Title: Lord of a Thousand Steps
Author: Tara Lain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 220 Pages
At a Glance: Another wonderful story from this author that had me rooting for Ian and Braden from their first flirtation.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: To architecture student Ian Carney, family means everything. Taken in by his brother, Jim, when his father threw him out at eighteen for being gay, Ian yearns to create his own family with his boyfriend, Rico. But Rico’s in Mexico caring for a sick father, Ian hasn’t had sex in a month and a half, and his gorgeous boss, Braden Lord, CEO of the architectural firm Ian interns for, is looking better and better.
Braden’s life is chaos. Just out of the closet and going through an ugly divorce from his wife of fifteen years who’s trying to take custody of his two children, he desperately resolves not to succumb to a completely inappropriate attraction to Ian—even though his kids adore both the man and his crazy cat.
When Rico proves to be a snake in the grass and Ian exercises his powers of seduction, what starts as a “friends with benefits” fling turns into real life real fast. Can Ian give up his romantic dreams for an “old guy” who didn’t come out until he carried a mountain of baggage? It’ll only take a thousand steps.
Review: Ian is Jim Carney’s younger brother. You may recall Jim from The Knight of Ocean Avenue and, more recently, from when Jim finds his true love Ken Tenaka in The Knave of Broken Hearts, books one and two in this series. The good news is that Lord of a Thousand Steps really does stand alone and can be read without reading the previous installments; although, I highly recommend them.
Ian and his priceless character of a cat, Anderson, live with Jim and his fiancé, Ken. Ian’s still in college, studying architecture and interning at a prestigious firm. His boyfriend, Rico, has returned to Mexico because his father is ill, and Ian is missing him like crazy. When he attends a work event and sort of flirts with the incredibly gorgeous Braden Lord, one of the firm’s partners, he decides that he needs to find out what’s going on with Rico and get some answers on when he’s coming back. Nothing satisfactory comes from that front, however. It seems like Rico is evasive and stressed.
When Ian takes his cat to the beach, he catches the attention of a small girl, who turns out to be Braden Lord’s daughter, Mireille. Braden has his kids for the weekend—Mireille and his teenage son, Jo-Jo. Mireille is entranced by Ian’s pure white cat, who appears to have no problems with a small child pouring sand all over him.
Jo-Jo and Mireille both seem to like Ian, and Mireille adores Anderson. They invite Ian to breakfast, and he gets along great with the kids. This is all a good thing because Braden is going through a particularly messy divorce, having come out to his wife after fifteen years, and she is being particularly vindictive trying to use the kids against him to get a ridiculous settlement. In a pinch, Ian ends up babysitting for Braden when he goes out on his first date with a man. Braden isn’t necessarily ready for anything, but he feels like he needs to get some practice, and Ian is very encouraging.
Meanwhile, Ian is still getting no satisfaction from Rico, with fewer and farther between calls/texts. He tries not to be too down, but he’s watching Ken and Jim prepare for their wedding, and he just wants his own happy ending and his own family. He feels like a third wheel, even though he definitely isn’t.
After a second rather disastrous date and Ian’s discovery that Rico is a two-timing jerk, Braden and Ian embark on a sort of friends-with-benefits relationship. While Ian seems to have no problem with it, Ken and Jim—and, eventually, Braden—decide it’s not a good idea and that Ian is being taken advantage of. This throws Ian for a loop yet again. He’s already reeling from the Rico betrayal, and now he isn’t even good enough to be a friend? He’s devastated, and then Braden feels awful as well. Luckily there are lots of meddlers to help out, and a rather serendipitous business trip that requires Ian to step in and save the day.
Oooooh, every time one of the books in this series comes out, I just want to devour it. This was no exception. I loved Ian and Braden, from their first flirtation, and while they have a lot of obstacles to overcome, it was so enjoyable seeing them work for their HEA. I loved the kids and Anderson, the cat. I hope that he makes an appearance in other books in this series because he is spectacular. It was great to see Ken and Jim together and completely happy, and to get a glimpse of Shaz and Billy too. I can’t wait to see if there will be more books in this series. I for one will be waiting anxiously.
You can buy Lord of a Thousand Steps here: