Up and coming fashion designer Drew Sinclair is headed to the highlands of Scotland to design his sister’s wedding dress. Staying at the ranch of the groom’s best friend seems like a no brainer, and Drew is especially pleased when he sees the gorgeous Duncan McLeish in person. Duncan seems a little shy and set in his ways, but that doesn’t stop Drew from flirting outrageously.
Their attraction is instant, but it takes Duncan a few days to figure himself out. He’s always known he was attracted to men, but he’s never put a name on it. With Drew right there and piquing his interest, they decide to have a fling. But both men’s hearts engage, and with Drew heading back to London, they leave things badly between them.
But Drew can’t get over Duncan, and when Duncan shows up in London, they spend the weekend together. Again, they know they can’t do anything long term. Duncan can’t leave his ranch, and Drew’s job and all his contacts are in London. But with the wedding approaching, Drew knows he has to make some decisions before he sees Duncan again. If Drew can find a way for them to be together, then maybe they can find their happily ever after.
Confession time; cowboys aren’t my favorite thing, but Scotland was the draw here. Plus the premise sounded promising, and I was looking forward to reading this book. Milne gives a sweet love story that, while could have benefitted from some more depth in places, was ultimately a feel good read I enjoyed.
Drew is out and proud. Flamboyant and campy. A bit stereotypical at times, but he’s the kind of character that makes it work. He’s a hopeless flirt, and goes over the line sometimes. But he is who he is and makes no apologies. I have to say, I enjoyed his confidence and the way he went after what he wanted in life. At the same time, I liked his bit of hesitancy when dealing with Duncan, both him being unsure about exactly what it is that Duncan wanted and checking to make sure Duncan was okay with everything going on.
Duncan, too, read a bit like a “backwoods” stereotype. He lived a rather sheltered life, and drew up under the harsh eye of his grandfather. So there are definitely things in his past that have shaped his outlook. He was a bit of a contradiction at times; he was supposedly shy, but would spout exposition paragraphs about himself to a virtual stranger. His parents were diplomats, but he was very much an unworldly type guy. But he was big hearted and gentle, and though I wanted to shake him a few times, I liked him.
Together these guys have decent chemistry, and there was no doubt they wanted each other. I would have liked to see more of their relationship development though. While they couldn’t keep their hands off each other when they were together, and they did talk sometimes, it wasn’t quite enough for me to believe that they’d be willing to change their entire lives to suit one another and be together. There was the beginnings of it there, but I wanted to see more to really believe it.
The plot itself is wonderful in its simplicity. There’s nothing groundbreaking here, but Milne makes it work. Just two guys who are attracted to each other, trying to navigate their worlds when they are so very different from one another. Add in kilts, lacy men’s underwear, and some Highland cows, and you have a nice story. And if there is a sequel in the making with two secondary MCs, then I’ll definitely read it.