Title: A Country Boy at Heart (States of Love)
Author: M.A. Church
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: November 9, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 137
Reviewed by: Ariel
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Hot damn, what more could a country boy want? Bass Pro Shop is finally opening in Tennessee. Nick plans to check out all twelve indoor acres chock-full of hunting, fishing, and boating in the Memphis Pyramid on the Mississippi River.
City boy Sandy wonders yet again how he let himself get talked into attending a grand opening for a hick hunting store. His geeky heart prefers the energy of the city. Little does he know all that is going to change due to a freakishly tall glass elevator—and Nick, the high-school crush who’s suddenly taking a second look at him.
A moment of panic while trapped in the elevator leads to a spark neither expected. Getting out is the least of the challenges they’ll face if they want to try to put their differences aside and find out if love is possible between a city boy and a country boy.
Can a city boy and a country boy who are opposites in every way come together and fall in love?
Sandy and Nick went to high school together, but moved in different circles. Sandy was the nerd who got bullied because he was out and proud being gay, while Nick was The Jock and football star.
Sandy had a crush on Nick in high school and, unknowingly, Nick liked Sandy back, but dared not say anything because he was not out and was involved in sports.
One day, an incident happens at school that causes Nick to spurn Sandy. Sandy’s heart gets crushed.
Five years later, Sandy has moved to the big city of Memphis and Nick works at a farm that hosts weddings and has a petting zoo and does hay rides.
Sandy goes with his friend and roommate to the grand opening of this huge Mall. Nick ends up going there as well with his friend. They bump into each other at the mall and Sandy and Nick end up in this glass elevator that gets stuck. Sandy has a panic attack and Nick kisses him to help him, which does work. Nick then apologizes to Sandy for his behavior in high school and asks him out to lunch.
Over the next couple of weeks they date and get to know each other. One day Nick asks Sandy to go camping with him which is out of Sandy’s comfort zone. Sandy says yes and they have a great time.
In the epilogue, six months has passed and they’re still dating and Nick asks Sandy camping again for their six-month anniversary but he rents a cabin this time at a campground and they profess their love to each other.
This is a sweet and entertaining short story that has so many little gems inside. It’s really interesting how a city boy and a country boy that are so different and opposite can really be compatible and it’s because of the compromises and the give-and-take that they do. Nick also has this puppy that is so funny and lovable. The author really makes that puppy come alive. Nick also has a house that he has put a lot of work into. The author describes the house and the work so well that it’s like I was watching an HGTV show.
Sandy is a crack up. He likes things a certain way and he will tell you if he doesn’t like something. He says it in a very comedic way. For example:
“I swear to God, if the floor’s glass there’s no way you’re getting me in there, and I don’t care how much you whine.” There. He’d drawn his line in the sand.
Nick is more serious and down-to-earth. So, when you pair them together, they’re perfect for each other. It’s like Lucy and Ricky or Abbott and Costello.
The first half of the book flows perfectly, but when you get to the middle of it, it starts to speed up. I guess that’s what you get with a short story. I wish it would have been longer so the relationship could have been developed more.
My only criticism is the ending – the epilogue. I was expecting more out of the epilogue. I was thinking that Sandy was going to move in with Nick and they would have been a wonderful family with them and the dog. It was kind of hinted at in the book so, I was very disappointed.
I do recommend this book, though. It was a sweet and wonderful short story showing that a high school crush that never got developed in high school is not the end. That years later, if you meet, you can start up again. City Mouse and country mouse can work and can fall in love.