Not all cowboys ride horses.
Jeremy Craig is on the cusp of being named the deputy prime minister of Australia. Which means he’s got to play his cards right and stay deep in the closet. Australia is a lot of things, but there’s no way the country is ready for a gay prime minister. So far, it’s been an easy ruse to maintain. Until he meets Ryan Taylor. Then all bets are off.
Ryan is sick of the Brokeback Mountain jokes. For starters, he’s an Australian stockman, not an American cowboy. For another, he spends most of his working days alone in a helicopter, not on the back of a horse. As Wallaby Ridge’s only contract heli-musterer, he gets to escape any small-town scorn high in the sky. He’s happy up there. Lonely, but happy. Who needs passion and wild sexual pleasure in their life when they have the boundless skies of the Outback, right?
Then Jeremy Craig climbs into his chopper…
Warning: This book may change your opinion of politicians. It also contains scorching, no-holds-barred passion between two alpha men, one with a Ryan Gosling fetish and the other with a secret deeper than the ocean. Yes, it’s that complicated.
Source: ARC from Samhain Publishing via NetGalley
I’ve been looking forward to this one ever since I read the second book in the series (Burn For You). After all, it’s not every hot romance series that can go from standard M/F couples to a M/M one. Besides, I liked heli-musterer Ryan and appreciated his guts for being out and proud. Add in a buttoned up politician and I was ready for fun.
Which I mostly got. This is fun, with plenty of lustful looks and thoughts, and is light and quick to read. That’s where it fell a bit flat for me. The idea of a closeted politician, who has built up his career on the lie of him being a ladies man, suddenly falling for a rugged outback guy who he can barely keep his hands off, all while his career is about to take off big time… yeah, all that complicated emotional juggling needs a lot more than a novella to explore in the detail it requires.
Especially when there’s a fairly steady build-up to Ryan and Jeremy actually getting together, although it was somehow done without ever actually developing the relationship between them (what do they have in common? Other than mutual drooling). Their lust is instant, but thanks to other people being around and Ryan’s own reluctance to get involved, there are quite a few chapters before things get down and dirty. And as hot as the sex was, I found it a little far-fetched considering Jeremy hasn’t slept with a man since he was nineteen…
So this one didn’t work as well for me as I’d hoped. Add in that ridiculously swift about-face ending and lack of real resolution and it became an okay and forgettable read that could have been so much more.
If you’re looking for something light and easy, with a couple of hot guys getting it on in the outback and like lots of lustful thoughts and not a lot of actual development, then this will work perfectly. If you’re looking for a deeper exploration of hidden sexuality in public figures and the strain of keeping such a love secret, you won’t get it here.
Bare For You is out July 21st!
Visit Lexxie Couper for more details.