Author: Caitlin Ricci
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Caitln Ricci
Rating: 3.25 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 11/17/2016
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Romance, Western, Young Adult
Six months after moving to Thornwood, Robbie’s life is slowly getting better. With Dan in jail, he should feel safe from the abuse he suffered before, but that does little to calm his nightmares. Fortunately Sam, his boyfriend, is always there to help him through the worst of them, and he finds peace while out riding his horse.
But things are far from perfect. His little brother is hurting, his older brother is angry all the time, and the family he loves is breaking apart in front of him.
Sam only wants to see Robbie happy. He loves his boyfriend and will do anything for him, including standing up to Robbie’s older brother. His favorite times are when they’re out riding together and leaving the rest of the world behind, but those perfect moments can’t last forever, especially when tragedy comes to the ranch.
I was looking forward to this book because I totally loved the first book in the series: Weathering the Storm http://www.prismbookalliance.com/2015/05/weathering-the-storm-by-caitlin-ricci-book-review-by-queue-2/
However, while that book felt inspired and special Head Above Water just felt forced. Robbie and Sam’s chemistry is as strong as ever and I liked the times they were together and helping each other out. It was the external conflict that not only didn’t feel real it was never fully explored or dealt with.
Robbie is now free of his abusive step-father but his brother Daniel is angry about everything that transpired in the first book. It’s good when readers can empathize at least a little bit with the villain but that didn’t happen here. I can understand Daniel not liking having his life turned upside down but I don’t buy that he’d rather his brother keep getting abused. And instead of the conflict between brothers being fully dealt with Daniel simply leaves town. No closure and I didn’t like that.
There are plot points brought up then dropped. I can only assume there’ll be another book where they are dealt with but it left this book feeling unfinished.
This story just didn’t feel as inspired as the first one. As if the author was in a hurry to crank out a sequel and didn’t put much thought in it. More like a first draft than a polished piece of work.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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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