Author: Andrew Grey
Narrator: Jeff Gelder
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Story Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Narration Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Overall Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Release Date: 03/15/2013
Length: 05 hours 30 minutes
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Western
Stories from the Range: Book Four
Country singer Willie Meadows is a fake. He’s never ridden a horse, and his “Western” gear comes from a boutique shop in LA. No wonder Wilson Edwards, the real man in those fake boots, is suffering creative block. Determined to connect with the music, Wilson buys a ranch in Wyoming to learn the country way of life, even if he has no intention of running the business. Then Steve Peterson shows up desperate, destitute, and hungry, having just escaped a gay deprogramming hospital run by his father’s cult.
Steve was supposed to train horses for the ranch’s former owner, but the job is gone along with his would-be employer. Luckily Wilson has a temporary solution: Steve can ranch-sit while Wilson does business in LA. But when he comes back, Wilson barely recognizes the place. There are trained horses in the paddock, and the ranch is in great shape. Suddenly he finds himself inspired not by the cowboy lifestyle but by Steve himself.
But the cult is still after Steve, and Wilson’s fear of scandal means he’s still in the closet. Coming out could kill Willie’s career—but denying his feelings for Steve could kill the only part of him that’s real.
Book 4 in the range series has taken a different track than the previous three. This one included ranch life, but the focus was not on ranching and the previously established cast of characters. It was instead focused on the romance developing and what it means to be gay in the spotlight. The focus was more on coming out than on a romance unfolding in a sedate ranching community.
Wilson was a popular western singer who has never lived the life he was singing about. He was out of ideas and life in the spotlight has finally gotten to be too much. He bought this ranch sight unseen as a place to escape and regroup. At the ranch he met Steve, a younger man who was supposed to work for the previous ranch owner. Steve was down on his luck due to some mysterious circumstances and eventually Wilson hired him to help re-establish the ranch.
This story was about taking control of your life no matter what others think. It was well done. Wilson took control of his life back from the media and was happier and more productive for it. Steve took back his life from his crazy cult-leader father and was happier for it. It was a good message and I enjoyed the way this story unfolded.
The romance in this one was also a bit different. It was not as easy and tranquil as the previous three. It was slower as both Wilson and Steve are new to relationships and Steve is new to being with a man. The became friends and then lovers and their relationship developed rather naturally. There was some angst here as Wilson had to balance his personal and professional lives and that often lead to a bit of hurt for Steve and some introspection for both men. But it made their relationship stronger and worth more in the end because they made the decision to be together no matter what. There were times I felt things went too quickly or jumped forward for sake of the story, but overall, I once again enjoyed this edition to the range series.
I would like to note that the one thing that really has stuck with me through all these stories so far is the ever present hopeful feeling. Even when things appear to be going rough or when the outside world intrudes, there is always a sense of happiness and knowing that it will all be OK in the end. These are good books for those people looking for the ideal and wanting a story with an assured HEA.
Jeff Gelder is a good narrator. He has done well with this series from the start and I enjoyed listening to him again in this story.
This review is based on a copy purchased by the reviewer independent of any review copies offered.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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