When Leo Corbin’s mother passes away, he heads back to Westfall to lay her to rest and settle her estate. Not much has changed in the little town, and Leo wants to take care of business quickly so he can get back to his life. But almost immediately, two thing happen to derail his plan: he meets Harrison Wade and he actually looks at his mother’s estate.
Harrison stayed in town to help his father and his uncle run the farm, but he’s not made for that kind of life. His father became an alcoholic following his mother’s death, and he only sticks around to take care of his old man. When he sees Leo again, he’s once again taken with his high school crush. When he gets the opportunity to help Leo out, he does, and leaves the door wide open for more. Leo takes him up on the offer, and the two men begin having sex, both knowing that Leo will be leaving in a few days. But the truth to long hidden secrets are surfacing, and with the answers, Leo might just find what’s been missing in his life. He also might learn whether or not he can make his life in Westfall with Harrison by his side.
This is a quick read without a lot of detail, angst, and conflict, and I think that might be part of its problem. While this story had a lot of potential, it just didn’t live up to what it could have been. There were some really good moments, and spots where the characters really shined, but for the most part, this story fell flat for me.
I liked Leo from the start. He was carrying a heavy weight at his mother’s passing, and he had a hard task ahead of him. As the story began, I thought this would be a great story of healing as he came to learn the truths his mother kept hidden. I think the author was striving for that, but the lack of detail in his characterization left him feeling two dimensional and without enough depth. What should have been great struggles for him were rationalized quickly. I wanted more from him, and I just didn’t get it.
Harrison was more of the same. He was a fun, quirky guy, and I liked his huge heart. But I felt like there was something missing from his character and I wanted to know him more. He’d been taking care of his father for a long time, and he was supposed to be resentful of that. I didn’t feel it from him, and when his father makes a miraculous 180, Harrison accepts it without question.
And that was a theme throughout this book. The problems were quickly resolved with easy solutions that presented themselves at exactly the right time. If I had been more invested in the story and these characters, that wouldn’t have bothered me as much. But I was sort of ambivalent about the men because I didn’t get enough from them to begin with. I think that was partly due to the style of the writing. There were several scenes that didn’t seem to have a purpose, and others where it was the barest of detail to get us from point A to point B. Then occasionally, there’d be a flowery sentence thrown in that seemed so at odds with the rest of the tone of the book, that it yanked me right out of the story.
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate this story. It was a nice way to pass an hour or two, and I liked that it didn’t take too much thought or involve my feelings too much. It a pleasant read, but it’s not one that’s going to be sticking with me. I’d cautiously recommend it to anyone looking for a story about two guys who fall in love rather quickly, and where the conflicts are resolved with easy solutions.