Author: Alex Carreras
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Rating: 3 stars
Buy Links: WCP and Amazon
Received from Publisher
Blurb: When Ethan Stokes returns to his family’s farm after his mother’s death, he didn’t expect the obligatory weekend visit to turn into a project that would take the entire summer to complete. He also didn’t expect to be living with Quinn Kincade, the man who Ethan shared his first kiss with back in high school. But if Ethan remembered correctly, wasn’t Quinn… straight?
Between milking cows, renovating barns, and dealing with aging fathers with strong opinions, the two men try to maneuver the best they know how, both looking for their happily ever after atop Rainbow Hill.
Review: Ethan Stokes escaped his small town home for the more cultured Washington, DC after graduating from college and he never had any intention of going back for more than flying visits to see his family. Farm life was not for him, he much preferred life in his DuPont Circle townhouse with his boyfriend of over five years, Randall, and his career in Randall’s interior design business. Then his perfect life started to crumble around his ears with his boyfriend trading him in for a younger, impossibly buff model. Now their home is now listed for sale and his career left hanging. So when Ethan gets an unexpected call from his father, Tucker, asking for his help with the family farm, he had no reason to say no, even if he dreaded going back to a place that held few good memories. Besides, Ethan had been waiting for his father to need him his entire life and it would only be for a short while until Randall came to his senses and realised the beefcake he was with wasn’t right for him. Ethan was.
With the death of his mother three years ago, Ethan assumed the help Tucker needed was putting Oak Hill Farm on the market, like so many other families of the region had been forced to do. The sale of the two hundred acres of land would leave his father living comfortably for the rest of his life, after all. When Ethan arrives at Oak Hill Farm, the fact that his father has no intention of selling is just the first of the surprises in store for him. His old room and guest room are now being inhabited by their former neighbours, Quinn Kincade and his father, who had been forced to sell their farm due to crippling debts from a protracted battle with cancer ending in the death of Quinn’s mother. The supposedly straight Quinn had been Ethan’s first kiss when they were teenagers and he had grown into a ruggedly handsome man. Obviously farm life had suited him.
The second surprise was the plan Quinn and Tucker had cooked up between them to save Oak Hill from going the same way as many of the other farms. They intend to turn the farm, with its large Victorian farmhouse and various outbuildings, into a premier retail destination for city folk wanting to experience a bit of the countryside and sample the local wares. Spending time with Quinn during the renovations serves to remind Ethan of exactly what he had found so attractive about him in the first place. With Quinn obviously loving the country life and Ethan positively hating everything about it, there could not possibly be a future together.
This book started off really strong and then went kind of…nowhere. None of the plot points were explored more than cursorily and opportunities that they would have presented to show the MCs getting to know each other and falling in love were completely missed. Their whole relationship seemed to be made up of lust, lust and more lust. And an obsession with the size of Quinn’s bulge, which ended up getting annoying after a while. You would think with all of that there would be a lot of hot smexy times. Nope. Nothing much until almost three quarters into the book and that ended up being pretty underwhelming and not particularly sexy. As a matter of fact, the entire focus on physical appearances got irritating. Apparently that’s all there is to a relationship. Either that or the materials benefits. I had moments of liking Ethan, then he goes back to being a judgemental, pretentious jerk in serious need of a sense of humour. I adored Quinn for most of the book.
There were quite a few plot inconsistencies. At the beginning we’re told that Ethan no longer has a job with Randall’s business, but later there are several comments about Ethan’s business. Ethan had gone to town after the plans for the farm had been discussed, he knew what would be involved, yet the next day he says he would have planned to get more appropriate shoes for labouring if he’d known what he’d be doing. There was quite a focus on Quinn’s looks and penis size, yet when Ethan talks about the not-so-attractive Randall, he says physical appearance isn’t as important to Ethan as a person’s heart and soul, even though it was Quinn who was the good man and Randall an arse who happened to have inherited a trust fund.
I really didn’t understand where Ethan’s antagonism towards his father came from. We are given the firm impression, via Ethan, early on that his father was disapproving and critical of his son and his life. Everything we were actually shown of Tucker painted him as a caring and accepting parent, even if he doesn’t always understand his son. There didn’t seem to be any real reason for Ethan to have such a gigantic chip on his shoulder. In fact, I really liked Tucker. Certainly a lot more than I did Ethan, whom I found quite difficult to warm to. Quinn and Tucker went a long way to saving this book for me. I will say, the ending was sweet and made me smile.