Reviewed by Vicki & Amber
AUTHOR: Amy Lane
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 280 pages
RELEASE DATE: March 24th, 2017
Ten years ago Sheriff’s Deputy Aaron George lost his wife and moved to Colton, hoping growing up in a small town would be better for his children. He’s gotten to know his community, including Mr. Larkin, the bouncy, funny science teacher. But when Larx is dragged unwillingly into administration, he stops coaching the track team and starts running alone. Aaron—who thought life began and ended with his kids—is distracted by a glistening chest and a principal running on a dangerous road.
Larx has been living for his kids too—and for his students at Colton High. He’s not ready to be charmed by Aaron, but when they start running together, he comes to appreciate the deputy’s steadiness, humor, and complete understanding of Larx’s priorities. Children first, job second, his own interests a sad last.
It only takes one kiss for two men approaching fifty to start acting like teenagers in love, even amid all the responsibilities they shoulder. Then an act of violence puts their burgeoning relationship on hold. The adult responsibilities they’ve embraced are now instrumental in keeping their town from exploding. When things come to a head, they realize their newly forged family might be what keeps the world from spinning out of control.
Wow… Another winner from Amy Lane!
As we know, Amy Lane writes all sorts of different types of books. Sweet and fluffy, dark and angsty, paranormal, contemporary, urban fantasy, even the occasional suspense story. I’ve read them all, and loved them all. So yah, no surprise that I loved this one. But let me tell you why!
This book has older dudes in it! I KNOW! What a concept. They aren’t young and hot. They are nearing 50, well settled into their lives, mature and experienced. Larx is divorced, raising his two daughters (one at home, one in college), and has recently become the principal at a high school in a small California town. Aaron is a widower, raising his son (at home) and two daughters (both in college), and is a Sheriff’s Deputy located in the same small town. Both are bi, but only Larx has acted on his attraction to men, although not for some time. Neither have been dating, only the occasional one night stand, both focusing on raising their kids, and making a life in Colton. Both have moved to Colton as single fathers, hoping a fresh start will do them some good. They have plenty in common, and know each other, but aren’t particularly friends. This all changes in one week. It starts with Aaron noticing Larx running without a shirt on, and a spark of attraction occurs. The two begin running together in the morning, they work together at a football game, a blow job happens, and bam! We have lift-off!
This book has a great plot underneath the romance. The small town of Colton is hovering on the edge of acceptance and inclusion, and rejection and exclusion. The kids at the school are fairly open, accepting those of different sexual orientations among them, but the parents are another issue. This is reflected in the hate that is shown after an incident occurs at a school event, and the school board meets to deal with it. There is also a mystery going on. Well two really, the incident at the school event needs to be investigated, and Aaron finds a dead body floating in the lake. There is a little glimpse of racism, partly among the kids in the school, but really it’s the result of some bad parenting. We see clearly where it is coming from. We see some bullying at the school, again, we see where it comes from, also the home. The lesson learned is don’t teach your kids hate! I loved that we see the bad and the good in this story, also realistic of life…
I loved the characters in this one so much. I loved that Larx and Aaron are older, that is not so common in this genre. They have grey hairs, and are concerned about how they look in the light. The sex between them seemed realistic for men of a certain age… I love that they are such dedicated family men, and that they have to sneak time together. I love that their kids are not all accepting of their relationship, that also seems realistic, as much as you’d want it to be perfect, it’s not going to be. I loved their kids, I’m not always fond of kids in my romance stories, but this group works very well. They help move the story forward, but don’t interfere with the developing relationship between the two main characters. Parts of the plot deeply involve the kids, and that worked very well for me. I loved the mixed bag of nuts we get with the teachers and staff at the high school Larx works at. I loved the realistic look at a Sheriff’s Deputy in a small town. This is a perfect example of how the life of a cop in a small town works, how the family deals with it, and how the partner of the cop deals with it. Knowing that any day could be the end, but trying not to dwell on that fear. I loved that Aaron is such a good man, and others see that so clearly.
Amber and I had a discussion before reading this book, about how we’d come up with something new to say about Amy Lane, since both of us are die-hard fans. My suggestion was to just repeat “She’s awesome, and I love her!” over and over again… I have to say that really is what I want to say! I dearly love Amy’s writing, her characters, her stories, her creativity, the emotions she evokes, just everything! I love that she isn’t stuck in a specific genre, there are so many options for people to read and love her stories. I can’t say it enough, “SHE’S AWESOME, AND I LOVE HER!”
I loved it, you should read it and you’ll love it too!
Whenever I hear about Amy Lane having a new book coming out a few things always happen…first the fangirl in me squeeeels with delight then I immediately get all grabby hands and I need it immediately. I am so unbelievably appreciative of Amy Lane for writing this story. Not only are the main characters, Larx and Aaron strong, caring, protective, supportive single fathers and productive members of their town, together; they are a passionate force to be reckoned with.
Larx and Aaron have a lot in common. Both are single fathers, in their late-40’s, use to small town life, awesome kids, and bisexuality. They’ve known each other for years with an attraction simmering in the back of both their minds.
When things heat up between the two it is full steam ahead on every level. Larx and Aaron just connect and the emotional connection flares to life.
While they grow as a couple their small town is in turmoil. There will always be hatred and bigotry in the world but men like Aaron and Larx fight it every step of the way.
Amy Lane makes this story even more intriguing with a murder mystery and hate crime subplots. Not to mention homophobic and racist situations. But throughout all of it there is Larx and Aaron, protecting their loved ones, growing together as a couple, and making their world better because of it.
Amy Lane has also made a story with a strong, intriguing side characters that I absolutely want to know more about. That’s one of the many things I love about this author. She can create these characters with strong personalities that do not take anything away from the main characters.
I can’t really say much more. It’s a FANTASTIC story. It did start out a bit slow but once it picks up you won’t want to put this book down.
ADORED this story and LOVE this author…definitely recommend.