Rating: 2.75 stars
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After Cal Somers loses his family to the tragedy caused by a drunk driver, he moves into his great-aunt’s house, which he inherited. With a new place to start over and relax, Cal looks forward to the healing atmosphere of Lake District. On a rainy afternoon, while out running errands, Cal wanders into a local shop known as “Mountains” for a cup of coffee. Falling over a structure in the walkway brings Cal face to face with his walking dream man. Violet eyes, beautiful features, and domineering, Ford Collister leaves Cal tongue-tied.
As a paramedic on the mountain rescue team, Ford puts his skills to work when he notices the younger man is hurt. Taking it upon himself to see that Cal is okay, Ford drives Cal home only to discover that the beautiful, clumsy young man is gay. Ford’s attraction to Cal is surprising since he hasn’t been with anyone for the past four years. But he wonders if Cal can handle his dominant lifestyle. Ford, never one for subtleties, shows up at Cal’s home the next morning making demands and expecting them to be followed. Cal’s reaction is exactly what Ford is looking for.
Cal doesn’t understand his submissive reactions towards Ford, and he’s not sure that he likes it. When things start to heat up between Cal and Ford, Cal takes a step back to think things through. While running errands, Cal collides with a group of bank robbers and finds himself their hostage. After being tied up and beaten then left for dead, the only thing that keeps Cal going is his memories of Ford. When Cal discovers his captors have taken even more precautions against his freedom, his memories of Ford may not be enough to keep hope alive.
I’m not really sure where to start. The concept of this story is good. Cal’s past hurts lead him to starting anew where he meets a domineering man who has him questioning his own reactions as well as how he feels. My problem with this story is the execution. It’s very choppy and not really cohesive at all. There is a lot that happens in this story, but as a reader, I wasn’t feeling it. The two big action conflicts felt like they were thrown into the mix without much afterthought. I think I would have liked the story more if it melded better.
I like Cal. He’s finding himself, finding what he likes. He is submissive, but he’s strong. He’s definitely no pushover. Cal has been through a lot in his past, but is coming out on the other side of mourning. Ready to start his life over, he moves to a new town and finds new friends. He’s independent, headstrong, and compassionate. He’s a wonderful character.
I’m not really sure how I feel about Ford. He’s domineering and possessive, but that’s not my problem with him. For lack of a better word, Ford is an ass. In the beginning, before he even really knows Cal, Ford is demanding and controlling and rude with an air of indifference. I warmed up to him a little towards the end, but I still don’t love him.
Their relationship is ultimately supposed to be of the D/s nature, which when played right can be unbelievably sexy. But I didn’t get that from this story. Ford was more controlling and possessive than he was dominant. Cal didn’t understand his submissive need, and Ford didn’t try to help him with it. In fact, there was no discussion about the type of relationship they were heading into. Ford just kind of forced his way without any explanations and expected to be obeyed without question. It didn’t work for me at all.
The picture of the setting of Lake District that the author drew for me is wonderful. The description of the town that’s a tourist attraction with a small town feel is beautiful. The mountains, the people, the town itself, and even the constant rain are very well written and have me wanting to visit. Also the author’s knowledge of mountain rescue is nice. I would have liked to see more of the actual workings of the mountain rescue, but otherwise it was nice.
So, I didn’t hate this book. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it. This is only my opinion and others may not feel the same way about this book. It’s not a story that I will read again, nor would I recommend it outright, but if these characters were to show up in another story, I might think about reading it.