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I like John Solo. As a narrator he usually does a good job bringing the characters to life, he doesn’t make the female characters sound stupid, and he generally draws me into the story. This time is no exception with his narration of the fourth book in Dreamspinner Press’ Dreamspun Desires Series.
Aubrey Klein moved home to help take care of the family ranch when his father’s health declines. His parents are getting older and aren’t able to take on the responsibility of the ranch by themselves anymore. Unfortunately, before they called him home they also managed to rack up an exorbitant amount of debt.
One night on a break in Dallas, closeted-at-home Aubrey stops by a gay strip club on Amateur Night and, after some liquid courage, dances away with the grand prize and a job offer for Saturday nights where he stands to make a minimum of $1000 each time he dances. Aubrey slaps on a mask and calls himself “The Lone Rancher” and does what he needs to in order to save the ranch.
After Aubrey’s been getting away with his dual life for months, he’s shocked when he sees his old friend from school, Garrett Lamston, who Aubrey didn’t even know was also gay. He sure doesn’t expect, while still in costume, to be approached by Garrett and barely gets away without giving away his identity.
Back at home Aubrey and Garrett begin spending time together again, rekindling their old friendship and kindling a new love affair. Aubrey’s life becomes more complicated as he tries to juggle his hush-hush relationship with Garrett, his parent’s expectations, the running of the ranch, and his secret identity.
The Dreamspun Desires stories are based on the old Harlequin romance formula of sweet, low angst, romances with a guaranteed HEA so I expect a certain amount of fluff. The premise of the story works if you squint your eyes and ignore logic (I mean, seriously, the parents don’t question the sudden influx of $25K or more? No one recognizes Aubrey with the little mask on?). All of which can be ignored for the enjoyment of the story. And I did enjoy the story and narration.
Three things did bother me though. Unfortunately, the story loses a bit of steam halfway through, the constant shame and guilt Aubrey feels for dancing (get over it, kid! It’s fun, you’re good at it, and it hurts NO ONE!) was grating, and the jumps that took away some of the time of getting to know Garrett and Aubrey as a couple were annoying.
In the end, though this is about romance and a happily-ever-after and the story definitely delivers on the fluff, love, and romance. It also manages to add some sexy times, which made me happy. So just make sure you have your rose colored glasses on and sit back and enjoy the narration. John Solo brings his A game and makes this a really enjoyable listening experience.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I did not ever understand the pain and anguish that the LGBT community endured until I began reading m/m books. I do know that my parents would have loved me regardless; it was something I never had reason to question. This story dealt with this issue in Texas. It seems the more "religious" a community is, the more likely it is that they will ostracize those who are different. The fight goes on to change that.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful