Rating: 4 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novel

 

Jules has lived on the family sheep station all of his life and that’s all he knows. One day, he will take over the station and, now that his father is rehabilitating from a stroke, Jules has a lot to carry. He has always had a low-key attraction to men, but the homophobia at the station, led by his own father, makes it helpful that Jules likes women a lot too. Jules never had a reason to act on his attraction to men; he saw what happened with his brother when he came out, but then Liam Skelton walked through his door.

Liam is in demand as an occupational therapist and Jules’ father is his new client. His tattoos turn heads and Jules can’t keep his eyes off of the man. But it’s Liam’s rainbow bracelet that gets his new client’s attention. Liam tracks Jules the moment he arrives and, as hot as he thinks Jules is, Liam has a sense that any advances would be unwanted by Jules. But the thing is that Jules wants Liam, maybe more than he has wanted anyone before. But to take that step, Jules will have to risk everything he’s worked for and that includes the approval of his father. But the risk might just be worth it.

One of the things I like best about the Mackenzie Country series is the setting on a sheep station in New Zealand. The station plays a large role in the story, as it defines many of the characters, and having a few lambs on page works too. This is Jules’ story and we have seen him throughout the series as Zach’s brother. Zach had his heart broken in the first book in the series, The Art of Husbandry, and found his man in the second book, The Mechanics of Lust, and for me, both the relationships between the characters and the overall world work best to read in order.

Jules loves his life being a shepherd, although many things are difficult due to his father, Paddy. Paddy is now recovering from a stroke and is determined to hold onto making the decisions at the station, even though his body and mind don’t agree. He is aggressively homophobic and set in his ways and Jules takes it because he loves his home and his mother and wants to protect the staff. He also still holds out hope that his father will change.

When Liam comes to stay at the station to work, he changes everything Jules ever thought about his future. Liam is successful and educated and has grown a successful business. He has no intention of taking any of the hate that Paddy spews and, to everyone’s surprise, pushes back in clear terms. Jules wants to explore this new interest he has in Liam, but he knows what the cost could be and he’s not sure if he is ready to risk that.

This book is similar to the rest of the series where men try to find love in a sometimes hostile environment due to the homophobia around them. Liam has his own reasons for not being in a relationship, but the chemistry between him and Jules is the easy part.

The book was perhaps a bit too predictable for my tastes and it was similar to the others. Also, and I recognize that this is something I become aware of in books, but everyone in this book blushed way too much. There were different names given to it — heated cheeks, pink cheeks, and so forth — but every time there was a conversation, it seemed like more than one person had this ailment and it became so overdone it was a distraction.

I liked Liam and Jules and I liked them together, and watching them lean on each other and fall for each other was a good read. It was also fun catching up with the other men of the series. The tranquil setting in a remote area adds to the allure and I will look forward to another visit.