Too Tough to Tame by W.S. LongRating: 3.25 stars
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Length: Novella

Too Tough to Tame continues the story of Caleb Youngblood and Sebastian Rush from Starting His Engine. The men are now engaged and planning their wedding. Now publicly “out,” Caleb has taken a step back from NASCAR racing, which leaves him without employment and a decision to make about his future.

On the other hand, Sebastian is busy working for a television station, even being giving the opportunity to go to Rio for the Olympic Games as a cameraman. However, this would mean spending time with his ex-partner and neither Sebastian or Caleb are comfortable with this idea. Being preoccupied with work also means that Sebastian has less time for wedding planning, which leaves Caleb wondering about their future together.

Too Tough to Tame is the sequel to W.S. Long’s Starting His Engine. Unlike the first book, Too Tough To Tame does not have the excitement of the racetrack or the same intricate examination of the Youngblood family relationships. For these reasons, I found Too Tough to Tame a less enjoyable read, though I did like Long’s further exploration of Caleb and Sebastian’s romance, which is established but not without issues.

From the background knowledge about the two men, which the author gave us in the first book, we understand that Caleb is used to being the star. In Too Tough To Tame, his status has changed; he is still involved with Youngblood Racing, though effectively unemployed and it is Sebastian who is successful and making work his priority. I, therefore, did not doubt the stability of Caleb and Sebastian’s partnership, despite David being on the scene, but I did find Caleb’s need for attention irritating.

In Starting His Engine there is some indication by Long that Caleb is a very attractive man. Too Tough To Tame takes this one step further with Caleb asked to consider a job as a model. Unfortunately, I felt cheated by this development, not only because it shifts Long’s series away from racing, but also because it feels to me that this allows the NASCAR world to win; pushing an openly gay driver out into a career which allows him to be ‘pretty.’

Too Tough to Tame did not live up to the promise of the first story, though Long does develop some aspects of the characters lives, particularly within the physical area of their relationship. The romance element is well planned and will appeal to fans of the genre, although I would cautiously recommend it.

kirsty sig