Title: Miles To Go (Xxchange #2)
Author: Bailey Bradford
Cover Art: PoshGosh
Buy link: Amazon.com
Genre: Contemporary M/M Western/ Romance.
Rating 3.75 out of 5 rating stars
A Guest Review by Raine
Summary Review: An easy read—some nicely drawn characters, sexually stifled meets rode hard put away wet, for too much sex and happy ending tied with red bow.
Blurb: Max Jenkins watched enviously as the love between his employers, Rory and Chance blossomed. He never thought to have someone of his own to hold until Bo shook up Max’s world and made him question everything he believed he knew about himself.
What might seem like an impossible dream for two wounded men can be a reality if they’ll only believe—in each other, and themselves.
Max Jenkins has been the foreman on Chance Gallagher’s ranch long enough to know love between two men can be a powerful thing. Despite his rigid upbringing, Max has watched Chance and his partner Rory, has seen the deep and abiding love they have for one another, and Max has found himself thinking about things he’d never acknowledged before. When Max’s friend, Bo Daughtry, is almost killed in a violent attack, Max realizes he has some decisions to make. Years of fear and ignoring his own needs make it difficult, but for the love of one man, Max will fight himself and Bo’s doubts and insecurities.
Miles To Go is an attractive look at a western romance between two older guys, both in their early forties. Life has rushed past them and left them rather high and dry and as the title suggests, they are bone tired and weary.
The western ranch setting is set up nicely with good everyday work details. I liked the picture Bailey Bradford drew of Max; he has a strong gruff introspective voice, with a touch of self-deprecating humour. His personal self-discipline has been embedded by a rigid damaging childhood. Bo is the good-time-guy in his early forties showing signs of wear and tear, but some rather nice details make him appealing, as he tries to avoid the twink mannerisms he is too old to carry off. His own childhood back story helps fill out his personality and balance his painful neediness.
There is an almost adolescent sexual clumsiness and intensity that is quite endearing as these two battered by life guys get it together. Bo with his too much experience and inhibited Max with the opposite. Characters from the previous book Love in Xxchange appear, help and hinder with sex ed advice. There is also a GFY aspect explored here.
This series features a club, The Xxchange, as a place which once visited somehow acts as a life-altering experience. I have to say I wouldn’t have got that importance from this book, if I hadn’t read about it on the publisher’s website. I’m guessing that in the other books the club plays a more significant part. This book is fine as a stand alone.
I enjoyed seeing Max and Bo sort things out, but then once they were in a relationship I found that there was too much sex and sentimentality for my taste. However although the second part of the book felt more generic and stereotypical, I still found it an easy going read.