@ElizaNSDLittle (FB @ElizaRaeServices), @debbiereadsbook, @jayhoganauthor
CASSIDY MARTIN is a country boy through and through. He loves his horses, his Lord of the Rings tourist business, and his isolated paradise at the foot of New Zealand’s Southern Alps. Not that everyone appreciates the seclusion he craves. Take his ex-wife for example.
The sexy-as-hell guy on his latest tour might be whip-smart and push all of Cass’s buttons, but he’s about as country as a pair of Louboutins, and Cass has been there and done that. Broken heart with the T-shirt.
STEFAN HAMILTON doesn’t do ‘outdoorsy’, he’s a city boy, born and bred. The closest Stef gets to the country is ‘Cowboy Night’ at his favourite Auckland gay bar even if the music makes Stef want to rip his hair out by the roots.
But Stef is also a hardcore Lord of the Rings fanboy. So, when he gets the chance to go on a horse trek to the iconic film locations in the Southern Alps, he sucks up his fear of the gigantic animals and his allergy to camping for the chance to let his nerd flag fly. But when his mate pulls out at the last minute, Stef is left to negotiate the horses, the wrath of mother nature, and an inconvenient crush on the cowboy leading the tour.
City meets country and the sparks fly.
5 out of 5 (exceptional)
Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
This is book 2 in the Southern Lights series, but you don't NEED to have read book 1, Powder & Pavlova, before this one. Ethan and Tanner DO pop up, but their story is not necessary for this one to make sense. However, personally, I recommend you DO read it, if only because that was a great read, and you know, I said so!
Stefan is a city boy, through and through, but his friend booked this trip, so he was gonna enjoy a trip up the mountain to see some Lord of The Rings scenery. Then his friend pulled out, and Stefan is faced with the trip on his own, he is here already, so why not? How hard can it be? Cass is the tour guide, and Stefan pushes all kinds of buttons he didn't know needed pushing. How can they keep their hands off each other, when the attraction is scorching hot?
Oh my days, I loved this book!
Loved the snark, the jokes, the witty comments that Stefan throws at Cass, knowing that he is using every single double entendre he can think of. Stefan KNOWS he wants Cass, but it's at a level he never had before. Cass is, though, a country boy and Stefan a city boy. However being in the country? It does something to Stefan, and it makes him think. Getting Cass off the mountain, when he was injured, was just what Stefan needed to show he wasn't just a pretty boy, he was someone who can get it done. Stefan just needs Cass to see that they would be great together.
Cass is mostly in the closet, and he does, bless him, TRY to fight his attraction to Stefan but it isn't long before he cannot any longer. I mean the whole book takes place over couple days, so it really isn't long but once they give in? OOOOEEEEEE these boys burn HOT!
While that hotness is great, what I particularly loved about this book was the soul-searching that both Stefan and Cass do. Both men are stuck in their lives, and they are *mostly* happy, but they know something is missing. Stefan is more profound in his musings, I must admit, and he does break your heart a couple of times, he really does. I was very impressed with his outward portrayal of being in control when Cass was sick, and how he managed to keep it together till Cass was safe. THEN he lost it.
Loved that Ethan and Tanner (book 1) pop up, even if it was near the end just to kick Stefan out his stupor, but they are referenced a lot by Stefan throughout the book, as it is THEIR relationship, while not jealous, he wants what they have.
Loved Stefan's t-shirt slogans and why he got them in the first place.
I love this series, I especially love the covers that reflect where the book takes place.
5 full and shiny stars
** same worded review will appear elsewhere **
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *
Jay is a New Zealand author writing in MM romance and romantic suspense primarily set in New Zealand. She loves writing character driven romances with lots of humour, a good dose of reality and a splash of angst. She's travelled extensively, lived in many countries, and in a past life she was a critical care nurse, nurse educator and counsellor. Jay is owned by a huge Maine Coon cat and a gorgeous Cocker Spaniel. She loves to cook-- pretty damn good, loves to sing --pretty damn average, and as for loving full-time writing--absolutely... depending on the word count, the deadline, how obliging her characters are, and how much coffee she's had.
2020 LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD FINALIST IN GAY ROMANCE for her novel 'DIGGING DEEP'