A Volatile Range by Andrew Grey

VolatileRange[A]LGTitle: A Volatile Range

Series: Stories from the Range #6

Author: Andrew Grey

Genre: MM / Western

Length: Novel (200 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (February 4th, 2013)

Reviewer: Thommie

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3.5Hearts

Blurb: Since mustering out of the Marines, Gordon Fisher has been off the grid and out of money, so when a group of ecoterrorists promises him big bucks to set some mistreated animals free, Gordon agrees. Unfortunately, the animals are Wally Schumacher’s large cats, and one of them decides to take a chunk out of Gordon.

Still hurting from a breakup, Mario Laria finds Gordon and escorts him back to Dakota’s ranch at gunpoint, only to have his heartstrings tugged on when he discovers Gordon is living out of his truck.

With Dakota doctoring, Wally wanting Gordon gone for good, and Mario falling in love, Gordon hangs on for the ride. But what looms on his horizon threatens to tear apart what little hope he’s found. No one knows Gordon’s past keeps him up at night, and the military wants answers he just can’t give.

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3551

Review: This was quite an interesting read.

A Volatile Range is book 6 in the Stories from the Range series by Andrew Grey, yet it stands very well alone. You can get into the concept and follow it without the need to read the previous books. It follows the foreman of the Range, Mario and a new character, Gordon, with the plot being somehow full. What do I mean?

Gordon Fisher is an ex-Marine. He is a veteran of both Iraqi and Afghanistan war. The proud Marine he once were no longer exist as an ambush that took down his patrol and killed his two best friends has left him with serious post-traumatic stress. Not only has the loss of his best friends has him mourning, but there is tremendous guilt caused by the fact that he has no memory of the incident and which makes him think and believe that he must have done something wrong. Driven by his ugly feelings and shame, Gordon runs away from everything and everybody becoming vulnerable to the hands of fanatics. Some very passionate ecoterrorists approach him and convince him to infiltrate a range where the owners supposedly abuse their animals.  Money being scarce, he decides to take that job and tries to get them animals free. Little did he know of the change his life would take from that one mistake.

Mario Laria is in limbo. After his lover and the man he thought would spend his life with abandons him, Mario keep wallowing in the lost relationship, keeping his hopes up that David will see how they belong together and will in the end come back to him. Day in, day out he mechanically lives and works waiting. What comes though in the middle of the night is not his ex-lover, but an ex-Marine who tries and fails freeing the wild cats from their cages. The handsome man is found wounded from one of their tigers and although they have every right in them to charge him for trespassing the man’s puppy eyes tug in Mario’s soul. Not understanding precisely why Mario offers Gordon a place to work and sleep.

Now Gordon has to face with the addition guilt of nearly putting lives and animals in danger too. He owns up to what he did and vows to himself to make it right. In between facing his past’s demons and his present’s mistake Gordon has a new challenge too, love for the wonderful foreman. And Mario, while trying to move on from his pinning over what’s lost has to stand by Gordon’s side and help him through his demons while making him see that feelings are not a bad thing once you own up to them. But, things change on all sides when David, the ex-lover, shows up, the eco-terrorists keep infiltrating more and more and Gordon’s past finally comes rushing from the hidden chambers of his memory.

This story has many fronts to deal with. You get your perfect cowboy character, nice, charming and strong, with deep feelings and a manly attitude. And, you get the Marine character, silently strong, faithful and ready to jump through heaven and hell for what’s his. Always adorable and incredibly sexy, both Mario and Gordon are two characters that will charm you and make you love them. Each one’s stories are enticing and blend with the one they try to create for them both. However, I did find this quite a short book for so many stories. The rush of information, the quick pace they took to happen and the even faster pace it took to overcome some incidents was a bit too much and it didn’t help creating a bond between characters and reader.

Another fact that somehow displeased me was that every single soul in the Range was gay. Instantly it lost the realistic illusion for me and became a mere fantasy. As much fun as it was seeing all those pairs around and interacting with each other, it was way off reality and so the story lost that edge and became more of a tale.

Bottom end though I liked the story, it was fun and enticing. The pair’s lovemaking was sexy and the heat went up a lot when Gordon took over. Caveman, as Marion called him often, indeed. And as a treat for me was one of the last scenes where there was shooting and wounding and blood and bullets involved. That was the highlight of the story action-wise for me, with Gordon’s jealousy display coming right after.

So if love western stories, Cowboys and Marines, wild cats and noble causes you will love this book. Recommended.