Author: Jan Irving
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy link: Amazon.com
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Length: Novella (100 pages)
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
A guest review by Lily
A sweet story of the unexpected love that develops between a first time father down on his luck and the small town doctor who offers help and friendship.
Wandering cowboy Luke Walker is at the end of his rope after his girlfriend abandons their newborn daughter. A terrified new father, he’s grateful to meet Dr. Morgan Gallagher. Morgan recognizes that he and Luke could help each other: Luke can rebuild Morgan’s property and land so Morgan can have the horses he wants, and Morgan can provide the younger man with a safe place to raise his daughter. In theory, it should work out perfectly, except that Morgan is instantly attracted to Luke—a straight man—and sharing the same cabin and caring for the baby is a more intimate arrangement than he’d imagined.
A Spin-off of Sylvan
Luke is a really sweet novella set in the same world as the author’s previous story, Sylvan, but it can be read as a standalone. In this story we meet Luke, a cowboy almost at the end of his rope due to an unexpected change in his life, and Morgan, the man who ends up turning Luke’s life completely around.
When the mother of his baby girl drops her off with him, saying she has no desire to be a full time mom, Luke finds himself responsible for an infant with very little idea on how to do that. Desperate for some inspiration he takes a few minutes to go to church and there meets Morgan, a small town doctor. Morgan sees right away that Luke needs help and offers him a place to stay in return for help on his small property. As the men spend time together Morgan, who’s gay, can’t hide his interest in the young man and Luke, who’s never been into men, suddenly finds himself thinking more and more about Morgan as a man and not just a friend/employer.
As the men slowly begin to acknowledge their feelings for each other they also have to deal with Steven, Morgan’s friend with benefits, and Luke’s ex, Zelda, showing up. Eventually things start to fall into place for Luke and Morgan and the men take their relationship to the next level. Finally lovers, will they be free to become a family in the small town of Sylvan?
This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I enjoyed it. The characters are likable and the storyline of the first time Dad and his cute baby was entertaining. The supporting characters are good additions to the story and even Zelda, who comes off bad in the beginning, is turned into a reasonably sympathetic character by the end.
However, I did think that Luke’s change from straight to gay was a little too easy and the story felt a bit rushed towards the end. I would have liked to see him struggle a bit more with his growing feelings for a man. I also didn’t like the way we are first introduced to the baby. I felt Luke’s actions were wrong and despite him being desperate for a bit of guidance from above I think it could have been written differently.
Despite a couple of reservations I did enjoy reading Luke. The writing was solid, the characters likable and the relationship between the men was interesting. A fun, sexy read with a sweet ending.