hope you checked out my interview with Sara York. It was so much fun to talk to her and she revealed some interesting things 😉 I have since read book 1 and book 2 (both only .99 cents on amazon right now) of her Colorado Wild series and wanted to share my thoughts with you guys *g*
The Facts: Colorado Wild was published September 27th, 2013 and Colorado Fire was published December 3rd, 2013 by Sara York
The Cover: The book has a beautiful cover, no doubt. But it seems to suggest a serene cowboy tale instead of the fast action and multiple-POV romance. Some kind of visible sign that all is not as peaceful as it seems would have been great! Something to visually hook those who might be interested for the spy/assassin aspect of the books.
The Title: I really do like the title. It places the story in a regional setting and suggests something “wild” happens there. Which is accurate in my opinion. The titles fit well for a series , as it is easy to realize they belong together and I found them catchy and memorable.
The Story: The story of these books is really fast-moving and exciting. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this set-up. Cowboy/ assassin-spy-ex-military – all interesting ingredients, but I wasn’t sure how they would fit together. When I finished book 1, I couldn’t stop for a review and had to read the next one immediately. For me the books have the same major pros and cons and so I thought reviewing both at once would be a good idea for this series 😉 So, how did all these aspects fit together, you may wonder?
Well, the story begins at the Wild Bluff, a farm in Colorado that works as cover for the ex-military team that has been assembled by the CIA, but works independently from the agency for deniability. A new recruit is taken in blindfold to the farm and as he is introduced to everything like the farm, the other characters and the concept behind this special ops group, the readers are as well. There are 9 members of the group on the farm and we get to know them all very well through the multiple-POV storytelling, which also gives very different gay relationships that readers can follow.
I didn’t really think it was totally credible that pretty much all of them were gay – but I really couldn’t seem to care all that much about it either. Because, holy hotness. Having not one relationship but getting to follow all of them at different stages, but with nice pay-off in every case, was so rewarding. The novels don’t seem to take themselves too serious , so I guess I was not bothered by it either. It’s more about interesting characters that find love and lust in different ways as they use their special skills to rid the world of evil people.
The characters are all very good guys, but I do think it needs to be said that their job could easily be misused by anyone else. They have the ability to take or refuse any job and decide together about the life of other people. As someone who is against the death penalty, I cannot approve killing anyone. There is too much darkness in humans that prevents them from being able to make decision about who should live and who should die. And yet, I find assassin character fascinating in books.
It is interesting to me how people can do that – kill people- even if they think it is right and still live a normal life. These books show how everyone of the 9 guys strives to do good and use their skills in a meaningful way. The guys are good, the system they have works and they seem to be vigilante good guys, balanced by the work they do on the ranch. I think they are overly idealized, but it does seem to work for the books. It is easy to fall in love with the characters. Getting to know them all through the POVs, we now we can trust them to make good decisions and can put the moral questions on the backburner. They are ex-military and instead of blindly following kill-orders they might not understand, everyone of them has a part in choosing which missions to take There are no secrets between them 😉
They do seem to live in their own idealistic bubble where everyone is accepted for who they are and the skills they bring to the table and where there is a clear good vs evil. So it is actually fun to follow their stories, edge-of-the seat exciting when they are on their missions, sizzling when they find love and passion together and thoroughly engaging throughout. It was easy to read and not just about hot sex and killing, but about love and doing the right thing.
There is an incredible bond of friendship and trust that comes out when the guys have to face against betrayal and other obstacles and some of the storylines flow over into book 2, which is why I had to go on reading, immediately. If like me you will be able to accept the things I have mentioned, you will find a great, engaging action thriller with a lot of heart and romance and many characters you won’t want to let go of. Sara York has created a team of renegade ranchers/ assassins, who have isolated themselves and only rely on each other to make a change in a corrupted world. 5 stars for hotness, 5 stars for fast-paced action, 5 stars for love and romance, 5 stars for friendship, 5 stars for the cute, lil’ baby horse, 5 stars for crossing hot cowboys with hot ex-military spies.
So I guess it’s okay if I turn a blind eye on some suspension of disbelief that is necessary and cal it a 4.5? You guys should definitively give them a try, especially now that they are just .99 cents per book. Really can’t go wrong with that!!
