Archer Hiscock is a 32-year-old man who owns his own veterinary practice. He’s prepared to settle down with the right man, but his last two long-term relationships have been a bust. Archer’s on vacation for two weeks to unwind from his stressful life. In a bar, he meets Cain, a sexy man who seems keen for a fling. Within minutes they are heading back for Archer’s room to get busy.
That was utterly believable. Pretty much everything else in this story was unbelievable, for me.
It was downright unbelievable that Cain is an American who happens to hail from the same small Montana town as Archer, yet they meet across the world. Somehow, Archer never heard of Cain before this chance encounter. Sure, Cain’s been in London for the past five years for work, but you know, he never flies back and sees family…ever? Now, he’s on this two-week break before he moves across an ocean and back to Small Town, Montana—where (unbelievably) his international engineering firm is located. Oh, and Cain has (unbelievably) never been attracted to men before, though he’s had good friends who are gay, to whom he’s been a fierce ally against his homophobic brother’s verbal attacks. And, while Cain’s never had any sexual contact with a man, Archer is (unbelievably) going to be The One thanks to his great ASSets. And, so they leave the bar for sex. Lots and lots of sex.
Believably, because I had no attachment to these guys, I got bored in the sex bits. This was strange, because I’m usually REALLY into sex bits.
The next scene skips right to the end of the vacation, with Archer and Cain deciding—though they have made a connection that is heretofore unmatched—they will (unbelievably) let one another go…even though in a matter of WEEKS they will (unbelievably) LIVE in the same Small Town, Montana. Also, in two solid weeks of hanging/banging 24/7 they (unbelievably) couldn’t have exchanged any contact info? Or, thought about how they could continue this totally orgasmic and romantic (I’m assuming the latter as there was no evidence of this in the book) relationship back home?
Stateside, Archer’s mother is marrying Cain’s father, and (unbelievably) neither Archer nor Cain know this until the ceremony. Because large, intermarrying families in Small Town, Montana (unbelievably) have no family events before the Big Day. And these two educated, grown men can’t read an invitation to recognize the surnames of their parent’s intended matches are the same as those of their vacation fling. They also (unbelievably) can’t keep the secret that they spent 14 days in bed together on vacation for the length of the ceremony. And then, people think it’s icky that they are stepbrothers who had sex. Again, grown men, not raised together or meeting with full disclosure prior to their fling. And, they are still hot for one another. And, they are conflicted about it because: propriety.
Meanwhile, Archer’s grandfather is the world’s biggest vulgar loudmouth who can’t shut up about his own, and other people’s, sex life. It’s cringe-worthy, and (unbelievably) totally accepted. Most unbelievable, I think, was that Dirty Gramps never made ONE crack about his daughter’s married name: Hiscock…His-cock? Yeah. That was where a LOT of the humor went in the story, but that was some low-hanging fruit no one (unbelievably) plucked. And, Cain’s homophobic brother has, like, two psychotic breaks, and finally confesses a 20-year-old secret, which melodramatically rallies the troops of this large, boisterous, blended family.
This is the first book in a series with about 17 siblings and cousins (some of whom are queer) in a giant blended family. I didn’t really come to care for any of them. They all seemed like caricatures, and were super melodramatic, inappropriate, insufferable, and unpleasant. Also, repetition was an issue for me, with Archer and Cain having swung the “will we/won’t we” pendulum until I got seasick. There’s lots of sex, though, so if that’s all you’re looking for in a story, this one will wet your whistle. I found myself skipping over the (unbelievably) long and detailed sex-a-thons, since they were mainly body part descriptions and incoherent moaning, and held vanishingly small emotional or character development.