Author: Eli Easton
Publisher: DreamSpinner Press
Genre: m/m contemporary
Narrator: Rusty Topsfield
His future was set until a thief stole his heart.
All of Clyde’s Corner, Montana, knows local dandy Chris Ramsey will marry Trix Stubben, young widow and heir to the richest ranch in the area. But one woman isn’t too keen on the idea. Mabe Crassen wants to get her hands on that ranch, so she sets her older son to court Trix, and her younger son, Jeremy, to distract Chris and lure him astray.
Jeremy Crassen thinks his mother’s scheme is crazy. But he wants desperately to go off to college, which Mabe will agree to—if he seduces Chris. How will shy, virginal, secretly gay Jeremy attract Chris, who seems determined to do the right thing and marry Trix? Jeremy can’t compete with a rich female widow. Or can he?
This wasn’t as cheesy as I thought it was going to be from the blurb and the cover. Mabe Crassen isn’t actually as nefarious as she sounds, which was a relief. Really, she was more like a tiny little hick match-making fairy godmother, and I liked that just fine.
One of my favorite things about this story, is that it wasn’t just Jeremy and Chris’s. There’s a secondary love story going on as well that I was just as invested in, and it was nice to see their POV’s as well. Fear not though ‘o faithful MM readers, there be no lady parts in this here book! We even get a couple scenes from Mabe when it was appropriate, and I liked getting her perspective as well to understand the boys and their situation a bit better.
The entire set-up in the blurb about trying to woo Chris and Trixie so that they can get the ranch, isn’t even really a big issue. It’s very clear pretty early on to everyone that there are real feelings involved, and no one keeps up the pretense for long.
I really enjoyed all the characters in this book, although of course Jeremy was my favorite. It was a little too easy how the shy boy took his mothers advice to ‘play one of his characters’ and act bold, but since I enjoyed seeing it so much I’m not gonna look a gift horse in the mouth.
The narration was good and I liked hearing the Montana twang that I probably wouldn’t have thought to add in my head if reading instead of listening.
One random thing that annoyed me is that this felt like book 2 in a series due to the role Ben and Joshua played and references to their story. They weren’t MC’s by any means but they were in several scenes and a lot of details about their past was divulged. I actually had to delve into Ms. Easton’s previous books to find A Prairie Dog’s Love Song and figure out what the heck I missed! So I do think these should be listed as a series, but you absolutely can read this as standalone since Ben and Joshua’s story is unrelated.
It’s light and pretty drama free despite the elaborate sounding blurb, Eli Easton’s writing is always good. This wasn’t an all-time favorite of hers because she has so many that have a bit more depth to them. But it was a good ride and I definitely stayed up until1:30 am listening when I needed to work the next day! So that’s always a sign of a good read.