We read and review for the love and joy of books.
Review:When Audie Barrack heads to his little boy’s school to find out why he needs to report to the principal’s office, he’s shocked to find out that a little kindergarten girl named Randi has socked him in the eye, and it’s apparently not the first time his son Grainger has fought with her. But the greater shock is when he finds out that Randi’s father has recently died and her other daddy is blind. No wonder she’s acting out!
Dixon feels helpless and hopeless, especially when he can’t even see the man brought into the office with him. He’s been living in a world of hurt, staying with his mom and dad on their llama farm and can’t seem to find a way to get himself out of the doldrums. Their retirement dream was to have this farm and they’re thankful they have a place for Dixon and Randi to stay, but they are also very concerned that it’s been over a year and he can’t seem to do more than watch TV all day. They don’t realize just how lost and helpless he feels, and when they express concerns about his ability to raise Randi, he nearly loses his mind. They don’t realize that Randi is about all that’s keeping Dix together right now.
When he has a chance to help Randi make friends with his niece, Audie takes it and through this simple act, the beginning of a friendship between Audie and Dix is formed. Over time, both Audie and Grainger become involved with Dix’s family. Audie is a cattle rancher, and his love is training horses so when Randi expresses an interest in learning to ride he encourages Dix to let her. On the flip side, Grainger wants to learn to play guitar and once he hears Dixon picking at his guitar, a deal is made. Each man will help the child of the other. Over time, all four get closer and the kids not only stop fighting, they become fast friends.
The slow burn between Audie and Dixon is hot in and of itself, and I love the way the author handled it right from the start. There’s lots of kissing in this story and lots of romance, love, and affection. The love isn’t just between the men either—it’s also love for the family they begin to build together. When circumstances contrive to force them apart and to give in to the pressures of their mothers who state they only want the best for their boys and their grandchildren, Audie and Dixon firmly unite and find their way to their future together. I enjoyed most of the slow-building romance, the dynamic between the two MCs, the way the author handled Dixon getting over the death of his husband Ron, and the way the author built the new family unit with the children.
In fact, this is the kind of romance that leaves me feeling happy and with that warm and fuzzy feeling that I enjoy so much. Reading is supposed to make me feel good and this one certainly does that. I’d recommend it to lovers of M/M romance, and especially to those who enjoy hurt/comfort, disability/illness, and/or men with children stories.