Rating: 3 stars
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Bartholomew “Bart” Van Andren, aka Spider, is running. Running from his past. Running from his life. Running from himself. Running by physically getting in his car and leaving home. Running by using drugs to help him forget, if only for a moment. After an overdose, Spider wakes up in the hospital to find that the local sheriff is willing to help rehabilitate him, if only he wants to be saved. When the sheriff finds him a job on a farm instead of sending him to jail, Bart finds himself in the midst of people who are kind and accept him without judgment. The craving for the drugs hasn’t gone away, but with the help of the owners of the farm, Geoff and Eli, and fellow farm hand, Tyrone, Bart finds a support system around him as the need for chemical support wanes.
Tyrone Jackson has grown up around the party crowd. His older brothers have used drugs for as long as he can remember. Tyrone refused be like his brothers. He now supports his mother and deadbeat brothers by working for Geoff and Eli as the stable manager. When he meets Bart, Tyrone wants to stay as far away from him as he can because of Bart’s chemical dependency, but there is something about him that Tyrone wants to get to know. Helping Bart learn the ins and outs of the farm only serves to strengthen the attraction between both men.
When he first showed up on the farm, Bart never expected to find a family, but that’s exactly what the people he works for and with have become. Just as Bart’s relationship with Tyrone grows into something Bart can’t imagine living without, his past comes looking for him. And now he has a decision to make – face the past and who he was or risk the people that he has come to love and call family.
Love Means…No Limits is the ninth book in Andrew Grey’s Farm series. When I originally began this series, I loved the stories, the characters, the family, the struggles, and the happily-ever-afters. But somewhere along the line, the stories got a little easy and not really believable. This book just emphasized that. Out of all of the Farm stories, this is my least favorite.
Tyrone is my favorite part of this story the story. He’s a strong, black young man with morals and goals. He loves his family regardless of their blatant homophobia. His journey in this story is one of self-acceptance. He’s known he was gay since he was younger, but he’s hidden it because of his family’s hatred. But he questions his decision to hide as he gets to know Bart better. Bart is not a very consistent character. At first he’s rebellious and angry, but then transforms into a caring and selfless young man with very little fight or argument. I just feel that it was a very odd leap. I have to give kudos to the interracial relationship aspect of this story. I love a good story with some racial diversity, and that is definitely hit upon within this story.
Love Means…No Fear has its good points, but it has its mediocre points too. The mediocre just outweighs the good. My biggest quibble is with Bart’s drug recovery. Honestly, it’s not altogether realistic. First, it seemed extremely easy. And for a rebellious kid who really didn’t want to quit using drugs, Bart accepted it so quickly without much struggle. Another quibble is mushy writing. For example:
Tyrone loved how his face lit when he smiled, revealing the cutest dimples that Tyrone wanted to reach over to pinch.
It’s baby talk about an adult. It’s just not something that I like to read when referring to two adult characters. It’s not only mushy in the narrative but the conversation and dialogue, as well. It is just a little too awkward and quite melodramatic.
I have been a fan of Andrew Grey’s for a while now, and this one bad experience won’t change that. He’s written a lot of books that have reached above and beyond my expectations, but this book isn’t one of those. Unrealistic and mushy seem to be the best descriptions I can come up with for this installment. Luckily, this series isn’t one of those that has a common story arc. So if you want to skip this book, you won’t really be missing anything, and it may save you some irritation.