“Soul connections are not often found and are worth every bit of fight left in you to keep.” – Shannon L. Adler
Author: Kate Sherwood
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 200 Pages
Rating: 4 Stars
**This Review Contains Minor Spoilers**
Blurb: Joe Sutton and Scott Mackenzie have ridden off into the sunset, but they wake to the cruel light of reality. Joe loves his family, even with the addition of three neighbors orphaned by a house fire. He loves the land that has supported them for generations. While there’s plenty of room left in his heart for Mackenzie, Joe must make room for him in his life.
Tired of taking and determined not to depend on another sugar daddy, Mackenzie returns to modeling in the city, but the wild clubs he once loved aren’t home anymore. Yet things aren’t right back at the ranch either. Joe is no longer the man he knew. Before the love of his life reaches his breaking point, Mackenzie must convince Joe he’s not lazy if he takes a break and not weak if he needs a little help. Finding the balance between give and take might leave them time for happily ever after.
Review: In this sequel to The Fall, we see the life Joe and Mackenzie started together continue to grow and change. I really liked both Joe and Mackenzie in The Fall, and still do. I was disappointed this time around by Joe’s defeatist attitude. I was able to get past it and really enjoy the book only because I was invested in the characters. That’s one of the best arguments for reading this series in order. I found myself sometimes tearing up when Joe was at his lowest and sometimes wanting to smack him for playing the role of martyr so devotedly.
Joe is still living on the family ranch, taking care of everyone and everything on his own. His refusal to ask for help is maddening. There are new additions to the family now, and others have moved on with their lives. Mackenzie does some modeling in Toronto, taking him away from Joe and the family they are building, for days or weeks at a time. While they both miss each other terribly when they are apart, Joe finds it impossible to believe Mackenzie really misses him and wants to come back to the country.
Mackenzie and Joe met when Mackenzie hired Joe’s twin brother Will to help with renovations on an old church in order to turn it into a destination venue for gay weddings. They began a fish-out-of-water romance and are good together when they both let themselves accept their feelings, for and from the other. Work on the church continues slowly, so I believe we will see another book in this series in which we see the completed church hosting its first event. Perhaps the marriage of our two main characters? I am hopeless. I watched 83 episodes of the American version of Queer as Folk, just waiting for three little words and a wedding. So you know I’m not giving up hope on Joe & Mackenzie getting married in that church where it all began for them!
Overall, this was a really enjoyable book. If you are able to overlook Joe’s martyr complex and accept the fact that he appears to be so brave and strong but is really the most insecure person in the book, you’ll enjoy it too. Mackenzie grabbed the bull by the horns and proved that it takes a village to convince Joe that their love is worth fighting for.
The end was so sweet and romantic that it was worth all that Joe put me through to get there!