Reviewed by: Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team
Novel number two in the Range series is another home run for Andrew Grey. Once again, we catch up on the lives of Phillip, Dakota and Wally and meet Haven Jessup, who lives on the ranch next door to the Jeffersons.
Haven lives on the ranch with his father, a bigoted, self-centered, mean spirited man, whom people try to stay away from, including Haven. In spite of how many times Dakota has tried to help the Jessup’s, Haven’s father can’t get over his hatred for them, especially when he discovered that Dakota is what he refers to as a fag.
One day, Haven was out checking the fence line when a sudden powerful storm hit. Haven’s horse got spook and took off for home leaving him stranded. When Dakota comes to the rescue, Haven has no idea that not only did he save him from a storm, but that he will inadvertently change his life.
In the meantime, Phillip has arrived at the ranch after being laid off from his job. With no job and nothing holding him back home, he comes to spend time with his friends, Dakota and Wally. Trouble is brewing when fences appear to be cut, a calf is found far from where he should have been, bringing Haven and the Holdens together to figure out what is going on. On one of these meetings, Haven meets Phillip. Phillip has begun to envy his friends who have found their mates; he is jobless and alone. When he sees Haven, he recognizes the look in his eyes as a closeted male, afraid to face who he is.
It doesn’t take long for Haven and Phillip to realize they care for each other. Haven is clueless about what being gay means, and Phillip tries to enlighten him. I loved the remark that Phillip made to Haven when he said being gay is about “who you love” and nothing else. It has nothing to do with how you grew up, and definitely is not something one decides to be. It is just who you are and if you don’t live your life the way you were meant to you cannot find happiness.
This is a beautiful love story about a young man finding his identity, although not easy when his father is a bigot. There is also a mystery surrounding the trouble the ranches are facing and who the guilty party is. Although there is explicit male sex, you do not have to be gay to appreciate what Mr. Grey is trying to convey, I am neither a male nor gay but I love reading about men who are trying to overcome the stigma of being gay. Too many people see being gay as a disease; it is not. These are men who have a different sexual orientation from others. In the long run, they are just humans being trying to live their lives. Can’t wait for book three.