Reviewed by: Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team
In this novel we meet up with old friends, Haven and Phillip and Wally and Dakota. Dakota is now a Resident at a hospital, and Wally’s wild animal rescue is growing. Haven and Phillip are enjoying their lives, and all is good. We now meet two new characters who will find themselves part of the family.
Troy Gardiner is a married man with a young daughter. He has a brother Kevin, who at the age of fifteen, revealed he was gay, something that Troy resented. One night when Troy finds himself alone with his brother, his brother finally forces him to confront who he really is. Troy is gay, but has hidden it from everyone, including himself. Being married with a child should prove to the world that he is not gay, or so he thinks, but it proves nothing when a man buries who he really is and lives a sad unfulfilled life. When Troy finally faces reality, he confesses to his wife, who takes his daughter and leaves. Losing his family and his job, he hides away in his uncle’s fishing cabin in the hills of Wyoming, not far from Dakota and Haven’s ranches. All he ever wanted was to be normal, but then what is normal? Does anyone choose to be hated and ridiculed? I know that I hate serial killers, pedophiles, terrorists and drug dealers, so being gay seems so unimportant.
The next person we meet is Liam Southard, a young man who has run away from a brutal father who has abused him his entire life. With no money, no food, no water, and nowhere to sleep, he is so exhausted, death seems preferable to what he is going through. Lying down in a ditch, he is sure this is the end of his life, until he is saved by none other than Wally, who always seems to be in the right place at the right time. For the first time in his life, someone cares for him, gives him shelter, a job, and more importantly, a chance for a future.
The first meeting between Liam and Troy does not go very well. Liam finds himself staring down the barrel of a rifle which is being held by Troy. After many apologies, Troy begins to feel an attraction to Liam, and, apparently, Liam feels the same. The trouble is, Troy is so filled with guilt and self-loathing for what he put his family through, he is afraid to get involved with anyone. Until Troy can accept that he did not deliberately look to hurt his wife and daughter and find a way to fix things, he will never be able to fully open up to another person. Liam knows this, but can he help Troy find the happiness he has denied himself for so long?
This was the third book in the series and each book gets better. There are also surprises and betrayals. The series has to be read in order since the characters reoccur in each book, and you would be missing a lot if you didn’t. I look forward to the next book in the series, A Foreign Range.