Title: Lord of a Thousand Steps (Love in Laguna #4)
Author: Tara Lain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: 31st Aug, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance, Family
Page Count: 220
Reviewed by: PIU
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
To architecture student Ian Carney, family means everything. Taken in by his brother, Jim, when his father threw him out at eighteen for being gay, Ian yearns to create his own family with his boyfriend, Rico. But Rico’s in Mexico caring for a sick father, Ian hasn’t had sex in a month and a half, and his gorgeous boss, Braden Lord, CEO of the architectural firm Ian interns for, is looking better and better.
Braden’s life is chaos. Just out of the closet and going through an ugly divorce from his wife of fifteen years who’s trying to take custody of his two children, he desperately resolves not to succumb to a completely inappropriate attraction to Ian—even though his kids adore both the man and his crazy cat.
When Rico proves to be a snake in the grass and Ian exercises his powers of seduction, what starts as a “friends with benefits” fling turns into real life real fast. Can Ian give up his romantic dreams for an “old guy” who didn’t come out until he carried a mountain of baggage? It’ll only take a thousand steps.
“Lord of a Thousand Steps” is the new addition to Tara Lain’s “Love in Laguna” series. The MCs of the second book were very much involved in this story but don’t worry if you have skipped it. This story can be read as a standalone. The story had a very realistic plotline involving family and love and the ending left me with a smile.
Ian Carney is the 21 year old intern in the architectural firm “Lord and Kendrick”. He is an exceptionally talented architect with a bright future. His work quickly garners the attention of Braden Lord, the sexy co-owner of the company. Ian is in a committed relationship but with his no- good, absentee boyfriend almost out of the picture, he can’t help but being attracted to the sex on legs Braden, Ian’s living and breathing wet dream.
Braden Lord has recently come out and has an ongoing, nasty child custody battle with his hateful ex-wife. Life is too bleak for him to enjoy being gay and celebrate his new life as an out and proud man. Ian is like a forbidden fruit he can’t have but longs for him nonetheless. He knows he can never start anything with Ian but as circumstances bring them together more and more, Braden can’t help but fall in love. And the upside is both of Braden’s children adore Ian. They make a pretty beautiful family but there are hurdles that need to be crossed for them to be together.
Ian was sweet and shy and friendly and totally adorable. I enjoyed his time with Braden’s kids more than the romance, and that’s saying something. He was kicked out by his father at eighteen when he came out to him as gay and his brother, Jim takes him in. He longs for a family, to belong with someone and to feel love of the forever kind like his brother. His life experiences had matured him far more quickly than a guy for his age. He was compassionate with a big and tender heart. I wanted to drop kick that Loser Rico (Ian’s sleazy boyfriend) when he breaks Ian’s heart. I was kind of praying from the start for Rico to turn out as a total sleazeball, so that he can get together with Braden and get the real deal. My prayers were answered, YAY!!!
Braden Lord is an amazing dad and his kids are his first priority. He had lived most of his life hiding an important part of him and now when he is finally out, his ex-wife is determined to take him to the cleaners financially and deprive him of his kids. I hated that bitch with a passion. There are sacrifices that parents have to make for their children and I admired Braden for his efforts to spare his children of all the crap going on with their mother. Ian and his age difference was a huge issue with Braden which was so true and realistic. To work in the same profession and in the same office and having relationship can be looked down upon by anyone, especially when Ian is an intern and Braden is his boss’s boss’s boss’s etcetra boss. The CEO having a relationship with the intern painted Ian in a bad light but thankfully Ian deserved everything that came his way.
The romance was rocky. It starts off with an intense attraction and then leads to some pretty heavy passion then regrets and self-doubt and finally LOVE. So yeah it had every emotion that makes up for a delightful romance. I just wanted more romance between the couple when they were “In Love” rather than being fuck buddies. A little more about their life after they officially get together would have been fantastic.
Another character who completely stole my heart is Anderson Cooper Carney. Don’t be surprised, he is a cat. He is huge and a total sand whore. Anderson is a very important part of the story. I will say that he single-handedly brought Braden and Ian together. If not for his totally cuddly and vivacious personality, Braden’s children would never have met Ian. So Anderson definitely gets max credit for the HEA.
All in all, this a great read with a sweet family oriented romance. It was fun and at times a little angsty with a great HEA at the end. The plot showcases the struggle of a father trying to juggle a new and budding romance while fighting to keep his kids. Ian and Braden were perfect together despite their huge age difference. I loved both of them. After reading this book, I now have to read the second book because Jim and Ken made an awesome couple and I want to read how they got started on their journey. Great writing with very real and lovable characters, this book was a solid 4 star read for me.