To architecture student Ian Carney, family means everything. Taken in by his brother, Jim, when his father threw him out at 18 for being gay, Ian yearns to create his own family with his boyfriend, Rico. But Rico's in Mexico caring for a sick father, Ian hasn't had sex in a month and a half, and his gorgeous boss, Braden Lord, CEO of the architectural firm Ian interns for, is looking better and better.
Braden's life is chaos. Just out of the closet and going through an ugly divorce from his wife of 15 years who's trying to take custody of his two children, he desperately resolves not to succumb to a completely inappropriate attraction to Ian - even though his kids adore both the man and his crazy cat.
When Rico proves to be a snake in the grass and Ian exercises his powers of seduction, what starts as a friends with benefits fling turns into real life real fast. Can Ian give up his romantic dreams for an old guy who didn't come out until he carried a mountain of baggage?
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Tara Lain and K.C. Kelly are amazing!
Tara Lain has always been one of my favorite authors. I completely adore book one, Knight of Ocean Avenue, in her Love in Laguna series and have been a follower of the collection since my first taste. So, I was extremely excited to hear Ian was getting his own story in this fourth installment, Lord of a Thousand Steps.
I’m also pretty vocal in my appreciation for K.C. Kelly’s fine voice and truly amazing narrations. He has done a brilliant job with the entire Love in Laguna series and his narrative of Lord of a Thousand Steps does not disappoint.
There are so many things to love about this story, but I do think it’s important to have read the previous books in the collection first as characters such as Jim and Ken feature quite prominently in this installment. Plus we get glimpses of Billy and Shaz (my personal favorite couple of the series) and even Ru and Grey.
Young Ian Carney is in love with his boyfriend of three years. He’s living with his brother Jim, and his fiance Ken, with his lovable sidekick cat aptly named Anderson, after Anderson Cooper (because of his white fur).
In his last year of architecture school, he has the dream internship of the century with the prestigious Lord and Kendrick architecture firm. One of the firm’s clients has taken a personal interest in him, due to his talent in design, and this puts Ian in close contact with his boss, Braden Lord.
Braden’s personal life is a mess. He’s in the process of a messy divorce with a wife who is trying to do everything in her power to take their two kids away from him. On top of this he’s finally taking the steps to be an out man and is venturing into the “dating pool”. He’s also taken an interest in Ian and can’t seem to take his eyes off the young man.
A chance encounter at the beach between Ian, Braden and his kids sparks an instant familiarity between the two men. Braden’s young son Jo-Jo especially takes to Ian. And young Mirelle is completely fascinated that Anderson - a cat - is at the beach.
Braden suddenly realizes that he’s attracted to Ian but the eight year age difference is daunting. As well as the fact that he’s Ian’s boss.
Ian soon comes to realize that the boyfriend he thought he loved, and planned a future with, has been lying to him all along. Poor Ian goes through some serious heartache in this story. I felt so bad for him but in the same respect it was really nice to see him grow from the young boy he was in book two to a mature young man dealing with heartache - and life. The support he has from Jim and Ken is tremendous and K.C. Kelly truly shines in his performance, bringing Ian to life.
Tara Lain has such a great sense of humor in her writing and Kelly does an amazing job transferring this story to reality, delivering Ian and Braden’s interactions with warmth and emotion.
What I really love about this book is the chemistry between Ian and Braden, the progression of their relationship and how they evolve as friends to lovers. Ian meshes so well with Braden’s children and the story is told with humor and a pacing which just flows really well. The men do encounter some rough patches but the angst is pretty low and issues are resolved pretty quickly.
Lord of a Thousand Steps really is a fun and sweet story with lots of sexy and romantic times; and as usual K.C. Kelly truly shines with his narration!