Rating: 4.5 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
It’s been a year since Jake Landon met and fell for Kurt Carlson. In that year, Jake and Kurt have gotten to know each other better and fallen deeper in love. Jake can’t imagine his life without Kurt. They’ve faced many obstacles side by side, but the one thing Jake never imagined was Kurt being another obstacle.
Returning to the mountain where they met, Jake and Kurt take up their responsibilities as park rangers in the mountains of Colorado. Their relationship has become comfortable, easy. But things begin to change when Kurt wants Jake to go back to school and to come out of the closet. Kurt gives him an ultimatum with a deadline – the end of the fire season.
“Jake, you’re trying to hang on to three things: your future, your fear, and me. You can have any two of the three.”
While Jake is struggling with fear of coming out, fear of how his family will react, fear of competition at school, and the fear of the unknown, danger finds them both. On a routine scout, Jake and Kurt happen upon a field of poppies, not native to the area. When Jake and Kurt realize the flowers are being used to harvest opium, they fall into a chase and eventual capture by the group who planted the illegal flowers. Waiting for the right time, Jake and Kurt plan their escape only to have a bear wander into camp while they attempt to flee. A concussion prevents Jake from being able to run and he begs Kurt to leave without him, certain that Kurt will come back with help.
Enduring beatings, avoiding attempted rape, and fear of death start to make going back to school and coming out look easy, but will Jake survive long enough to be able to even make that choice?
Blood on the Mountain is the fourth book in P.D. Singer’s The Mountain series. It’s the newest addition to this series, not a re-pub.
I have enjoyed Jake and Kurt’s journey through this series. Jake’s progression is slow, but there. He’s still semi-closeted when this book begins, still afraid of how his family will react to his being gay. He started out in the ranger service to gain the residency requirements for in-state tuition for pharmacy school, but now that he’s put it off for a year, he’s not ready to go back yet. He’s afraid he’ll lose Kurt, afraid of the competition from younger colleagues, afraid of coming out. This story is the hardest on Jake, I think. He has to make a lot of tough decisions, and he makes some mistakes, but he learns something from all of his choices. This story is about Jake facing his fears, and it takes losing everything for him to realize what he has to do, but he also learns to fight for what he wants. He has been a great character from the beginning, but this story, his struggles make him truly loveable.
Kurt has changed very little since the beginning of their story; he’s pretty much set in his ways. He knows what he wants, and mostly he wants what is best for Jake. In every installment in this series doing what’s best for Jake gives Kurt a sort of purpose. He’s supportive and demanding and headstrong. He’s a pain in the ass and a know it all, but those things only serve to make him that much more endearing. He pushes Jake past his boundaries because that’s the only way to get him to grow. He’s the grounding element in their relationship, the strength, the stability.
I’ve loved their relationship since the beginning. It’s not always been easy. They’ve fought several obstacles that have stood in their way, including one another, but they’ve always come out on top. And here, not only to the have to literally fight for their lives, but they are also forced to evaluate their relationship if they plan on moving on with their lives together. I love the hardships and reality that their relationship faces in this story because it makes the outcome so much sweeter.
The world-building in this book is established from book one, but the description and imagination isn’t lacking in this story. The beauty of the area, the stillness and peace, but also the hidden dangers are all perfectly portrayed by Singer.
I enjoy that this story is more than a simple love story. It contains little bit of mystery and action as well. The main overall storyline focuses on Jake’s indecision to come out, which is a journey in itself. The mystery plot holds a smaller role in this story but is no less entertaining. It is full of tension and excitement. Overall, it’s very entertaining.
My only complaint has to do with Jake’s inability to make a decision. For such a strong man, both mentally and physically, it’s frustrating to see him cower at the thought of letting people know that he loves Kurt, especially since he previously made it known when they were working at the ski resort. He kept talking about how he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Kurt, but he wasn’t willing to step up to the plate and do what was necessary. As I said, it was frustrating.
Once again, P.D. Singer gives readers a beautiful story of growth, forgiveness, conflict, and love. This series remains one of my favorites and this new addition only adds to my adoration for Jake and Kurt. Of course, I’m looking forward to the next installment. I highly recommend Blood on the Mountain.