Danny Avers never left the small Colorado town where he grew up. He became a teacher, took care of his father when he was dying, and keeps to himself. He’s not everybody’s favorite person. Not only is Danny gay, but he’s the only survivor of a horrible accident that killed several other of the town’s young residents. Not only that, he was the one who got the drugs they were all high on when it all happened.
Harlan Quinn, or Quinn as he’s known throughout the story, also used to live in that same small town. In fact, he and Danny were best friends/lovers when they were young. He left the town, and Danny, behind and made his way west to California and then to Denver. Quinn was also troubled in his youth, but one night, an older cop, rather than arrest him, got him clean and inspired him to go into law enforcement, and Quinn became a detective.
Back home, the position of sheriff opens up, and Quinn takes the job. However, I don’t think I’m giving too much away when I say he has an ulterior motive. Quinn’s been sent by his mentor in Denver to collect intel to help them find and catch the people who are funding the manufacture and distribution of crystal meth in Colorado. Along with that, fate steps in. The house he winds up buying is right next door to Danny’s, and they see each other again for the first time in years. The attraction is definitely still there, but Quinn and Danny aren’t sure if they should act upon it. I don’t want to give anything else away other than to say what follows is an exciting story of romance, sex, intrigue, a little action, and second chances.
I really loved this book. I mean it. From beginning to end, I was engrossed in the characters and plot. The story was well written and well fleshed out. It’s not a terribly long book, but it’s very detailed, and I was easily able to see everything in my mind’s eye. Danny and Quinn are…oh, they’re just perfect. They’re older, have faced flawed pasts, and are lonely. Their relationship begins not long after they’re reintroduced. Some might feel it’s a bit like instalove, but I didn’t. They completed each other when they were young, and now they’re all grown up, they still do. I would compare it to rereading a favorite book after it’s sat on your shelf for 15 years…comforting.
Usually, I talk about the sex toward the end of the review, but B.A. Tortuga writes sex scenes with such passion and care, I want to shout about them from the rooftop. First of all, Danny survived that accident, but he was extremely hurt. His hips and pelvis were broken. In fact, his hips are actually metal, and he’s scarred all over his legs and groin area. He never looks at those scars, and he’s anxious to allow Quinn to see them. My heart melted the first time they made love, as Quinn caressed and kissed those scars because they were part of Danny. Tortuga often describes their touching as “petting,” and I love that. Their words, while sexy and dirty, are loving and tender. I know that may be hard to understand, but it just…works. I felt that each sex scene was important to the overall plot, and none of them were gratuitous, and they all left me feeling moved as well as hot.
The subplot, the reason for Quinn’s reappearance in town is great. It’s timely and topical. Meth is a growing problem in small towns across America, and not only is it dangerous, it’s ruining lives. I’m not going to jump on a soap box, but obviously something has to be done to stop the madness. Quinn is part of the solution.
I’m not going to tell you who the bad guys are, and I’m not going to spoil the ending. I’ll just tell you I was left feeling satisfied and hopeful. I absolutely would not hesitate to recommend Old Town New. B.A. Tortuga is quickly becoming a favorite author of mine, and I’m going to be making my way through her entire backlist.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.