Author: Lisa M. Owens
Genre: Contemporary/Light BDSM/Kink
Length: Novel (244 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (October 26th, 2012)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts
Blurb: For Josh Brooks, it’s a summer of wishes come true. First he gets his dream horse from a rival trainer. Then his brother’s Army Ranger buddy, Dane Keller, comes to work on the ranch and Josh meets his dream lover too. Dane is hot, competent, and fresh out of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Everything would be perfect—except nobody knows Josh and Dane are gay.
All Dane wants is a quiet life in a less claustrophobic closet and a ranch job where he can earn a living. But when his best friend’s little brother, the one who wrote the letters that kept their spirits up in Afghanistan, turns out to have grown up in all the right ways, Dane can’t help wanting more despite his fear of commitment.
While Dane and Josh are busy trying—and failing—to keep their hands to themselves, someone else is watching, biding his time. Then he strikes, first at Josh and then at the prized horse. When all of their secrets and fears are exposed, Dane is determined to protect Josh, even if it means leaving him behind.
Review: Josh Brooks is the dedicated horse whisperer on the ranch he’s called home for over half his life. He and his brother, Jesse, live with their aunt and uncle, having lost their parents when they were children. He hides his sexuality from everyone except his best friend for fear of their reaction.
Dane is Jesse’s best friend. The guys met while in the military, serving in Afghanistan. Having separated himself from “don’t ask, don’t tell”, all Dane wants is to live his life a little more open than the military allowed. He travels to Montana, per invitation from Jesse, and begins working with the brothers on the ranch. The attraction between Dane and Josh is electric and downright explosive. Can two closeted gay men maintain a relationship when they can’t even be honest with their friends and family about who they are? Hell, they can’t even be honest with themselves! Their only saving grace might just be the fact that they can actually be honest with each other.
Someone is watching. Someone has targeted Josh and his precious horses. After Josh is outed very publically and painfully, he withdraws from everyone and everything. Except his horses. Owens has managed to blend several highly debated topics within an engrossing storyline and keep it in good taste. Homophobia, hatred, ignorance and PTSD coupled with love, compassion and family values. But after Josh is hurt not once, but twice, Dane leaves feeling like he’s failed and he can’t protect him. Can Josh convince the man he loves that he’s worth coming home to?
I will warn you, if you aren’t a fan of dominant/submissive relationships, this may not be the book for you. It is in no way, shape or form a bad thing in this storyline. Dane is the alpha male, the dominant in the relationship. Josh is submissive and he loves it. He wants Dane to take control and I assure you, he’s never forced into anything. I loved the way they found common ground and their relationship became stronger. The sex is HOT and these boys like variety. They don’t care if it’s the bed, the wall, the barn, the open range or the kitchen table! If you haven’t read this one yet, you really must!!