Nic Starr lives in Australia where she tries to squeeze as much into her busy life as possible. Balancing the demands of a corporate career with raising a family and writing can be challenging but she wouldn’t give it up for the world.
Always a reader, the lure of m/m romance was strong and she devoured hundreds of wonderful m/m romance books before eventually realising she had some stories of her own that needed to be told!
When not writing or reading, she loves to spend time with her family–an understanding husband and two beautiful daughters–and is often found indulging in her love of cooking and planning her dream home in the country.
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Tanner Wallis is nearly at the end of his rope the night Mason Seidel finds him lying next to the mangled body of a cow on the back pastures of the Seidel family's Wyoming ranch. Recently out of the hospital after he and his boyfriend were brutally beaten, Tanner is jobless, homeless, and almost penniless. His desperate hope is that Mason will believe he’s innocent of the senseless crime and give him a place to heal, both physically and emotionally, until he can get on his feet again.
But Mason already has enough on his plate. He's only been back on the ranch a few months, ten years after his father kicked him out for being gay, and only because his sister begged him to come help after the man's disabling stroke. With all his responsibilities—running the struggling ranch and keeping his sister and father off his back—Mason can't really afford the distraction Tanner represents. But he can't just abandon the attractive young man either. There’s trouble in spades on the ranch, but if they face it together, Mason and Tanner might find a future with a little sunshine.
So what did I think?
I woke up this morning and searched my shelves for something to read and decided on this one because the cover really caught my eye - it has a sort of dreamy quality with two gorgeous men. It was hard to look past the sexy cowboy profile but it was the pensive expression on the other man that really drew me in. I was looking for a story that would bring together two troubled men and give them their happy ending and liked the idea of the cowboy setting.
The story had the right elements. Troubled Tanner, homeless and running from a violent beating is found by Mason and given shelter. Mason has his own issues, returning to his father's ranch ten years after being kicked out for being gay. His father's illness means he has little choice but to accept Mason's help in keeping the place going. Mason and Tanner are drawn to each other and finally give in to the attraction they feel to one another but their relationship needs to be kept hidden.
The story deals with Tanner's emotional healing and Mason's struggle to deal with his angry father and keep the ranch running. The secondary characters - the other ranch hands, neighbours, Mason's sister - provide some additional interest and there is some drama as someone is killing stock all over the county.
I really liked the writing style and the development of the characters. I particularly liked the story Mason related about why he wears his cowboy hat. It is so easy to imagine how different his life may have been if his mother had still been around. Instead he had to deal with a homophobic father and a life away from the ranch that he loved. Although Tanner has more obviously been hurt, Mason still bears emotional scars.
It was gorgeous to see Tanner's response to Mason "Sexy, gruff, cowboy -wet-dream Mason. Tall and lean, with dark eyes and hair under a fancy black felt cowboy hat. Every little gay farm boy's fantasy.." but also Mason acknowledging Tanner's beauty despite his scars.
So I liked the characters, I liked the story and the sex was pretty intense, but something was slightly missing. I think it was most likely the sense that I had read similar before.The story is not particularly unique which is why I am rating is slightly lower, but is still a very enjoyable book.
To find out more about Rowan McAllister and her books visit her Goodreads Author Profile.