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OMG, I loved this book so, so much. This story is about two older men. Larx is the high school principal. Aaron is the deputy sheriff. Their romance begins when Aaron stops to warn Larx about running on a road with no shoulder. It would be a shame if Larx and his very distracting bare torso became road-pancake. That ends up with them becoming running partners.
They also both have teenagers at the school and as a situation arises with a couple of the football players, they become partners in trying to make the school safe for all the kids.
Seriously, I loved this book so much. Larx works with high schoolers everyday and they love him. He's a great guy who truly cares about his students and they know that about him.
At issue though, for both men, is that their small town isn't all that progressive. If they come out their jobs could be in jeopardy. The entire story worked brilliantly for me. I loved the various teenagers...from the two heroes three kids to the football players, especially the one who was floundering with his family. My heart broke for him.
The book was brilliant. The audio was amazing. I think this will probably be one of those books that I'll listen to again. I do know I need to order it in print, too, because I definitely want it on my keeper shelf.
I loved this book and HIGHLY recommend it!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
I used to wish there were more books about middle-aged people falling in love, but then Amy Lane wrote Bonfires and this one is so good I’m not sure the trope can be duplicated or improved upon.
Aaron is a deputy sheriff, possibly someday the town’s sheriff, if things go to plan. He was married and the father of two daughters and one son. His wife died 10 years ago and Aaron begins exploring his bisexuality when Larx comes into his life. He’s known Larx for a long time but not this way. Aaron has focused on raising his children and doing his job, after moving to a small town where he feels they will grow up safer.
Larx, whose real first name is a secret for most of the book, for good reason, was also married and the father of two daughters. He and his wife divorced, and she plays almost no role in his life or in this book. He is the reluctant but excellent principal of the small town high school. He is also bisexual, and, like Aaron, is approaching 50. When Aaron and Larx’s lives intersect a lot is going on, including love, children, a murder, two boys kissing publically at the annual bonfire, homophobic town people, and a stabbing. It’s a lot to deal with, but Larx is so good at handling everything he’s almost too perfect. But then, that’s what the town and his family needs – a good man.
Larx and Aaron are not out to everyone initially but we get there eventually, and that’s another good thing. The teenagers in the story, including Larx’s, Aaron’s, and the student body at Larx’s school, are exemplary kids. A girl whose mother is a piece of work is caught up in a terrible tragedy that is never completely resolved, but a catastrophe this child goes through could not be resolved quickly or at all.
I enjoyed listening to this story on audiobook as well as reading along in ebook format. That’s my favorite way to enjoy books, two media at once. The narrator, Nick J. Russo, has also been the audiobook reader for several other MM romances I’ve enjoyed, so I was sure this was going to be a perfect reading. And it was. Sorting different voices for the men as well as realistically covering the female voices is a talent that Mr. Russo handles extremely well.
Highly recommended in any format you may choose to enjoy.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
This is a tale of two men with teenage children who find love in their late-forties, of finding the courage to come out to the local community, and the impact that responsible and also homophobic adults can have on children’s lives. It’s a story of second chances for love, families, and individuals. It’s Amy Lane, so of course it is well-written, with superbly presented characters and situations. The dramatic climax was an especially intense scene and kept me riveted.
Larx and Aaron’s relationship is the main focus of the story and their romance made a refreshing change because they’re older guys; one is bisexual and in his first relationship with a man. It’s sort of insta-love although they’ve known each other for a few years, but they've suddenly hit it off. Their love-making scenes are particularly hot. I especially liked the roles the teenage children, the sheriff, and the vice-principal played in the story, and how they saw right through what was going on with Larks and Aaron, giving them undivided support and encouragement.
Isaiah and Kellan’s story was sweet and heartbreaking. It sort of fizzled out, so I’m hoping for a sequel to let us know what happens to them.
So, there's lots of positives here, and yet the story didn’t completely bowl me over and make me want to listen again. There seemed to be too much drama and conflict hitting the ‘good guys’ and my attention drifted during some of the dialogue.
The narration by Nick J Russo was superb as always. He has the knack of drawing the listener into a story and sets the tone for every scene perfectly.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This was Amy Lane back to her brilliant best. The last few years have seen some stories published by her, which to be frank, have outraged certain sections of the LGBTQ community. As an avid reader of all things Amy Lane, but an ally of that community, I was upset on their behalf too, and having read those stories myself, could understand why they were upset; however, I was persuaded that things have changed for the better, and I can definitely confirm that with this story.
Nick's narration of the story was perfect, and an absolute joy to listen to. His intonation, his characterisation, the happiness he seemed to radiate whilst reading told me that he too had immersed himself in the story and was really enjoying it. It was such a refreshing change to read about bisexual older characters and the immense but unfortunate hoops they had to go through, just to be together. Aaron and Larx (and their kids excluding Tiffany) were a delight to hear about, the characters from the town of Colton (especially Eamon the sheriff and the deputy principal of the school whose name escapes me at the mo) were thoroughly believable...in fact, you could practically tell who the pantomime villain was going to be (and wasn't she awful??) I just adored it, and would love more stories about Aaron and Larx, Kellan and Isaiah, and the rest of the town of Colton...read by Mr Russo of course!! 5 💜💜💜💜💜 from me.
Sexy AF but more then that:
This book makes you feel proud to be gay man. Or in my case a gay trans man. It encourages readers to feel like you do deserve a place in this world and that there are people fighting for you.
This book was romantic, uplifting and cozy.
I can't wait to explore more from this author.