Author: Amy Lane
Release Date: 3/24/2017
Genre(s): M/M Bisexual, M/M Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 280
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
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.
This is a mature romance chock full of heart, romance and grit. Aaron and Larx are both single dads raising their kids in a small town. We’ve all heard the saying: “small towns, small minds” and unfortunately it comes to light in all its ugliness here. This book doesn’t focus on the romance per se, it delves deeply into relationships and how we interact, respect and judge our fellow human beings.
The bigotry & homophobia is stark and palpable in this story. It first rears its head on the high school football field and then again at the school spearheaded by a spoiled little rich girl I sorely wanted to strangle the minute her antics appeared on page. If ever you needed proof that kids are cruel. This is it. A lot of things take place that made me want to knock a few people’s heads together several times but as usual no spoilers ( it’s worth the read). Amy Lane uses the life experience of our MC’s and their children, the town and the high school to expertly highlight how hate destroys and what the consequences are when we allow hate to dictate our actions.
This story has a lot heavy in it but it isn’t overly done or overly angsty. I was looking for a mature romance but got a story that focused on multiple things. All were written well and expertly interwoven but I didn’t want the romance to “take a back seat” so to speak. I will say though that considering everything the blurb mentioned this story would cover I should have expected it. You can’t write about such heavy subplots and not flesh them out. You have to set them up for maximum impact and Lane did not miss her mark.
This story is long and reads pretty much true to life to some degree which made me feel certain things on a visceral level (especially considering today’s political climes). I’m happy I read this book and I am so looking forward to more from Larx, Aaron and the other complex characters featured.