Author: Amy Lane
Narrator: Nick J. Russo
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Run Time: 9 hours and 34 minutes
At a Glance: A wonderful palate-cleanser of a romance with immediately likeable characters.
Reviewed By: Cassie
Blurb: 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 50 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.
Review: I LOVED this story. It felt so refreshing, beginning to end. Aaron and Larx are older than the typical romance characters, they’re established in their lives and families, they know who they are and what they want, and they’re experienced enough to know how to get it. And it was FANTASTIC to read about two men who are comfortable with themselves and their sexuality. Go add this one to your library now, if you haven’t already.
The struggles in this story all come from outside the growing relationship—another perk of older MCs. They’ve got problems, because LIFE, but they’re navigating them with considerable aplomb. Aaron’s and Larx’s lives are immediately enhanced by the other’s presence, and watching them begin to intertwine their lives is extremely satisfying.
Now, there is a bit of action, a hint of a mystery. Based on the blurb, I went in fully expecting one type of arc from the action part of the plot. I was not excited about it, but I was braced for it. I was thrilled to be wrong. I’m not going to share what I thought was going to happen, because I don’t want to give even a hint of a spoiler, but I was pleasantly surprised by the way the plot unfolded. It was just another way I found this book to be new and refreshing.
As always, Nick J. Russo is an extremely capable narrator. He emotes well and handles character differentiation with considerable skill. I’m always happy to see his name on an audiobook I’ve been waiting for because I know I can trust him to handle a beloved story well. He does his usual skillful job here, and I couldn’t be happier with the way he handled the book.
You can buy Bonfires here: