Title: A Coal Miner’s Son (States of Love)
Author: T.A. Chase
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: 4th Jan, 2017
Genre(s): Romance, Contemporary
Page Count : 107
Reviewed by: PIU
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
James Callahan is the only son of Nicholas Callahan, owner of the Willow Hollow mine in West Virginia—but he’s never considered himself any better than the miners. He’s best friends with Owain Rees, one of the miners’ kids, and he’s been attracted to Cai, Owain’s older brother, for years. James gets the feeling he might not be the only one sensing the tension between them, but Cai avoids him religiously.
Cai has been working the mine since he was sixteen. He acknowledges James is cute, but he’s grown up privileged while Cai’s family has always been working class, and Cai fears that chasm is too wide to cross. When family drama pushes them together, will Cai and James see they’re more alike than they realized?
Take a leap of faith as two men from different worlds, employer and employee, rich and poor, discover that love transcends social barriers.
“Coal Miner’s son” by T.A Chase is a new addition to the “States of love” series featuring the state of West Virginia. The story revolves around a coal mining community, the people, their life and struggles.
James Callahan is the only son and future owner of his family mine, Willow Hollow in West Virginia. Where his father considers himself above and beyond the miners, James has always considered them as family. From childhood he has played with the miner kids, made friends and have always gone all out in helping them in any way he can. James is best friends with Owen Rees, one of the miner’s kids and has an old crush on Owen’s big brother, Cai Rees.
Cai Rees has always noticed his brother’s best friend but has always avoided him because getting involved with the boss’s son is not ok. James leads a life of privilege whereas he has not even finished high school. Cai is sure that in no way they could ever bridge their social differences to be in a relationship of any kind. So even though he craves for the man from afar he has never tried to know James or get close to him. But when a family situation forces Cai to spend more time with James, he realizes that James is not the man he has always thought he would be. Cai and James both needs to take a chance and gamble in love if they want to make their love for each other a reality.
This story captures the essence of a tight-knit mining community beautifully. Despite the money problems, everyone always came through for each other in any way they could. They were proud people who believed in hard work. They had some reservations about accepting help from James but when they get to know him better he is accepted in their fold wholeheartedly.
The romance part was not that exciting IMO. Cai and James were dancing around each other for years so I was hoping for a more detailed relationship development. They had a lot of differences to wade through to actually make a relationship work and I was hoping for more than a hasty kiss and a tumble in bed before their HEA. The jump from a tentative friendship to being boyfriends was very sudden and I didn’t find it believable. Cai had a lot of insecurities regarding dating his boss’s son but when they actually do get together they never talk about it. Without any effort from either of the MCs their relationship goes forward without any hitch. I am not generally a big fan of angst but in this case I thought a minimum amount was necessary to settle the MCs better for a successful future together.
The angst part comes from Cai’s emergency family situation which brings the couple together. It was a side plot but very well written in describing how loving and close-knit the Rees family was. I loved the dynamics between the characters as well as the character development.
This is a very family/community-oriented romance. I loved the feel of the community in this book but the romance did not excite me that much. It does well in describing the natural surroundings and the overall feel of West Virginia as could be expected from a book from this series.