This review can be found at Brief Encounters Reviews.
You don’t find out much about Ramon in this story beyond what he tells Brandon, but I appreciated the pace of the story. Brandon is still not over his father’s death two years prior. At the time his sister quite college to come and help him run a feed/supply story, but they ended up selling the family farm to pay the bills. As well, when Brandon fell into a deep depression following his father’s death, his boyfriend left him. He’s hooked up now and then since, but isn’t sure a permanent relationship is in the cards for him. However with the UPS guy shows up and rescues an injured baby hawk, Brandon is smitten. However the first day they spend time together riding, Ramon gives off some weird yes/no vibes leaving Brandon confused but Ramon keeps coming back, but finally confesses he has a boyfriend. Oops.
Brandon backs off, hurt that he feels Ramon was playing him, and even after Ramon leaves his abusive boyfriend, he still can’t seem to make a clean break causing Brandon to back off even more. Of course eventually it works out. It is a romance.But I liked that while Brandon wanted Ramon, he was prepared to wait until the guy had his act together. Ramon is only in his early 20′s, a college student and Brandon is 30, and this shows in their behaviour. Ramon is quick to flirt and push things even while with his boyfriend, whereas Brandon is the one to make him back-off. It’s how you imagine a younger man being more impetuous and ruled by hormones than logic.
I wish the abuse had been addressed a bit more. Several times at the beginning Ramon acts nervous that Brandon is mad at him, but then later he’s fine and seems to have suffered no ill-effect from being in an abusive relationship. But as the story is told only from Brandon’s POV you really don’t know what the whole story is.
This author is always able to bring to life people suffering frompersonal loss and that pervading sense of sadness and mourning. You get the sense for Brandon’s loss even two years later. It’s not longer that overwhelming depression, but that gray cloud that exists over your life on a day-to-day basis. Ramon is less well-drawn but his care and compassion for animals comes through in his treatment of the injured hawk and his college major of vet technician. Readers who prefer a more character driven story that moves at a bit more sedate pace, will appreciate this story.
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