present. Joe, of course, has figured this out, and cleverly designs a way to solve this issue once and for all. Scott settling down into complete acceptance was a great ending point. Not only is he now sure he is a sub, but he is also sure of Joe's love – and his own "worthiness” of that love. Joe has finally done his job as a Dom: he has reassured Scott, made him feel secure in his role, and has told him he loves him in more than one way. His reward is to see Scott believe him, and relax into the role of a sub, his sub all the way. I loved the way Joe finally takes over entirely, now that he has Scott's "permission" to do so. He is clearly made for the role, and the symbol of Scott's importance was just what I had expected - and no, it isn’t the collar, there is a far more subtle sign as well, which is just brilliant.
If you like D/s stories that focus on two men figuring out if they fit together beyond the bedroom as well as all the kinky stuff they can come up with, if you enjoy reading about two very hot lovers who cannot wait to get naked together, yet make sure they both understand what it means – each particular time they get together and in the context of sharing their lives fully, and if you’re up for a creative exploration of kink and BDSM, you will probably like this novel as much as I do. This is a fantastic story that entertained and amused me in equal measure and I suspect will do so again every time I revisit it in the future. Well done, Kim, and thank you!
Coming home can be hard when it doesn’t feel right – and in ‘Commitment Ranch’, Ford has several reasons to hate the idea of returning to the LeaningComing home can be hard when it doesn’t feel right – and in ‘Commitment Ranch’, Ford has several reasons to hate the idea of returning to the Leaning N. Ford’s uncle, Ty, owns just over half the ranch and Ford loves him like a father, but the run-in and bad breakup he had with Stoney twelve years ago has driven him away. Stoney being the owner of the other half of the ranch has kept Ford away. But now that his uncle is ill and can’t run the ranch any longer, it looks as if Ford will have no choice but to deal with Stoney, the issues between them, and old feelings neither Ford nor Stoney are willing to admit they have.
Ford is a successful lawyer with two offices, assistants who run his life, condominiums – he has it all. He thought he’d left the past behind him, but when he sees Stoney again, the old wound reopens, and a lot of anger pours out. Stoney married Ford’s cousin, something Ford is unwilling to forgive. Their child lives on the ranch and the cousin has passed away, but Ford can’t get over Stoney’s betrayal. It proves his feelings are still there, but Ford would never admit that. He has the skills to keep the ranch running, and he would do anything for Uncle Ty, but dealing with Stoney on a daily basis may just be too hard.
Stoney is a cowboy through and through. Of course he knows about horses and running the ranch day-to-day, including dealing with guests, but a lot of the legal aspects and the whole business part are not his thing. He knows he needs Ford’s help, but he has his own issues with his former boyfriend that mean a reconciliation is very, very far from his mind. Stoney has made some very honorable decisions in his life, but sharing them with Ford was not possible. Stoney has lived with the consequences and has few regrets, but losing Ford is one of them.
The animosity between these men sizzles and practically drips off the pages. They’re ready to get into a fight from the moment they lay eyes on each other again, and it doesn’t take long for the actual fistfight to happen. It proved to me that they still love each other, but the obstacles between them are considerable – especially since communication isn’t either man’s strength. It takes some doing for them to reach the point where they can talk to each other without balling their fists, and I have to admit that I enjoyed every adversarial second. All that heat between them promised some magnificent things… eventually.
But there is more to this novel than Ford and Stoney’s relationship and how they end up dealing with their past, though that is a major part. The story around the ranch and how to save it was interesting as well and kept me turning the pages. All the secondary characters, from Uncle Ty and Stoney’s son to Ford’s assistants, are wonderful and really helped make the Leaning N a home.
If you like cowboys and city boys trying to get along, if you enjoy hard-earned second chances after years of silence, and if you’re looking for a read that has electric tension of all kinds between the main characters, some great verbal and even physical fights, and some of the most fabulous make-up sex ever written, then you will probably like this novel as much as I do. It is entertaining and fun, as well as scorching, from beginning to end.