Story Rating: 4.25 stars
Audio Rating: 4.5 stars

Narrator: Lance West
Length: 8 hours, 15 minutes

Audiobook Buy Links: Amazon/Audible | iBooks
Book Buy Links: Amazon | iBooks

Cash Sweeney is approaching his 50th birthday and he’s mostly satisfied with his life. He has come a long way since trailer homes, prison, and building himself back up with the help of a rancher who was willing to give him a second chance. Cash is now a multimillionaire, owning properties around Colorado and running his own rehabilitation services for ex-cons who need a fresh start. That said, watching all his employees get coupled up is highlighting the ache Cash has pining for his own man–his longtime friend, FBI Special Agent Nick Scott.

Nick and Cash spent a torrid, sexy weekend together twelve years ago, but they parted as friends, since Nick was slated to leave for his training in Quantico, and Cash had a lot to prove in business back in Denver. They’ve kept up with each other, traveled and hung out when they had the time, but each man aches for the passion they once shared. Nick, now burned out from a career that’s become more political than investigative, has taken a leave of absence to try to de-stress and (literally) get his mojo back. The only place he wants to find himself again is at Redemption Ridge, Cash’s extensive ranch and rehab estate in the foothills outside of Colorado Springs. Nick is ready to confess his longstanding love, and use his leave to convince Cash to give their love a real try–while also figuring out his next steps now that he’s prepared to leave the Bureau.

This is the third book in the Redemption Ridge series, and is best enjoyed when read in order. Saints Like Him is the midpoint of the five-book series, so we also have a good bit of the plot devoted to the ongoing issues with Salvation Anew, a “religious” cult that’s been attacking the Redemption Ridge ex-cons in an attempt to get some of them re-incarcerated. It’s great that Nick’s available to assist Cash in the investigations that ensue, as well as helping trace the original reason behind the cult’s focus on Cash and the ex-cons. We get a lot of that plot angle resolved in this book, along with the set-up of the final two romances for books four and five. I must admit to reading on in the series, because I was totally intrigued after I heard the first one in audio. I’m eager for Friends Like Them to hit the audiobook market, and book five to come out at the end of the month.

This story chronicles the very rapid acquiescence of Cash to Nick’s desires–with a whole lot of tender passion. Nick’s emotional and mental imbalances have left him temporarily impotent, but Cash loves him extra good and patiently, coaxing Nick back into a rhythm that eventually heals the situation. That’s super fun to experience in audio form, and narrator Lance West really embodies both of these mature characters in a way that’s so loving and playful. They are old friends, and wise about their life choices and desires. Neither man is willing to engage in a plan that will harm the other, and that compassion is so evident in the audio.

If you have any interest in western-lite, large cast stories that read like you’re in the room watching the love happen, this series has scratched that itch for me.