Hurricane Lauris is bearing down on the North Carolina coast and Gage Chapman refuses to evacuate. There is no way he’s leaving his horse to fend for themselves. All alone, he makes the preparations he can, not sure if he’s making the right choices. Having moved to North Carolina only a year ago from Utah, this is his first hurricane and it’s predicted to be the biggest one to hit the coast in many years
Knowing his ex-lover won’t leave his horses, Deputy Collin Maddox heads out to Gage’s farm. Things may have ended on a horrible note two months ago, but Collin still cares about Gage and he wants the man safe. The moment he shows up, however, Gage yells at Collin, driving him away again. It just goes to illustrate everything that went wrong between them. But when the storm hits before Collin gets too far, he knows he can’t leave Gage to deal with it alone and he heads back to the farm.
Gage was out and proud on the riding circuit before he came to North Carolina, but Collin feels he has to stay in the closet if he has any hope of being elected sheriff in the next few years. Trapped together, the men have no choice but to work out some of the issues between them. Finally having the frank discussion they should have had months ago, the men realize how they didn’t support each other. As their flame rekindles, and the storm rages on, the men find that they still work. Now they just need to figure out how to navigate a relationship, while being the man the other needs.
This was a short, sweet, wonderful story about two men being forced to realize what the most important thing is in their lives. With a devastating storm wreaking havoc on their town, the men face the weather and each other, and I loved the way they were made to reevaluate what they want and how to go about getting it.
The author does a really good job of giving us insight on the characters very quickly without it feeling like an info dump. With the storm raging, both men reevaluate their past relationship and I really liked that we got to see both sides of the story straight away. Gage and Collin both give us a view of their personalities, and we also see that they both take responsibility for where things went wrong. Even if communication isn’t their strong point, they at least admit it to themselves. Eventually, they have that conversation as well, and it was really satisfying to see it all out in the open.
I do feel like a bit of a connection between Gage and Collin was missing in the beginning. We got a good sense of each man individually, but as a couple it was harder to connect to, coming in after the relationship had already ended. Some of the supposed anger felt a little flat to me. Once they were trapped together, though, their connection just sparked. Their passion flared to life, and it was easier to see why these guys were so good together, and why things had had a volatile end before.
There’s nothing too surprising about this story, but it’s really well done with great characters and a no frills story line. I liked the simplicity, and liked watching these guys get their act together and realize what’s important to them. Recommended.