Jake and Tor, cowboys from Arkansas, and Chance and Tucker, firefighter/medics from California, have developed quite the relationship. Even with many states between them, the feelings of friendship have turned into more. The lines have been only lightly drawn and when new feelings unexpectedly explode, there is enough hurt to go around.
While Jake and Tor have shared partners in the past, it was always just physical and, after nearly coming apart years ago, they have the lines of communication wide open. For Chance and Tucker, it’s always been just the two of them and new developments have Tucker not even sure how to put his feelings into words. The four men have a lot to work out and a lot to discuss for as content as they are in their long-term relationships, can two sets of two equal a working relationship of four?
I wish I could say that everyone should just read this book right away, but you have to have followed this crossover series and having the history on one or both couples from their own books is definitely helpful as well. While reading this book, I alternated between wanting to slow it down to savor the ride and wanting to flip to the last screen to finally see how it would all end (I did resist on flipping to the last screen ahead of time).
The frustration is high with the distance between the couples, as can be seen from the opening line in the book, “You are fucking kidding me!” The guys manage to stay in touch via skype and text and sometimes the distance is exactly what is needed and other times, not so much. This book is highly character driven and the authors are able to get us inside all of the characters’ heads to see their jealousies, insecurities, and loyalties to each other. We are able to clearly see all their emotional struggles and perhaps the realization that adding isn’t subtracting from what they already have.
Their relationships evolved from a strong friendship, with Tucker developing a physical relationship with Tor, and Chance with Jake, but spending all that time together has other feelings opening up. The men have yet to have a discussion of what exactly is going on and part of it is because no one really has any answers. Tucker seems to be the one that is most affected by it, as he never thought he would be in this position, always thought it would just be him and Chance forever, and can’t even get his thoughts straight in his own head let alone vocalize them to the others.
I appreciated that the authors didn’t make it easy for the men in the sense that there was a lot at stake for everyone in their current relationships and also how the other partners would view them. There was a pulling back and going forward from one character to the next and the dynamics of how the relationships were evolving felt natural and were well done. The guys make it a priority to talk to each other, definitely Jake’s influence, and then, yeah, all four of them make it a priority to physically show each other how they feel.
Maybe a couple of the jokes fell flat for me, and maybe the declarations were overly wordy and sweet compared to the feel of the rest of the series, and maybe I had to backtrack just a couple of times to confirm who was speaking, and maybe I did feel slightly unsettled with the relationships between the core couples at the end and wanted a little extra confirmation, although the characters themselves were perfectly settled. Even through all of it, it’s a remarkable journey to have been invited to be a part of.
It’s interesting that these guys have been with me for a long time, through their individual series and now through this trilogy, and it’s hard to imagine that this is now really the end of all of their stories. If you’ve followed this trilogy, this is the book you have been waiting for and I definitely recommend it.