Gio Valeri always wanted to be a police officer and having a career in a big city was everything he thought he wanted. Until it all went wrong. He’s now been transferred to the small outback town of Richmond, where he can be out of sight, but certainly not out of mind of his former colleagues and so-called friends. It’s a two-year post and Gio just wants to get through it.
When he arrives, Gio is confronted with the drastic changes of small town life and he is also faced with his boss, Jason Quinn. Jason’s wife died five years ago and Jason still clings to her memory. He’s trying to do it all, working his shifts while raising his ten-year old son, Taylor. He needs someone in his station that he can trust, not someone with a career history like Gio’s, but Jason has no choice but to work with the new man.
The attraction is there from the start, but Jason is Gio’s boss and he’s not sure he’s ready to move on. And, Gio is still trying to recover from his last relationship that left his heart in tatters and his career in a downward spiral. Living in a remote town, Jason and Gio have no one to rely on but each other and even though the town is small, the dangers can still be big.
This is a somewhat quiet story that can get intense at times. It’s not dark, but not overly light either and falls somewhere in the middle range of it all. Lisa Henry adds a great quality here as she makes the setting of this small Australian town come to life. The town, in many ways, is equally as important to the story as the side characters, which all play important roles all of the way through.
Gio has just arrived to this small town under duress. His career and his personal life are almost in shambles and he’s not in a good place. Yet, he has to be as he takes on this new position of a policeman in a remote town where trust is everything at this two man station. His personal story comes at a good pace and Jason is the first to learn how many sides there are to a story.
Jason is a good guy by all accounts. He works hard and tries to do the best he can by his son, but he does not have all of the pieces together. The book is about second chances in a variety of ways for both men. The relationship aspect is a slower pace and rightfully so. Gio has to adapt to his new home and job while still dealing with the fallout of his old life. Jason is sort of stuck. He still misses his wife and he’s reluctant to make changes where his son is concerned, even when it’s for the best.
There is attraction seen on both parts, but it’s only shown in small amounts and it does not become the focus of the story. When the guys do get together they tell each other, “It’s just two blokes getting off,” and neither will admit that they want any more. I could have used a little more chemistry and a little more conversation regarding the relationship aspect of things.The ending ramps up the action and then the men are left in a fairly good place with a strong HFN as they are left at the stage where they are trying to see if a relationship will work between the two of them. Their story felt a little unfinished at the end and while this is the beginning of a series, the author has said the next book is about a different pair. More books set in this world is a definite plus, but I still would wonder about Gio and Jason.
I enjoyed being transported to this small Australian town with a story of second changes, letting go, and finding family. I would definitely recommend it for a book with a small town feel but a big story.