Tru and Jones are finally where they always wanted to be: engaged and living at the ranch together. It’s been a long road for the two of them and Jones can’t believe his boyhood crush is now his fiancé and his one true love. He always knew they would be together and he and Tru have never been happier.
It was a shock when Tru found out his sister, Sandy, was pregnant, but it’s a life altering change when Sandy abruptly announces she is ill-equipped to care for a baby and sets plans in motion for Tru and Jones to adopt him. Tru never wanted to be a father at all and their lives and their plans are turned completely upside down. The closeness the men share is tested to the limit and they will need to rely on each other to make it all the way.
The Ember Peak series is the continuing story of Tru and Jones and the books work best when read in order. The end of Tru Burn had the men engaged and ready to move forward with their lives. It also had Sandy pregnant with the father permanently out of the picture. This book opens with Sandy leaving to get the medical help she needs, but also with her setting in motion life altering plans for Tru and Jones to adopt her baby.
Tru and Jones are an amazing couple. When they spend time together, Danford creates magic as they not only love each other, but truly like spending time together. What has made this series for me is they way they are in awe of each other in each and every interaction. This book took things in a completely different direction, a direction that wasn’t a favorite of mine, and had me wanting to move huge sections of the book along to get back to that magic that is Tru and Jones.
Sandy was never portrayed as an empathetic character to me. In the first two books she mostly came off as selfish, with perhaps the poor little rich girl syndrome, and Tru and Jones constantly catered to her. Here, she is given a mental health diagnosis and while she finally goes to get help, she had the foresight to set many things in motion without discussing it with anyone. Even though she isn’t on page much in the book, she is the core of where Tru and Jones currently are in their lives and their relationship and she came off as more manipulative. While I am aware of the intricacies related to mental health issues and Tru and Jones certainly were caught off guard and trying to make the best of their situation, Sandy’s character and the way everyone else seemed to enable her didn’t resonate well with me.
The entire book is the men trying to adjust to having a baby to raise. That’s pretty much the heart of it. They had no time to prepare and had never even discussed having children. They work differently and when Tru suggests one thing, Jones suggests something else. So as much as these characters have left a lasting impression on me throughout the first two books, this book went around and around with only small movements forward. It also left little time for them to be alone, but still when they were, Danford keeps the heat and the need and the tenderness between them at an all time high.
There was also an appearance of a character from Tru’s past who shows up near the end and it was just stated in passing without a full explanation and that one instance left a whole lot of questions as to just what happened there. In the end, the guys of course would have to be back on solid footing, but I did find myself wanting to overlook some of the story to get to those true moments of magic that the author can create with these guys. Tru and Jones are two well developed characters that work so well together, but I will admit to being disappointed on the overall story line for this final book. What did save this book for me was that connection that was already built and way these guys simply are when they are together.
He tasted like wildflowers and summer sunsets. And home.