*~*~*~*~* OUTTAKE FROM MY INTERVIEW WITH SARA YORK *~*~*~*~*
As I wrote in my introduction for this blog yesterday, MM Romance books were an integral part for my coming out, by showing me a reason to confront my sexuality and thereby bring changes into my comfortable, but lonely life. Showing me the love and intimacy I could have with a man made me realize that all the challenges and obstacles coming out would bring into my life would still be worth it. I might be bi, even if I prefer men, but by closing this part of me off, I was missing part of myself. Hearing about all the gay teen suicides makes my heart break every time and I believe it is incredibly important to show that true love, romance, intimacy and the possibility of a happily ever after exists for gay men. That it can get better! So I’m very grateful for what you are doing for the community by contributing stories and hope for gay readers as well as helping to spread acceptance and understanding among straight readers. But we’ve now talked about Dinosaurs and Bunnies – clearly all that’s missing are spies and cowboys. About five weeks ago, you released Colorado Fire, book two of the Colorado Heart series. How did you get the idea for the premise of CIA agents working a farm as cowboys, when not on a mission? And can you tell us a bit more about this series, for those who haven’t read it yet?
I love cowboys. I grew up in rural Texas, and yes, I did have a horse. We also had a 1500 acre ranch and ran a few hundred head of cattle. Cowboys, real cowboys, are full of masculinity and ready for anything. At the ending of my Texas Soul series I wanted to write another cowboy story, but I didn’t want to write a copy of the Texas series.
One morning while walking the dogs, I started talking to my husband about my idea of the Colorado books. My first interest in writing has always been mystery and thrillers. I combined the two in the Colorado Heart series. It’s a far out premise, but it is fiction and I wanted to do a what if these guys who are patriotic lived together instead of hiding, never trusting anyone.
On Wild Bluff Ranch there is no shortage of talent. Grant Stovall, Duff Whitaker, Marshal Stevenson, and Tucker Hayes were all in the Marines before coming to the ranch. Roger Burk was a SEAL, Mike Willson was in the army and Billy Bradford, James Davenport, and Zander Freeland all have military experience. The entire group has taken paramedic training but Zander, Mike, went beyond that and took another six month course on surgical procedures. Tucker, James, Mike, Billy and Grant are all pilots. And if you need a sharpshooter, there are six of them on the ranch. All in all, it’s either the safest place on the planet or the most dangerous, depending on how you look at it.
The Colorado Heart series won’t be limited to only those men you currently see on the ranch. For those readers who have read the Texas Soul series, you see the foreshadowing of what’s to come. The Texas Soul series might be over in terms of it being a series, but there is going to be more than one crossover character.
An interesting fact about the book, my horse, Abilene, actually was bit by a snake like Beauty was bit. After he healed, he hated hay, never ate it again. He was the best horse ever. Some of the things I experienced on the ranch are peppered through the book, giving a realistic look at what ranch life is like.
For those of you who’ve read Colorado Wild, see if you can answer these questions. For those who haven’t, don’t hesitate to answer, we might judge based on creativity.
Q1: What temperament do you think Beauty will have when he grows up?
Q2: Which one of the guys would you want to stitch you up after a gunshot wound and why?
Q3: On the ranch Duff is in charge. Who do you think would be the next best Duff?
I’m interested to see how our readers respond to these questions Do you often integrate parts of your own experience into your books in some ways and what do you do when you have to write about something that you don’t have personal experience with like missions or gay love scenes?
In some ways, yes, I do integrate personal experiences in my writing, but when I write mysteries or thrillers, I go back to the research. After a very cool conference this summer, I’ve now taken more than 200 hours of police, FBI, and law enforcement courses. I’ve been lucky enough to do training raids with the SWAT team, and been allowed to do traffic stop training with the police. I’ve done firearm training and I’ve been allowed to see inside the inter workings of the police department. I’ve also done over 40 hours of fireman training, climbing the big ladders, carrying hoses, using the jaws of life, and running into a burning building to put out a fire.
As for MM sex, I’ve never done that. That would be impossible, but I’m more than willing to watch porn. It’s a tough research project, but someone has to do it. On a more serious note, a lot of making love, and having sex is universal. A man making love to a woman or another man, or a woman making love to a woman or a man isn’t so dissimilar that the basic mechanics are foreign. Touch, kissing, licking, and holding are the same. Our emotions, hopes, and desires are all basic components of our search for significance and acceptance. The body parts may be different, and trust me, there are plenty of men willing to talk about their dicks, so getting the information isn’t all that difficult. Since I’ve always written men better, it’s not that difficult to put myself in the place of a gay man, relaying his experiences through my characters.
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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