Rating: 4 stars
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Rory Brown, after having been in foster care for years, works on the Double J ranch. He loves it there, and he feels a strong, family-like camaraderie with the other ranch hands, but he’s got a secret crush on one of them, Zane Fox. Unfortunately for Rory, Zane is straight. Or is he?
Zane enjoys being around his “Little Buddy” Rory. One night, when a snow and ice storm hits, the electricity goes out and all the hands double up and sleep in the same bed for warmth. Zane invites Rory into his bed. While nothing physical goes on, the men wind up snuggle against each other and Zane actually doesn’t mind.
On the night of Rory’s 21st birthday, the hands take him out to a bar to celebrate. Rory gets more than a little tipsy, throws his inhibitions to the wind, and kisses Zane. The next morning, Rory thinks he’s ruined his friendship with Zane and is devastated. But when Rory gets word that his father is ill and he has to return home, Zane is there unexpectedly to comfort him.
Rory and Zane are able to get to know one another better and begin their sexual relationship. Life together is damn near perfect and both men are very happy…until a surprise comes knocking and potentially ruins their happily ever after. Can they get past it, or will Rory not be able to handle this bump in the road?
I enjoyed Rory’s Rock. I found it to be sweet and charming, with some laughs and a love story that worked for me on so many levels. I love romances that take place on ranches with handsome cowboys, so I was definitely not disappointed here. I liked both Rory and Zane. They had a nice chemistry that was sweet, but very sexy. It was also great how they got along with the other ranch hands. It was like a big family…sometimes a little weird, but a lot of love to go around.
The road to romance for Rory and Zane wasn’t completely smooth, but it made perfect sense. Zane, having previously seen himself as straight, had to come to terms with his attraction to Rory. I was impressed by the way he talked to his parents about his feelings before diving right in. His family has always been close, so it felt natural for him to confide in them. Rory’s secret crush on Zane was rather cute, but he fought his feelings because he worried falling for a straight man would only bring heartache. Also, he is still damaged from watching his father murder his mother and having to go into foster care. At first, there isn’t too much mentioned about that, but it soon added depth to both Rory and the story.
There were quite a few background characters in Rory’s Rock…the ranch’s owners, the other ranch hands, Zane’s family, Rory’s father, and finally, a waitress from the bar named Tonya. I know that sounds like it may be a lot to contend with, but really it’s not. All the people fill their roles and don’t take up too much story away from Rory and Zane. I particularly liked how all the hands came to Zane to tell him if he was to ever hurt Rory, he would definitely feel some hurt of his own. The support nice to see, especially when Rory winds up really needing them.
My only real knock on this book is the conflict thrown in toward the end. I know there I always some sort of conflict to move a story along, but I was a little turned off at what that was, and the fact that it came so late in the timeline. It felt jarring and almost as if it was added at the last minute. It made me mad, of course, because of my attachment to Rory and Zane as a couple, but also because it felt a little contrived. Also, due to it coming so late in the book, I was left feeling rather unsatisfied with the resolution and the ending. It was like everything turned on a dime, and it wasn’t the same story I started out reading.
Speaking of the ending, even if I wasn’t exactly thrilled, it was kind of sweet and a little adorable. Everything wrapped up neatly and as it should have. I’d like to throw in that even though it’s not technically part of a series, there is a book that preceded this one. It’s called Cowboy Sandwich and it’s the story of the ranch owners. It didn’t get in the way, and I wasn’t lost or confused in any way, so it doesn’t necessarily have to be read to understand Rory’s Rock.
I have absolutely no qualms about recommending this one, especially if you’re a fan of modern day cowboys, ranches, and sweet (and incredibly sexy) romance.
This sounds good. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.