Series: Cattle Valley 26
Author: Carol Lynne
Length: Novella (88pgs)
Publisher: Total E-Bound (20th February 2012)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3 ½Hearts
Blurb: Deacon McConnell spends his days as a Cattwood-carver and his nights as head of one of the most secretive government agencies in the United States. When he meets a man troubled by his time spent in the Middle East, Deacon feels drawn to the pain in the handsome man’s eyes. He makes the decision to help Aaron Ellis any way he can.
Dishonorably discharged from the Army, it takes everything Aaron has to get out of bed each morning. He’s become used to faking his way through life, putting on a happy face when the situation calls for it is a lot easier than dealing with his buried memories.
The day Aaron wanders into Deacon’s store for the first time, the last thing he expects is an immediate connection with the shop owner. For the first time since leaving the service, Aaron begins to believe there may be light at the end of the dark tunnel. The nights he spends in Deacon’s arms slowly begin to drive the shadows from his heart.
After years spent serving his country, Deacon yearns for a normal life. The move to Cattle Valley is the first step, opening up to Aaron the second. When duty calls Deacon out-of-town, he begins to wonder how much more he’ll be forced to give up for his country.
Review: Deacon owns a furniture store selling his own creations, but he is also the head of a secretive government agency. Asked by a friend to help Aaron deal with his problems, he decides that he will. But, when he meets the young man he is drawn to him in ways he thought were long dead. Adam was given a general discharge from the army, but the guilt he feels over the deaths of his comrades affects him greatly. When he meets Deacon, he feels safe and attracted to him, so he decides to see if Deacon returns his feelings.
This story is well written. Deacon has secrets that he doesn’t want getting out. Adam doesn’t want anyone to know the real reason that he left the army and Deacon has done an in-depth background check on Adam as a way to know everything, so that he can help him. These two men end up together and help each other in some small way, but Deacon has a confession to make to Adam and Adam finds it hard to accept that a man like Deacon would be interested in him.
Okay, I liked this story as it delves into the territory of survivors’ guilt and we get a good feel for both Aaron and Deacon. But, what we don’t get is a full understanding of what either of them went though. We get given hints, i.e. Deacon’s car was purposely driven off the road injuring him and killing his lover. We get told that it had to do with Deacon’s job, but that’s it… It’s mentioned that Adam has scars on his chest and that he was held at gunpoint for three days, but not much more. Seriously, it’s as though all the really good bits were cut out.
Deacon and Adam’s relationship does move fast, but the burning down of the store forced that and the sex between them is hot. Now, some of you might be put off, but there is a twenty-one year age gap. But, to be honest with you, the only time that I remembered that was when the author brought it up, which was a few times. But, neither character ever really worried about it and there was no angst or arguments about it so to me the age between them was negligible.
So, I will recommend this to those who love damaged heroes, May – December relationships, hot sex, a good story-line and a happy ever after.