Author: SJD Peterson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: MM Contemporary
Narrator: Ronald Ray Strickland
Summary: Jimmy Brink and Eric Halter grew up together in a small country town. While Eric has always been content with life as a rancher, Jimmy wanted more and moved to Chicago early on to pursue a medical career.
Life has a way of coming back around. When Jimmy’s parents decide to retire in Florida, Jimmy returns to his hometown to finish his residency at a local hospital. Flamboyant boyfriend Oliver in tow, Jimmy bumps into his old friend. Eric quickly takes a disliking to Oliver, though, and for good reason. Oliver proves he’s not only self-centered but also a cheater.
To complicate matters, Eric finds it more and more difficult to hide his attraction to his best friend. When the opportunity arises, he needs to decide whether to risk their friendship to pursue his feelings… but maybe Jimmy will see there’s more for him now than ever before in his hometown.
Review: Without a doubt, this is the sexiest cover I’ve seen on any book—ever! I’m surprised it’s even allowed, it’s so hawt! IMHO, the only thing better than an inked, reclining cowboy (complete with hat tipped over his eyes), is that same cowboy with his hand on his package. [A side benefit to this cover is that it constantly shows on one’s phone while listening to the audiobook, and what better view could one ask for!]
That being said, sadly, the cover is one of the best parts of this audiobook. The second best is the narrator, Ronald Ray Strickland. Though at times, the southern drawl irritated me, it was actually perfect for these characters. And each voice was distinctive—a feat not easily achieved by many narrators, especially those using regional accents—I imagine it’s hard to focus on both changing the voice and maintaining the accent.
The story itself was okay, but not really what I’ve come to expect from this author. It wasn’t exciting; there wasn’t conflict between the two MCs; and there wasn’t a lot of angst over their attraction to one another, even though one was “straight.” It was a simple story of one friend finally making his way home and finally acknowledging his love for his best friend, a love that was, surprisingly, returned.
The cheating boyfriend was much more annoying than threatening or troublemaking for the new couple—though he did hang around long enough to be annoying to more than just Jimmy and Eric—he was annoying to me as a reader. And considering how much both Jimmy and Eric pined for each other, there wasn’t a lot of sexual tension or even overt flirting in this story. I also didn’t care for the fact that Eric was never more than “straight” in his mindset, even while admitting to loving Jimmy. I don’t know exactly what it was, but something was simply lacking, and I never really connected to them as a couple.