Fire & Rain (Kansas #2)

Author: Carter Quinn

Publisher: Carter Quinn Books

Rating: 5 stars

Buy Links: Amazon

Type: Novel in Series

Received from Publisher

 

Blurb:  Eric Walker has learned hard lessons from his past. He’s no longer the alcoholic husband hiding in the closet. He’s no longer the guy who tried to steal his brother’s boyfriend. He has two items on his agenda: fix his relationship with his brother, Jason, and find his own soul mate. But when it comes to relationships, Eric’s track record looks more like a train wreck. He craves intimacy almost as much as he fears reverting to his old ways.

Johnny Osborne has watched Eric mature over the last year and a half and has fallen in love with him in the process. He’s tried being patient, but it’s gotten him nowhere. No matter how many disastrous blind dates Johnny sets Eric up on, Eric seems determined to consider everyone but the man who’s been right in front of him all along.

Eric and Johnny aren’t the only ones struggling with their emotions. After his apartment burns down, their coworker, Travis, can’t choose between the guy he’s been crushing on for months and the guy he’s afraid to love. He seems determined to re-enact every blunder of Eric’s past. Will Travis learn from Eric’s mistakes before the man who loves him walks away for good? Will Eric ever see that best friends make the best lovers?

 

Review:  In the first book in this series, The Way Back, I loved Jason from the very beginning.  I learned to love Riley, but it took a while.  One of my least favorite characters in…well, forever…was Jason’s brother, Eric.  He was the a$$hole from hell!  He lied, he cheated and was just an a$$hole!  He married Carly knowing he preferred men, then cheated on her.  He seduced Riley, knowing that Jason was in love with him!  There was no way that Eric and I were going to have a friendly relationship.  No way!

But Eric was harder on himself than I was.  He suffered for his bad behavior and was a good guy to his new friends at Mo’s, the gay bar he was managing.  He was a mentor and friend to all the bar employees, especially the younger boys.  Knowing how much he had hurt the people in his life, he thought he could never trust himself again to be in any kind of meaningful relationship, but one night stands certainly didn’t appeal to him.  He wanted more.  He wanted the kind of loving and committed relationship that Jason and Riley had.  But he doesn’t have much hope, especially after all the dates his friend, Johnny, set him up with.

Johnny is a happy gay man.  Mostly.  He supervises “the girls” in the bar’s drag show.  He performed for years as Zara, but stopped a few years earlier.  He’s very classy…always dressed beautifully.  I adored him!  He is the nicest guy!  It was obvious from very early in the story that Johnny is crazy about Eric…obvious to everyone but Eric.  And Johnny is a little reluctant to reveal too much of his feeling to Eric.  He’s been hurt in the past, both emotionally and physically.

This is a truly wonderful book, full of emotion and forgiveness.   Eric must learn to forgive himself for his past mistakes while teaching Johnny to trust again.  The secondary characters are richly drawn, making the story resonate with life, love and passion.  And there is passion…and sex.  But the most important part of the story occurred with…just…one…kiss.  Exquisitely simple.  And very powerful.

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