Do You Trust Me? (Crabbypatty’s Review)

Title: Do You Trust Me? (Second Edition)
Author: B.G. Thomas
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: February 3, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 220
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

The path to happiness starts with acceptance, and sometimes the chance for a bright, loving future means letting go of the past.

All his life, Neil Baxter has buried a large part of himself—the part that’s attracted to other men. He married a woman and denied that side of him existed. And he plans to keep right on pretending to be straight after his beloved wife has passed away.

To help him deal with his grief, Neil’s sister-in-law convinces him to vacation at a dude ranch. There, Neil meets Cole Thompson, a young, gorgeous, unabashedly gay wrangler—who is unabashedly attracted to Neil. And try as he might, Neil cannot deny he feels the same way. But desire soon becomes something more profound as the two men get to know each other. Cole is much more than a sexy cowboy: he’s kind, spiritual, and intelligent. In fact, he’s perfect for Neil… except he’s a man, and Neil isn’t ready to let go of a lifetime of denial. If he cannot find the courage to be true to himself, he might let something wonderful slip through his fingers.

Owen, Amy and their kids, plus Neil Baxter’s daughter Crystal, vacation every summer at the Black Bear Guest Ranch. But with Owen’s death only two months past, and Neil’s wife Emily dead two years, Amy (Em’s sister) asks Neil to go to the dude ranch in Owen’s place and continue their tradition of spending a week herding cattle, riding the range, having cookouts under the stars, etc.

I fell in love with the Black Bear Guest Ranch and was there every page of the way as Neil slowly peels away his years of pretending, his lifetime of discipline, and finally acknowledges that he has always been attracted to men and is gay. And gorgeous wrangler Cole, who is all grace and masculinity, blows away every preconception Neil has been harboring about gay men. The pace of this story is slow and steady, and Neil and Cole’s love story is a very slow burn, but it’s necessary for Neil to come to terms with his past and his grief for Emily and to trust Cole. And once Neil is ready? The chemistry between Neil and Cole is palpable and hotter than hell.

This story is all about trust, and despite some plot contrivances that would have induced heavy eye rolling if done by another author

Cole’s evil ex is almost a caricature, there is an honest-to-god black bear attack, and Cole’s nickname for Neil – Big Daddy seemed a bit weird at times.
I trusted that B.G. Thomas would deliver a heartfelt story and he did, with a wonderful HEA ending and epilogue that just felt right. And the ongoing conversation his characters have about the “sacred” – the sacredness you find in nature, in communion with horses, the sacredness you create yourself beyond the concepts of religion – was truly beautiful. I was so glad I read this book, and gave “Do You Trust Me?” 4 solid stars.

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Galley copy of Do You Trust Me? provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.


Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend. My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh ... not in my wheelhouse, but I'm a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre. Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more. A few "badges" from NetGalley: 100 Book Reviews Reviews Published Professional Reader