Rating: 4.25 stars
Buy Link: Amazon | All Romance
Ryder Daniels’ family disowned him when he came out, and the pain of that is still raw in his heart. His last relationship ended in disaster, as did the one before that. Though he has the two best friends in the world and the love of a rescued pit bull, he’s lonely. But he doesn’t ever want to put his heart on the line again. He focuses on the pit bull rescue organization he works for and is determined not to ever get involved with another man. But all that changes when he meets Jason Mallory.
Jason is in a dead end relationship with his girlfriend of three years, but he finally realizes it’s time to end things. He and his brother own Mallory Construction, and while working on a house, they find three abandoned pit bulls. Ryder and his best friend Emily show up to rescue the dogs, one of which is just a puppy. Jason wants to adopt the puppy, and he becomes involved with Ryder, Emily, and her husband Connor. They all start hanging out, along with Jason’s friends, and Ryder and Jason become close. Ryder is determined to keep his feelings in check, knowing that Jason is straight and not wanting to put his heart on the line. And Jason is confused about his feelings for Ryder.
When Ryder hears some devastating things his ex-lover said in an interview, Ryder gets drunk and Jason takes him home. Ending up in bed together, Jason gives in to his feelings for Ryder. But Ryder doesn’t want anything to do with it. He’s not willing to be Jason’s experiment. Eventually the truth comes out and the two men begin a tentative relationship. This are far from smooth sailing though. Jason’s brother Liam is unable to accept that Jason is gay. Jason has a moment of pretty serious doubt. And Ryder’s cold, mean-spirited mother is causing trouble. The two men must work past the obstacles if they ever have a hope of finding their forever.
I have to admit, I came away from this one with mixed feelings. On the one hand, it was a nice story with some well-developed characters. The plot developed smoothly, and I enjoyed the ride. On the other hand, though, I had a few issues with the story as a whole.
I really liked Ryder. The man has a huge heart, and he’s had it stepped on a few too many times. I absolutely understood where he was coming from, and I loved that he wasn’t entirely beaten down by life. Yes, he wanted to protect himself. But that didn’t stop him from giving his all to his friends and to the rescue. His passion was clear, and I loved that about him. But I did find him a tad bit inconsistent. He was determined to not get involved with anyone again, but his resistance to Jason seemed to waver rather quickly, and then he was invested completely in the relationship. It was a bit too quick of a turnaround for me given the way he was at the beginning of the story. I personally would have liked to see it go on a bit longer, for him to be a bit more tentative about getting involved with Jason, because that would have rung truer to his character. But overall, I enjoyed watching him fall in love, and it really pleased me that he found acceptance that he didn’t have from his own family.
Jason, as a whole, felt more real to me. He’d only been dating women for years, but always in the back of his mind, he knew something was missing from the relationships he’s had. Though he wasn’t ready to admit it to himself, he knew that he was gay. When he found that spark with Ryder, it took him a relatively short time to accept it and be ready to be out. I would have had a problem with that if he hadn’t had a big moment of doubt later in the story. This was really believable to me, and I even loved that he handled it badly, but came to the right conclusion in the end. And then he committed himself fully to Ryder. I loved the way he took care of Ryder, and the way that he wanted what was best for his man. The two of them together was really sweet, maybe a little too sweet at times, but their relationship was really lovely.
I do have to say, though, that I had a small problem with the way some of the conflicts were resolved so quickly. It almost seemed as if they were going to be a big deal, but then they were nothing more than a blip on the page, over and done with. I don’t want to give anything away, but I would have liked to see both Jason’s moment of doubt and Liam’s attitude and behavior handled just a bit differently. Because I felt deeply about both things, for them to be resolved so quickly left me feeling just a bit unsatisfied. There were also just a couple of weird time jumps that left me scrambling to catch up, but I was able to jump back in rather quickly once I’d gotten a handle on it.
Don’t get me wrong though, I liked this book. Sometimes, I just want to read a story that you know right away the guys are going to work it all out eventually. Jason and Ryder are definitely those guys, and if you’re looking for a well written book that has a great HEA, then Rescued is one you should definitely pick up.