Series: Stories from the Range 04
Author: Andrew Grey
Genre: Contemporary, Western
Length: Novel (200pgs)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (15th June 2012)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts
Blurb: Country singer Willie Meadows is a fake. He’s never ridden a horse, and his “Western” gear comes from a boutique shop in LA. No wonder Wilson Edwards, the real man in those fake boots, is suffering creative block. Determined to connect with the music, Wilson buys a ranch in Wyoming to learn the country way of life, even if he has no intention of running the business. Then Steve Peterson shows up desperate, destitute, and hungry, having just escaped a gay deprogramming hospital run by his father’s cult.
Steve was supposed to train horses for the ranch’s former owner, but the job is gone along with his would-be employer. Luckily Wilson has a temporary solution: Steve can ranch-sit while Wilson does business in LA. But when he comes back, Wilson barely recognizes the place. There are trained horses in the paddock, and the ranch is in great shape. Suddenly he finds himself inspired not by the cowboy lifestyle but by Steve himself.
But the cult is still after Steve, and Wilson’s fear of scandal means he’s still in the closet. Coming out could kill Willie’s career—but denying his feelings for Steve could kill the only part of him that’s real.
Review: Wilson needs a break. He needs to find the real him and what he truly wants. But, he can’t do that in L.A. because he feels a fake, so he buys a ranch in Wyoming. Steve is in a desperate situation, he has turned up at a ranch for a job only to find the ranch has been sold, and the new owner doesn’t know what they are going to do with it. But, lucky for him, Wilson is a kind hearted man and takes him on as a caretaker. They become close, but Wilson is a star and Steve is hiding from his past. Can these two men sort through their problems before it is too late?
This is a wonderful written novel from Andrew Grey that has made me want to re-read all the series again. Wilson is fed up in L.A. he is sick of the parties and the hangers-on and he is also getting fed up with his best friend and manager, Howard. He just needs to be somewhere that will give him inspiration for his song writing and if he happens to find something more from his surroundings, then that’s his business. Steve is looking for some security. Somewhere he can work and feel safe, but that falls through and now he is desperate and he falls hard for his rescuer. But, they both have to face their own demons, Steve, his father and Wilson, his coming out.
Wilson and Steve are great characters. Wilson is fighting to find his music again, but finds so much more. And Steve is fighting to keep his freedom and who he is and when they come together they find what they really need in each other. Neither is perfect and they both struggle with their choices, especially Wilson, as he thinks he has so much to lose, but he has started to break the chains that have held him for so long. There is some angst, some danger and a lot of love. A romance of breaking through boundaries, even when they are your own, and grabbing love when it is shown to you and not letting it slip through your fingers, because it might be a difficult choice. But, also facing up to the past and facing demons and accepting that sometimes you do need help.
So, I will recommend this to those who love cowboys, hot men, soul-searching, accepting the truth, a touch of angst, a slight touch of danger, a visit from previous characters and a happy ever after.