Title: Kyle (Legacy #1)
Author: R.J. Scott
Publisher: Love Lane Books Limited
Release Date: August 31st 2016
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance
Page Count: TBD
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.7 stars out of 5
Two men destroyed by the past learn to live—and love—again.
Kyle Braden has nowhere else to go. With no money and no prospects, he turns to the only man who promises him help. Jack Campbell-Hayes wants to show Kyle that he can be more than he ever thought.
Kyle begins to see how far he’s come from being the scarred man who shut everyone out, when the first person through the doors of Legacy Ranch is Jason; a young man with nightmares that follow him when he’s awake.
Lost in the system and with three years on the streets marking every inch of his body, Jason Smith is scared. His life is an evil mess of hate and despair, and even the offer of a fresh start and a clean bed isn’t enough for him feel safe. Until Kyle comes into his life and shows him that it’s okay not to be in control.
For these broken men, Legacy Ranch offers more than a place to live and work.
I think I’m going to definitely be in the minority with this one, folks. I just didn’t feel like I got to experience the comfort/healing part of this Hurt/Comfort story.
Kyle Braden is twenty-seven (well, he’s twenty-seven at the beginning and twenty-five toward the end*), has been sexually abused, and suffers from some anxiety and mood swings as a result of the abuse.
And yeah, Kyle hated that he categorized men by threat level.
Jason Smith is twenty-two years old and has been selling sexual favors for money for about three years before he loses a friend and changes his ways.
Jason couldn’t give a shit where he was next; he just didn’t care, and there was nothing in his heart that even cared enough to argue anymore.
Jack Campbell-Hayes brings the two together to help build the Legacy Ranch and give them a home. As the two spend time together they find everything they need is in the other’s arms.
Jason huffed a laugh, the depth of his self-loathing drifting into his next words. “Big rich man only needs someone like me for one thing.”
“Is that what it’s about, then? Are you waiting for the other shoe to drop? Is that what you mean?”
“No one gives this kind of thing away for nothing,” Jason snapped. He waved at the barn and the new building. “Jack does all this, so what does he want from us?”
Kyle copied Jason and hoisted himself up on the top bar. “Nothing for himself. Genuinely nothing.”
He sounded as confused as Jason felt. Like he couldn’t believe he’d been handed an opportunity for a place to sleep and work, and food on a regular basis and no one wanted payment for it.
I loved the realistic nature of not everything magically falling into place when Kyle and Jason came to the ranch. They both still suffer from their mood swings, anxiety, and depression don’t just suddenly get all better and they work through their emotions and pasts.
Kyle made a mental note to check on him. Laughter was good, but too much laughing might mean Jason was heading for a fall.
Then Kyle realized what he was doing: looking out for someone else to the point of knowing what they were like.
I loved that the horses help both men to heal a little, even though Jason is vehemently opposed to anything to do with horses in the beginning.
Both men have suffered, which makes the low heat level in this not only make sense, but necessary.
“…But knowing you wouldn’t hurt me if I took my eye off the ball… that was everything.”
I was just hoping for a high level of comfort, and I didn’t really get what I was looking for.
For me though, the romance in the story between the two sort of seemed to come out of left field. So much time was spent on how broken they both were that when they gravitated toward each other I was actually a bit surprised. Maybe that’s because not much of their interactions are on page, or because it doesn’t happen until more than three-quarters of the story is over, or maybe it was because I felt like they barely spoke to one another or really interacted that much together before suddenly they were with one another, I don’t know.
It would have made more sense to me if there had been any unresolved sexual tension, or if the two had a lot of scenes where there was pining, but with the exception of being told of a couple of times when they thought of one another, it kind of felt to me like it was a case of turn the page they’re working the ranch, turn the page and there’s a kiss, and turn the page again and suddenly they’re boyfriends.
But like I said at the start I’m probably going to be way down in the minority with this one.
*This was an error in the ARC, it has been corrected for the publication version.